This is one of favourite desserts at the moment. I am not a huge fan of fresh pears, but love them poached. I know the sophisticated, gourmand thing to do is to poach the pears in red wine… but sometimes, chocolate sauce can do the trick.
This dessert is the best winter comfort food, and is relatively quick, easy and inexpensive to make.
4 pears (or as many pears as there are people)
2 cinnamon quills
1/3 cup of castor sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence or 1 vanilla pod
200 g dark cooking chocolate or chocolate melts
150ml pouring cream
large pot of water
vanilla ice-cream (optional)
Add the cinnamon, vanilla essence and sugar to the pot of water and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, peel the pears. Once the water is boiling, place the pears in the pot and reduce the water to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes and remove. They should be a little softer but not mushy.
In the microwave, melt the chocolate and a tablespoon of water in a heatproof bowl for 1 minute. Stir with a fork, add the cream and stir again until smooth. If there are still lumps, return to the microwave for a further 30 seconds.
Place the pears in bowls and serve with drizzled chocolate sauce and a scoop of ice-cream if desired.
After serving the pears, be sure to bring the bowl of left over chocolate sauce to the table because your guests will want to lick it dry.