Thursday, September 22, 2005

Dessert -- Poached Pears in Chocolate

(Maven's post about having pears to use inspired, who doesn't like cooking with wine! This recipe also makes your house smell DIVINE.)

Serves six, and can be served hot or cold, with or without the chocolate sauce.
(But really -- if the choice is chocolate or NO chocolate, what's the correct answer?)

You will need:

6 firm, ripe pears
1/2 cup superfine sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cloves
rind of one orange
1 bottle of white zin or other rose wine. (I like Clover Hill's catawba, but it might not be available in your area.)

For the chocolate sauce:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
9 oz. mascarpone cheese
2 tbs Grand Marnier

To prepare the pears:

Carefully peel the pears, leaving the stems on.

Place the sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange rind, cloves and wine into a pan that will hold all six pears snugly. (Once you're sure you have enough wine to cover the pears, drink the rest. Glass optional.)

Heat the liquid gently until the sugar dissolves, then add the pears. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

If you're serving the dessert cold, let the pears cool in the liquid, then chill in the 'fridge until right before serving.

If you're serving it hot (which I recommend), leave the pears in the liquid while you make the chocolate sauce.

To make the chocolate sauce:

Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan.

Beat the mascarpone cheese and the Grand Marnier to gether.

Slowly beat the cheese mixture into the melted chocolate.

To serve:

Pull the pear out of the liquid, and place it on a fancy-assed dessert plate. (You can chill the plate ahead of time, if you want.)

Add a spoonful of sauce on the side, and serve the rest in a nice dish.

If you're really ambitious and artistic (or trying to impress someone), you can use a pastry bag to pipe a rosette of sauce next to the pear.

You can also save the poaching liquid -- boil it down for about ten minutes to reduce it to a syrup. It goes will on a fruit salad, whipped with fresh cream, or spooned over ice cream.


Piggy and Tazzy said...

Poached pears make me want to vomit.

It sounds a rather nice recipe though. For other people.

It's Me, Maven... said...

If you take the pears and put them over vanilla icecream and drizzle the sauce and chocolate sauce over it, you've got Pears Helene.

If you use Peaches instead, it's a Peach Melba.