Enjoy this French-inspired dessert made by poaching juicy pears in a sugar syrup and served with vanilla ice cream and toasted flaked almonds. Your dinner guests will love this indulgent pudding!
Pour 1 litre (13⁄4pt) water into a medium sized pan and add the juice and zest of 1 lemon, 200g (7oz) golden caster sugar and the seeds from 2 vanilla pods. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
Meanwhile, peel 6 ripe, firm pears, leaving the stalks intact but removing the little core at the base of each pear with a small sharp knife. Put pears into the hot syrup, covering with a circle of nonstick baking paper to ensure they’re submerged.
Cover with a lid and poach for 15-20 minutes or until the pears are tender when tested with a cocktail stick.Lift the pears from the syrup and set aside. Bubble the syrup for 10-15 minutes or until it has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool with the pears.
Meanwhile, to make the sauce, melt 200g (7oz) 70% dark chocolate (broken into squares) in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Add 125ml (4fl oz) double cream, 3 tbsp of the cooled pear syrup and 2 tsp clear honey, and stir until smooth. Serve the pears with a spoonful of syrup and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with a drizzle of chocolate sauce and a few toasted flaked almonds.
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