This is a recipe I came up with myself based on a pizza I had in Toronto that has haunted me to this day. Sharp blue cheese with sweet pear is a match made in heaven and these buns are certainly something I will be bringing to every cheese and wine night from now on. Although, they are not much to look at.
I also experimented with goats cheese which was really nice, but for my tastebuds blue cheese just won.
50 g unsalted butter
80 ml FULL FAT milk
80 ml water
130g plain flour
generous pack of blue cheese (I like gorgonzola or the soft Castello cheese available in England, but any soft-ish blue cheese will do)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Grease a baking tray with butter and cover with baking parchment. The butter underneath helps prevent the parchment slipping when piping.
Preheat the oven to 220*
Melt 50g butter with 40ml milk and 40ml water in a pan over a medium heat. When the butter is melted and the liquid is scalding, pour the 130g plain flour in all at once and beat manically for 2-3 minutes. It should come together to form a dough relatively quickly and may sizzle. Make sure to beat it for 2-3 minutes as this is important for the gluten structure and rise.
Leave to cool, then beat 2 eggs into the dough. By the time you add the second egg, you should be able to mix the dough into a glossy thick paste. A hand-held balloon whisk is all you need for this job, nothing stronger.
Fill a piping bag and pipe into circles about 5-6 cm in diameter.
Put in the oven and do not open the door again! (they are private little buggers). Cook for 15 minutes at 220* and then lower the temperature to 160* and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Whilst they bake, caramelise the pears. Peel and cut the pears into thin slices. Melt some butter over high heat in a pan then add the pears, smothered in 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Let bubble and caramelise. Turn the slices over after approximately 3 minutes, then cook for a further 3 minutes. When done, they should be golden brown and soft.
Now for construction. When the buns come out of the oven slice open with a serrated knife whilst still hot. Full the hollows of the buns with thick wedges of cheese, then sandwich a slice of pear in-between, before sticking back together.