Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cheeky Poached Pears in White Wine with Chocolate Sauce

Leftover white wine can go sour very quickly if you forget about it for a few days, and that is exactly what happened to some sad little bottles in our refrigerator recently. Now, I could have spilled their liquid contents down the sink in several short glugs but I felt they deserved a little more respect than that, so I purchased six small Forelle (Corella) pears to cheer them up. In Australia, Forelle pears are usually picked in March and are available from April until August. They are a gorgeous little pear to sit demurely in your fruit bowl, and add a delicate sweetness to a Summer salad however, they really show-off when you get them a little bit 'drunk'.

Cheeky Poached Pears in White Wine with Chocolate Sauce

3 cups (750ml)white wine
1 cup (250ml)water
100g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
half lemon
6 Forelle (Corella) pears, peeled, halved and cored

200g chocolate
1 Tbs butter
100ml thick cream

Servings: 6

In a large saucepan or pot bring the sugar, wine and water to the boil. Squeeze the lemon over the pot, then drop it into the liquid. Add the vanilla and reduce to a simmer.
Peel, halve and core the Forelle pears. I chose Forelle pears because they are quite small in size and a single serving would consist of two halves, drizzled with the chocolate sauce.
Place the pears into the pot and gently simmer the syrup until the pears soften slightly. For 6 pears, this usually takes about 20-30 minutes, then remove the lemon.
I love how the pears change colour from a soft cream to develop a golden-translucsent caramel hue. At this point, you should remove them from the heat because let's face it, they'd be quite tipsy.

To make the chocolate sauce, simmer water in a saucepan, then remove the pan from the heat and place a bowl with the chocolate over the pan. Allow the chocolate to sit for one minute before stirring with a metal spoon. Add the butter and stir until combined with the chocolate to create a glossy sauce. Slowly pour in the cream, stirring constantly until well incorporated. Can you believe the chocolate sauce is that simple?!

To serve, scoop the pear halves out of the warm syrup with a slotted spoon and place directly into a serving bowl. Drizzle the pear halves with a generous spoonful (or two) of the chocolate sauce and enjoy the dessert with a friend after dinner, or by yourself with a good book in the afternoon.

I enjoyed mine the next day on an unseasonably cool afternoon on my balcony, whilst listening to Flightless Bird. It was a beautiful afternoon and the rested pears tasted even more exquisite the day after I poached them.

For the chocolate sauce I actually used milk chocolate as I had used all of our dark chocolate for the mint chocolate ganache I made a few weeks ago. Though the colour of the sauce was not as rich and deep as the dark brown I had wanted, it did compliment the pears beautifully and softened the 'drunken' syrup flavour from the wine.

Now wasn't that worth saving your white wine?

I will publish my next little post in about an hour or so. I've got a little message to share with you all about a beautiful friend of mine...

Bella xx

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Love Bella xx


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