Spiced poached pears in chocolate sauce

Spiced poached pears in chocolate sauce

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(11 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 50 mins


Serves 4
You won't need an excuse to indulge in this updated classic, but if you do, remember that fruit contributes to your 5-a-day!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze pears and syrup only
  • Easily doubled / halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal642
  • fat41g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs66g
  • sugars58g
  • fibre6g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.06g
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For the pears

  • 750g golden caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 strips lemon zest (use a potato peeler)
  • 1 star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 5 clove



    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • piece fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 4 ripe pear, peeled



    Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…

For the chocolate sauce

  • 200g good-quality dark chocolate
  • 142ml double cream
  • 150ml full-fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • vanilla ice cream, to serve


  1. 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.

  2. 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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Comments (16)

stingray11's picture

Delicious! After reading the comments (and looking at the amount in the recipe!), I used 250g of sugar which turned out well. The poaching liquid wasn't too syrup-y but therefore not too sweet either. It had a lovely subtle spicy flavour to it. I poached the pears the day before my dinner party, so it was a really easy dessert to assemble.

Mgrene's picture

The amount of sugar in the syrup must be a misprint. I assumed it should be 75 grams and used 70g - think next time I'd use even less. I also made half the quantity of chocolate sauce for 4 people and had some left over. This is a really delicious desert which can be made ahead. I'll definitely be making it again.

koolk_2009's picture

Used about half the sugar which was perfect for me, could take more if you like it sweet. Beautiful recipe and so easy.

annaalexandra's picture

I agree with Martha n Henrietta. Too much sugar. Too sweet. Will try next time with half amount. Easy dessert and will make again.

gemmy22's picture

I made this and it was amazing. It tasted lovely and I will definitely be making this again.

payton's picture

Would suggest there is a tad too much sugar in this recipe, perhaps it should read 75 sugar not 750

duchess97's picture

For the Christmassy smells alone I'd give this five stars! Used a few less cloves and no star anise as my husband does not like "too much pot pouri". Cooked the pears in le creuset pan and reused the syrup for a second batch! Did not have golden caster sugar so just used white. Vanilla pods are v pricey but the star of the show in this pudding. They add a beautiful flecked appearance and yumminess. I had some trouble with the chocolate sauce as it slid off the pears. I served the pears warm, but will maybe try to cool the sauce a bit first and hope it coats the pear better! Classy,delicious recipe. Merry Christmas!

ninaforsyth's picture

seems an awful lot of sugar but I will try it this week will let you know

CookingCopper's picture

Easy to make and tastes heavenly. I don't particularly like pears or dark chocolate, but the flavours compliment each other perfectly, especially when combined with vanilla ice cream. A winner at a family meal last night and will definitely be added to my Christmas menu.

redaurigny's picture

I use less than half the amount of sugar stated and it still seemed plenty. I keep making this and it has become a firm favourite so I'm now sorry I rated it with only 2 stars at the beginning of the year!

corally's picture

delicious - impressive for a dinner party. I left the chocolate sauce as an optional extra for my guests.

emily84's picture

Hi Henrietta, I've checked this with Barney, who wrote the recipe, and the quantity of sugar is correct. It does need to be quite syrupy, and there also needs to be quite a large quantity of syrup, in order to cover the pears. The pears are drained from the syrup before serving so won't absorb all of the sugar. Hope this helps, Emily

joangarrod's picture

Is that really right - 750 grams of sugar for just 4 pears? I was going to make this for tomorrow, but it seems an excessive amount of sugar, so I used my normal recipe of pears in ginger wine.

duckdelight's picture

Great, simple, tastey and impressive - even half on the pears in chocolate looks good!

wild_ice's picture

Loved this recipe. It was really easy to do and my left over chocolate sauce goes brilliantly with a whole host of things. It looks elegant on the plate and tastes superb!

marthajones's picture

far too much chocolate sauce I found (about half was more than fine - particularly if you want to taste the pears). Same goes for the amount of sugar in the poaching liquid... I'd say about half is fine there too.

Questions (1)

Pipstone's picture

Spiced pears in chocolate sauce
Is the golden castor sugar quantity correct at 750g this seems a very large amount?

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