Spiced poached pears in chocolate sauce

Serves4 Origin Europe
Preparation 10mins Heat rating (No heat)
Cooking 50mins Ease (Very difficult)
Vegetarian No


1 Cinnamon quills
5 Whole Cloves
1 Star Anise, organic
200g golden caster sugar
4 ripe pears , peeled
1 vanilla pod , split lengthways
piece fresh root ginger , peeled and sliced
2 strips lemon zest (use a potato peeler)

For Chocolate Sauce
200g good-quality dark chocolate
142ml double cream
150ml full-fat milk
pinch ground cinnamon

vanilla ice cream , to serve


In a pan big enough to hold the pears snugly, tip in all the ingredients except the pears. Half fill the pan with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 mins to infuse, drop in pears, cover and gently poach for about 30 mins until soft. Turn off the heat and set aside. The pears can be poached up to 2 days ahead and kept in the poaching syrup in the fridge.
To make the chocolate sauce, tip the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream, milk and cinnamon to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted. To serve, drain the pears and, holding them by the stem, dip them in the chocolate sauce to completely cover. Serve each pear with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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