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Poached Pears in Chocolate Ganache

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An old favorite we've updated into a new favorite! The recipe looks long and complicated but it's a simple "make ahead" dessert that looks elegant. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 8 pears
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vinilla bean sliced open
  • Pinch cardamom
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 cup cocpnut milk
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 6 oz semisweet dark chocolate
  • 2 oz bittersweet dark chocolate
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup amaretto
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut

Directions

  • In a large stockpot (dutch oven size) combine water, sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, cardamom and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • While you're waiting for the water to boil, peel the pears. Be sure to leave the stem on, it will look nicer when you serve them later. Cut 1/4 inch off the bottom of the pears so they'll stand later.
  • Add the pears to the boiling water and cook for 30-40 minutes until they're soft but not mushy.
  • Turn off the heat and let the pears cool in the water 20 minutes while you prepare the ganache.
  • In a small saucepan combine the coconut milk and the olive oil, simmer over low to medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Do not let it boil!
  • Turn off the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted and blended. Cool 20-30 minutes so it's still warm but not hot.
  • Use a large perforated serving spoon to lift each pear and drain it. Be careful not to lift by the stem! Lay the pear slightly on it's side in a small, fancy glass or bowl. We use a small stemmed glass but you could use a martini glass or margarita glass.
  • Use a small ladle to pour the warm ganache (1/4-1/3 cup) over the bottom half of the pear, leaving the top half exposed.
  • Chill for at least an hour.
  • Put a dollop of whipped cream off to the side. We whip our cream with a little sugar and a bit of Amaretto at the end for a soft flavor.
  • Sprinkle with a bit of toasted coconut or shaved bittersweet chocolate.
Notes:
  • The pears can be poached several days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • The ganache can be made several days ahead and reheated slightly when you're ready to assemble the desserts.
  • Save the syrup from poaching the pears. You can poach another batch of pears OR it makes a great "simple syrup" to use in mixed drinks!
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