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Inspiration behind this recipe: When the email for this week’s challenge arrived in my inbox I was in just the right mood for something sweet. A million ideas rushed through my head, from African Kisses to Amarula creme caramel. All of them just felt too obvious, too easy. Then I remembered that I had been dying to try my hand at making whoopie pies, and what an opportunity it was. I said the words and my head was immediatly filled with ideas and my mouth started watering just at the thought of the smells that would come out my kitchen as the cookies baked.
For the cookies:
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Amarula
For the custard filling:
2 cups milk
2 pears, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
80g dark chocolate, crushed
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
For the almond butter:
1 bag blanched almonds, roasted
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Prepare a baking tray.
Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time. Add vanilla. Whisk together flour and baking powder. Add half to the wet mixture. Add half the Amarula. Repeat. When mixture is combined well, scoop into a piping bag with no tip or a plain tip. Pipe disks onto the baking tray. Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
In a pot heat up the milk with the pears and vanilla. Cook on a low heat until the pears are soft. Mash up the pears and then add the chocolate. Give the chocolate a chance to melt and in a separate bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and salt together until combined. Stir the milk mixture until the chocolate has melted and mixed in completely. Temper the egg mixture by slowly adding some of the milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking. Pour the egg mixture into the pot. Continue stirring on a low heat until the custard thickens up to the point where you can make a peak (will be about half the original volume). Pour the custard into a bowl and cool thoroughly.
The almond butter:
Put the almonds in a food processor and process till it turns to a coarse butter. (I used the attachment to my stick blender so no fancy processors needed).
Pipe or spoon mixture onto one cookie. Put the second cookie on top. Make shapes with the almond butter and place on top. Alternatively roll little almond butter truffles and place inside.