A dessert done many times, this edition has a few tweaks I enjoy to give it a little more zing. I always like playing with elements typically used at the opposite end of the flavour spectrum; the chilli in this instance would more often be seen in a savoury offering, however here the very small amount used enhances the flavour and lifts the dish as a whole. Dark chocolate and chilli are in my book a rather classic combination anyway.
|I must apologise for the terrible photo/plating,|
time was short however you get the idea...
Dried Figs, 2 per pear
1 bottle Red wine
Star Anise, 1 head
Cinnamon, 1 stick
Cardamom, 1 pod
Chilli (small sliver)
Dark Chocolate, 50g finely ground
Brown Sugar, taste
*I tend to leave the cores and stems in the pear. I like the aesthetics of the pear on the plate like this and it all holds together better. The purists would say there is little worse than biting into a lovely pear and getting core or seed. That seems a bit silly to me when you know it will be there, decide for yourself and prepare accordingly...
Prepare the pears and set in a saucepan so they fit snugly, this means they wont move around unless you want to adjust them, thus select a pan size accordingly. Put the figs in as well and throw all the spices in. Pour the wine over the top, they should be covered by about ½ to ¾, more is probably better. Poach gently for around 45 minutes, here long and slow is good. Set the pears and figs aside when done and retain the liquid.
The wine and spice can then be reduced by half and sugar added. I have not put a measure here as it depends how sweet the wine and your taste, you will need to balance it to the spice. Strain the liquid and then slowly combine the chocolate through the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the plated pear and figs, serving with cream.