Spiced poached pears with hot chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream

PT45M

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Ingredients

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Imperial

Poached pears

Chocolate sauce

To serve

1
To start the poached pears, peel and core the pears, rubbing the flesh with a little of the lemon juice to prevent them from browning
2
Combine the sweet wine, orange and lemon juices, caster sugar, star anise and vanilla in a large, heavy-based saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring gently for 3-4 minutes, until the sugar dissolves
3
Add the pears to the saucepan and cover with a disc of crumbled greaseproof paper, then the lid. Bring to the boil and simmer for no more than 5 minutes
4
Remove the pan from the heat and leave the pears in the liquid until they are just warm
5
To make the chocolate sauce, combine the sugar, cocoa powder and water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking until smooth
6
Simmer gently for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally, then remove from the heat
7
Chop the chocolate and add each piece one at a time to the sauce, stirring continuously until all the chocolate has melted and the sauce is smooth
8
Remove the poached pears from the cooking liquor and place on kitchen paper or a clean cloth to drain. Trim the base of each pear a little so they are able to sit upright
9
Roll the pear lightly in caster sugar until completely covered then caramelize the sugar with a blowtorch
  • caster sugar for dusting
10
To serve, sit a poached pear upright in each serving dish. Place a ball or scoop of ice cream next to it and pour the hot chocolate sauce around. Serve with more hot chocolate sauce on the side
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