Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
750 ml bottle moscato or sweet cider
1 tsp vanilla paste or seeds of 1 vanilla bean
˝ cup caster sugar
6 firm Beurré Bosc pears
vanilla ice-cream, to serve
easy chocolate sauce (see below), to serve
Combine the moscato, vanilla and sugar in a large saucepan with 2 cups water and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile peel the pears (leaving them whole), and gently lower them into the warm poaching liquid. Cover the pan with a layer of baking paper (to protect against discolouration) and simmer for about 25 minutes.
Remove poached pears from the pan and serve drizzled with chocolate sauce. These poached pears are gorgeous served at room temperature with a little vanilla ice-cream and some warm chocolate sauce (see recipe below).
Honestly, this is one of the easiest desserts you can make – it presents well, tastes amazing and keeps on giving in the form of a litre or so of leftover poaching liquid that can be reduced and used as a syrup or cordial.
To make the easy chocolate sauce (or, by its more formal name, ganache), pour 1 cup pouring cream into a saucepan and bring it just to boiling point. Remove from the heat and break in 200 g chocolate (dark, milk or white, whatever you prefer). Stir until the chocolate melts and bingo, you have a rich, glossy, wonderful sauce that transforms even a bowl of ice-cream to fancy-pants status. Makes about 1˝ cups of sauce.
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