Poached Pears with Chocolate Chia Mousse

Hello! I’m Jialing and I will be taking over Amcarmen’s Kitchen for today. I will confess that today’s blog was very close to being a two-step tutorial on how to boil a cup of water and make tea – the only semi-regular dietary part of my life that does not involve any animal by-products.

As someone who has clearly only ever eaten vegan food a handful of times (I genuinely thought that the vegan theme was intended as a joke when I first agreed to do a recipe), I found this year’s Auguest theme to be a punishment. I mean challenge. I ended up ransacking my own pantry and refrigerator for inspiration, confirming with Allison and Google about what ingredients could and couldn’t be used by vegans. What seems like day later, I emerged triumphant – pears, wine, cocoa powder, and a questionable bag of chia seeds (waste not, want not…) sat atop my counter, ready for the arduous vegan road ahead.

Now, onto the recipe, poetically inspired by the very essential act of boiling water.

Poached Pears with Chocolate Chia Mousse Ingredients


*The chocolate chia mousse will need to be prepared the day before to allow chia seeds time to soak


For the chocolate chia mousse

  • 1 & 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup**
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Strawberries for garnish

For the poached pears

  • 4 buerre bosc pears, peeled
  • 1/2 bottle moscato or other sweet dessert wine***
  • 3 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup**
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Water

**Maple-flavoured syrup isn’t vegan, so be sure to check the label!
***Find your fave vegan wines here http://www.barnivore.com/wine


  1. Chocolate Chia Mousse: Prepare the chocolate chia mousse the day before, to allow chia seeds time to soak. Combine the cocoa powder, vanilla, and maple syrup, stirring until well mixed.
  2. Slowly pour in almond milk, stirring until mixture is smooth. Add chia seeds and stir until well-incoporated. Leave in fridge to soak overnight, stirring mixture once in between.
  3. Once the chia seeds have fully absorbed the liquid, they will increase significantly in size and have a gelatinous texture. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. Tip: leave the chia mixture unblended and top with fresh fruit and desiccated coconut as a healthy and envy-worthy breakfast.
  4. Poached Pears: In a sauce pot large and deep enough to hold pears, combine wine, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, and just enough water to cover pears.
  5. Bring the wine and spices to the boil over high heat.
  6. Add the pears, positioning them so that they are completely submerged, and continue to boil for another 25 minutes, until pears are cooked through and tender. Be sure to turn pears for even cooking, particularly when liquid gets low, keeping in mind that the bottoms of the pears will take longer to cook than the tops.
  7. Once pears are cooked, remove from the pot, reserving the syrup, and set aside to cool.
  8. Carefully simmer remaining syrup until reduced to about 1/2 cup.
  9. To serve, divide mousse into small bowls or stemless glasses and garnish with sliced strawberries. Place a pear on each plate, next to the mousse. Drizzle the pear with syrup. Enjoy!

Poached Pears with Chocolate Chia Mousse

Recipe Copyright © 2016 | jialingmew




Persian Lunch

Persian Lunch

May the 4th be with you.

About a month ago or so (I actually cannot remember) I saw a post on the UNSW Food Lovers Society page that linked to a Facebook page called mamaCOOKoo. As intrigued as I was to know more about it, I clicked on their page and found out that they are a community that “connects amazing home cooks with hungry locals”. I then went onto their website to find out more about what they do. I read up on the story of how mamaCOOKoo came to be and found it interesting, and smart. Basically, husband and wife, both terrible at cooking, wanted to find a cost-effective solution to their troubles, and thus the birth of mamaCOOKoo, food that reminds us of home, mamas and grandmas, and their magic in the kitchen. You could register as a foodie, or as an amazing home cook. Torn between the two, I decided to sign up as a foodie as a craved for delicious home-cooked meals and mainly because I am curious to know about and experience the different cuisines out there in my area. I mean, yeah my cooking is good, but I don’t know about the ‘amazing’ part, just yet.

So about 2 weeks ago I got an email from Rumana, the founder of mamaCOOKoo, inviting me to eat Persian food. When I read the menu, I was on board immediately. Also, I’ve never really had Persian food before so I was really interested to taste authentic home-cooked Persian food. I feel that if you really want to experience a new cuisine, authentic, home-cooked is always the way to go first. I feel that restaurants today, especially in Australia, rarely have that authentic taste, and is always in some way tweaked and fused with a bit of a western touch. The really authentic restaurants are often difficult to find as well.

I got to experience authentic, home-cooked Persian food today and I definitely have no regrets.The food, AMAZING. And of course the people that we shared the meal with were also amazing. I invited my fellow food buddy Jialing and her boyfriend Zargham. We met Rumana and her husband Nilesh, Aadil and of course Arash who was our home cook for the day. We also got to know his wife who came in just as we were about to have dessert (not Persian, but still amazing with the ‘scotch-butter’ sauce). Lots of fun talking about random things I might add, from experiences with fire alarms, to cats and dogs (and of course which of the two were better, dogs hands down), and just all things food in general. We also got to know Arash, about his inspirations and how he started cooking by learning from his mom.

Here are some shots of the food that we had today:

Persian Lunch: Mirza Ghosayme
Mirza Ghosayme – Smoked bbq eggplant with eggs, garlic and tomatoes; this was a winner for me! I could just eat this all day, everyday!

Persian Lunch: Albaloo Pollo
Albaloo Pollo – Sour cherry rice; I am generally not a fan of cherries (probably scarred from those horrible preserved cherries in a jar), but this changed my view on cherries! Such a creative and vibrant dish and definitely something I’ve not seen in restaurants before!

Persian Lunch: Adas Pollo
Adas Pollo – Lentils, sultana, nuts (almond, pistachio) and rice; again, sultanas aren’t my thing but it felt like it wasn’t even there, the dish was just so good. SO good.

Persian Lunch: Gaymeh Pollo
Gaymeh Pollo – Slow cooked lamb, saffron, tomatoes, split peas, potato and rice; perfection on a plate.

Persian Lunch: Fesunjun
Fesunjun – Slow cooked chicken breast with pomegranate and walnuts; so tender and YUM.

Persian Lunch: Dolmeh
Dolmeh – Eggplant and capsicum stuffed with mushrooms, beans and rice, cooked in a tomato and tarragon sauce; just WOW.

Persian Lunch: Poached Pear with a 'scotch-butter' sauce and a dollop of cream
and lastly our not-so-Persian dessert (more French-inspired), Poached Pear with a ‘scotch-butter’ sauce and a dollop of cream; scotch-butter is in fact just butterscotch sauce, but Arash calls in scotch-butter because he couldn’t pronounce it at first. We love us some scotch-butter!

Overall, an amazing experience, both the food and the company. I’m glad that I came across mamaCOOKoo and I’m glad that they have started up this community. The only downside to this is that I probably will have to start running/walking again after such a full-on breakfast/lunch/dinner all in one go (I didn’t have breakfast because I believed that it would ruin my Persian lunch experience, and I was obviously too full to have dinner afterwards). But hey, if you have not experienced this feeling before, then I have news for you. You are NOT a true foodie at heart.

Also, if you are based in NSW, you can order the food that you see in this blog if you don’t have time to cook, or don’t like to cook at all, and are after a nice home-cooked meal. You can also order food for parties! I recommend that you register with mamaCOOKoo so you can find out more about home cooks around your area. Or hey! If you are an amazing home cook then do get in touch with Rumana! Links below:

– Ally xx