For the pears
- 750g golden caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 strips lemon zest (use a potato peeler)
- 1 star anise
Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…
- 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
- 5 cloves
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 pears, peeled
Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…
For the chocolate sauce
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.
If you want to use a slow cooker...Tip the sugar, spices, lemon zest, vanilla and ginger with 500ml of water into your slow cooker, cover and cook on High until the sugar has totally dissolved- about 15 mins. Add the pears, turn the heat to Low and cook for 2-3 hours until tender. They'll now keep for up to 2 days in their syrup. Make the chocolate sauce and serve according to step 2, above.
Pears with porkThrowing wedges of pear in with a roast pork joint 20 mins before it’s ready. Serve the roasted pears alongside the carved meat.