My passion for cheese stems from my roots and is ignited whenever cheese is the protagonist of an initiative. For this reason, also this year I enthusiastically accepted to participate in the “Choose your taste, sweet or spicy, only from Europe” project in collaboration with the European Commission and the Italian Food Blogger Association to promote knowledge and consumption of Provolone Valpadana PDO.
Spicy Provolone Valpadana PDO in my Valentine’s Day dessert
I told you how Provolone Valpadana PDO is produced when I prepared my Savoury Muffinsbut this time I used the spicy version of this cheese to prepare a fantastic dessert that left all my guests literally speechless. For those who do not have time to read about the production process of Provolone Valpadana PDOit is really interesting to know that the sharpness of this cheese is only determined by the use of kidrennet instead of calf rennet: every tiny detail opens up a world of differences in cheese with Designations of Origin!
Why this recipe? Because I wanted to propose a perfect idea for Valentine’s Day, namely a spicy dessert, just like love! And also because I love cheese eaten with pears and walnuts, two very classic pairings that reconfirm time and again that sweet and savoury can give us great taste pleasures.
So I prepared a custard using coconut milk so that this dessert could be eaten not only by those who are gluten intolerant, but also by those who are lactose intolerant because Provolone Valpadana is naturally lactose-free! The other star is pears in red wine, a fragrant winter pampering, the ideal partner for cheese. Finally, I created crunchiness with toasted breadcrumbs and walnuts, which are the most neutral part of the recipe, essential to bind all the elements together in a warm and affectionate hug.
Have I convinced you? Run to buy the ingredients and surprise your loved ones… with just the right amount of sweet spiciness.
Coconut Cream with spicy red wine pears
21.23 g carbohydrates per 100g
Ingredients for the coconut cream for 4 servings
- 225g coconut milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 40g sugar
- vanilla from the pod
Ingredients for the spicy red wine pears
- 4 Kaiser pears of about 140g each
- 250g red wine
- 50g sugar
- 1/2 star anise berry
- 2 cardamom berries
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Ingredients to complete
- 40g breadcrumbs**
- 30g shelled walnuts
- 10g butter
- spicy Provolone Valpadana PDO
**Ingredients specific for celiacs
*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on Prontuario AIC)
- Heat up the coconut milk on the stove and in the meantime whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and a dash of vanilla. When the milk is about to come to the boil, remove it from the heat and pour it over the beaten egg yolks, stirring with a whisk; put the cream back on the heat and let it thicken for a few minutes. Put it aside to cool, then store it in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the pears: peel them, leaving the stalks, and place them in a saucepan large enough to hold the pears close together. Pour the wine, sugar and spices into the saucepan, then put the lid on, bring everything to the boil, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Let the pears cool in their cooking liquid, then remove them and allow the liquid to reduce to a caramel-like thickness.
- Put the knob of butter in a non-stick pan, melt it and add the breadcrumbs to toast them. When the bread is almost ready, add the walnuts after breaking them up lightly with your hands. Toast for a few minutes.
- Assemble the cake at the time of serving. In a deep dish, pour a small ladle of custard and place one pear in the centre of the dish. Using a large hole grater, grate slivers of Provolone Valpadana cheese over the cream and pear; top with the toasted bread and walnuts and the reduced wine sauce. Serve the dessert cold, possibly paired with a small glass of Barolo Chinato or Port wine.
Version with gluten of Coconut cream with spicy red wine pears
With the exception of the breadcrumbs, the recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so replace the gluten-free breadcrumbs with conventional breadcrumbs.