The original poached pear was created in 1864 by French chef and restaurateur, Auguste Escoffier. He named the dessert Poire belle Hélène after the operette La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach, and there has been hundreds of variations of this classic dessert since.
I’ve always used red wine as a poaching liquid and served it with vanilla cream, but it had never occurred to me to pair the pear with ginger until I stumbled upon a post from Instagram sensation @truchocolatesnacks the other day.
The very same day (as if by grand design) my mother-in-law sent us a case of pears from Hale Groves in Florida for Christmas and with much excitement I took to our kitchen to create this interesting new twist on a classic dessert.
Fresh ginger, thinly sliced
6 x tbsp raw honey
6 x cups still water (not tap water)
150g excellent chocolate, at least 65% cacao
White balsamic and ginger glaze
Add the ginger, orange peel, cinnamon, honey and water to a medium pot and boil for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, carefully peel the pears, keeping the stalk attached (this is not essential, but it just makes it look a little bit more professional). Slice the pears flat at the bottom so they can stand up easily.
Turn the heat down to medium and submerge the pears in the poaching liquid and poach for 6 minutes. If the liquid doesn’t quite cover the pears, use two forks and very gently turn them over after 3 minutes to cook the other side.
Keep pears warm in the poaching liquid on a very low heat until ready to serve.
Melt the chocolate over a bain marie on a medium heat and, once melted, turn heat down to low to keep it warm.
Everything in this recipe can be done in advance, but remember that the chocolate sauce will set and would have to be remelted.
Plate one pear per guest, top with chocolate sauce, roasted nuts and candied ginger and drizzle a small amour of white, ginger infused balsamic on the plate.