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Pear and macadamia crumble with chocolate sauce

Dessert Winter
Serves 4-6
Prep 25 min
Cook 55 min

Palm sugar is stickier than caster sugar and has a caramel-like flavour. Make sure you use the Thai variety here, which is sort of firm and sticky, but easy to crumble, and not the super-hard kind. It makes this crumble similar to cookie dough: gooey in places and crisp in others.


120g thai palm sugar, we use the Thai Taste brand
½ tsp flaked sea salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
40g unsalted butter
8 ripe williams pears (1.2kg), peeled, cored and cut into quarters (900g net weight)
2 limes, finely zested, to get 1 tbsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp
90g plain flour
40g desiccated coconut
80g thai palm sugar, crumbled
1 tsp coffee grounds
4 tsp cacao nibs
90g unsalted butter, fridge-cold and cut into 1½cm cubes
100g salted roasted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
100ml double cream
1½ tsp coffee grounds
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
70g 70% dark chocolate, chopped into 1cm pieces
1 tsp Sindyanna carob syrup (optional)


  1. First make a start on the sauce. Put the cream and coffee in a small saucepan on a medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse while you get on with everything else.
  2. Heat the oven to 190C (180C fan)/390F. Put the sugar, salt, vanilla, butter and pears in a large, ovenproof saute pan on a medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the pears soften but still keep their shape. Off the heat, stir in all the lime juice and two teaspoons of the zest, then set aside while you make the crumble.
  3. Combine the flour, coconut, sugar, coffee grounds and a tablespoon of cacao nibs in a large bowl. Add the butter, then use your hands to press it into the flour, until the mix comes together into a coarse crumble (it will be wetter than most crumbles you’re used to). Stir in the nuts, spread evenly over the fruit, then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
  4. Meanwhile, finish the sauce. Put the infused cream back on a medium-high heat, add the vanilla and 60ml water, and bring to a simmer. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, then strain in the warmed cream through a fine-mesh sieve; discard the coffee grounds. Stir until the chocolate has melted completely and the mix is pourable.
  5. Top the crumble with the remaining teaspoon each of lime zest and cacao nibs, and serve warm with the chocolate sauce alongside, for drizzling on top.