Spiced poached pears in chocolate sauce

Spiced poached pears in chocolate sauce

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(17 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

  • 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 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 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

    • 200g good-quality dark chocolate
      Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

      Dark chocolate

      dahk chok-o-let

      Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

    • 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, questions and tips

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    CookingCopper's picture
    8th Oct, 2011
    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.
    11th Nov, 2010
    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!
    28th Sep, 2009
    delicious - impressive for a dinner party. I left the chocolate sauce as an optional extra for my guests.
    3rd Mar, 2009
    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
    20th Dec, 2008
    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.
    1st Nov, 2008
    Great, simple, tastey and impressive - even half on the pears in chocolate looks good!
    22nd Feb, 2008
    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!
    4th Nov, 2007
    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.


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