At this time of year I like nothing better than a warm, sweet dessert.
Pears are fantastic in January so why not give them a bit of a fusion twist with this spicy recipe. Give it a try.
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Cardamom Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream
4 conference pears, peeled, cored and kept in acidulated water
250g of caster sugar
600ml of Vin Santo
1 lemon, juiced
1 vanilla pod
2 star anise
16 cardamom pods, cracked
1 tub of vanilla ice cream
50g of dark chocolate
50g of caster sugar
25g of cocoa powder
375ml of water
1 Place the caster sugar, sweet wine, lemon juice, vanilla pod, star anise and cardamom into a large thick bottomed saucepan and leave to dissolve for 3-4 minutes
2 Add the peeled pears to the saucepan with the sugar and spices and place on the heat
3 Bring the saucepan to the boil and simmer for no more than 5 mins,then remove the pan from the heat
4 Leave the pears to cool down in the saucepan until they are just warm
5 To make the chocolate sauce, place the water, sugar and cocoa powder into a thick bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally to ensure the cocoa powder is fully mixed in and remove from the heat. Add the chocolate pieces slowly. stirring continuously until all the pieces have melted into the water mix and a smooth chocolate sauce is achieved
6 Remove the poached pears from the cooking liquor and place onto some kitchen paper or cloth to remove any excess liquid
Sit an upright poached pear on the plate and place a scoop of vanilla ice cream next to it. Pour the hot chocolate sauce around it and serve.