Pear & Star Anise
A flavour combination very dear to my heart that helped me through to the Masterchef final. The last test of the semi-final was perhaps the most daunting: to cook for some of the country's most revered restaurant critics.
All four of us were a bundle of nerves leading up to the critics meal. Leaving at that stage would have been the cruellest of blows. Somehow on the day I found a moment of pure serenity and delivered two dishes I was really happy with. For dessert I took tarte tatin and put my take on it, serving individual pear tarte tatins with fromage frais sorbet and a sprinkle of star anise salt which not only perfumed the dish but the whole room. The critics loved it and I made it through to the final.
So with a winning combination of flavours like that and such good memories how could I not include it as one of my first ever chocolates? As part of the Silk Road Chocolate Box, Favourites Chocolate Box and the Complete Chocolate Collection, the star anise gives a warming aniseed note to the Williams pear purée we incorporate into single origin Madagascan 67% dark chocolate.