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Author Notes: This is an elegant but very simple dessert. I also like to make the poached pears and store them in the refrigerator, covered with spices syrup in which they cooked. Occasionally, I take one and eat it without adding anything else. It’s a good way to take advantage of all the fruit in season, particularly those pears that can be a little unripe and firm. —my common table
- 4 small, firm, pears
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 3 cloves
- 1 1 vanilla bean cut in half lengthwise (for this recipe you’ll only need one half)
- 1 orange peel
- 75 grams dark chocolate
- 100 milliliters double cream
- Peel the pears and cut some of the bottom to flatten. In a small saucepan, place the pears, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, 1/2 vanilla bean, orange peel, honey and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until the pears are cooked (pierce with a toothpick to confirm).
- Meanwhile make the chocolate sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the cream without boiling. Break the chocolate into small pieces into a bowl. When the cream is hot, pour it over the chocolate and stir well until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Serve the pears still warm with the hot chocolate sauce on top. You can also add a scoop of vanilla ice cream (optional).