Chef Anto Cocagne and Photographer Aline Princet take us on a unique food journey and introduce us to the best recipes from Gabon, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Congo, and Ethiopia.
We will discover the main characteristics of these cuisines, the specialties of each region, the produce, the ideal pantry, the basics, as well as mouthwatering recipes for appetizers, main courses, side dishes, street food, desserts, and drinks.
And since no one evokes a cuisine better than its daughters and sons, we meet African musicians, writers, artists, and creatives who tell stories about their favourite dishes, their family cooking memories, and what these recipes represent for them today.
With stunning food and landscape photography, complemented by beautiful and colourful design, this book is an ode to conviviality, generosity, and positivity. It is a love letter to Africa.
Poached pears with chocolate sauce
Poires Belle Hawa
4 cups (1 liter) bissap
1¼ cups (250 g) sugar
2 small vanilla beans
2¼ cups (250 g) roasted cashews
Dark chocolate shavings, to serve
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
2 cups (500 ml) heavy whipping cream
¼ cup (50 g) confectioners’ sugar
FOR THE CHOCOLATE SAUCE
Scant 1 cup (200 ml) light cream
Scant 1 cup (200 ml) low-fat milk
7 oz (200 g) 64% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
Peel the pears, keeping the stems intact. Push an apple corer into each pear from the base to remove around 2 inches (5 cm) of the core and seeds. Cut the bases of the pears so that they will stand upright.
Combine the bissap, sugar, vanilla, and cloves in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the pears and cook over low heat for 25 minutes (check if they are done using the tip of a small knife, which should pierce the fruit easily). Remove the pot from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
Remove the pears from the pot and strain the juice. Return the juice to the heat and cook until it is reduced and syrupy. Dip the pears halfway into the syrup, then leave them to drain on a wire rack.
To prepare the whipped cream, whisk the cream with a mixer or by hand, gradually adding the confectioners’ sugar, until stiff peaks form. Keep well chilled.
To prepare the chocolate sauce, bring the cream and milk to a boil, tip in the chocolate pieces, then mix until the sauce is smooth.
Roughly chop the cashews and put them in a bowl. Dip the lower half of each pear into the chocolate, then into the crushed cashews.
To serve, spoon some chocolate sauce in the center of each plate and place a pear on top. Using two dessert spoons, make a rounded dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle it with dark chocolate shavings.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Interlink Books.