Chocolate Poached Pears!

Chocolate Poached Pears Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Every New Years Eve my husband and I stay home and have raw oysters, lobster and champagne. This has been our tradition ever since we moved to Minnesota, 15 years ago. Graham proposed to me on NYE so it has always been a special night for us. This year our two young boys joined us in the celebration. They helped to shuck the oysters and then reluctantly slid them down. Our 9-year-old was satisfied with just one and will perhaps forgo this part of the tradition next year and head straight for the lobster! 😉 Our 7-year-old, on the other hand, ate the oysters like popcorn. The only problem with having a child who likes raw oysters is now I have to share!

After a meal this rich I wanted something decadent, but light. Poached pears seemed the perfect ending, but with a twist on the classic. Pears slowly poached in chocolate sauce. Gorgeous and luscious, but absolutely no fat in the entire recipe. The 4 of us ushered in the New Year while playing scrabble and eating our pears! Not exactly the dance-all-night-raves of our youth, but just as wonderful!

Chocolate Poached Pears:

6-8 very firm pears, peeled and cored (the amount will depend on their size.)

8 cups water

1 cup cocoa powder (Droste, Valrhona, Scharffen Berger or Ghirardelli are great choices. The darker the cocoa the darker your pears will be. Valrhona is the darkest of this line up.)

1 cup sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, split open and scraped

1″ piece of cinnamon bark

Chocolate poaching liquid for pears | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Over medium heat, bring the water, cocoa, sugar, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick to a boil in a large pot and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Turn heat down to low.

Adding pears to poaching liquid | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add the pears.

Simmering pears in poaching | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Allow to simmer for up to 2 hours. You will need to gently turn them so that they are cooking evenly in the chocolate sauce. To test if they are done, stick a fork gently inside of the cored pear so that you don’t leave marks on the outside. Once they are tender on the inside, remove the pears. Turn up the heat on the pot and cook the chocolate poaching liquid until it thickens, about 10-15 minutes. You want it thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Chocolate Poached Pears Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Spoon the sauce on the plate. Add your pear and drizzle more sauce over the pear. If you want to add a bit of richness to the plate you can stuff the pear with some lightly sweetened ricotta.

*Jeff and I sent off the manuscript for book #2 yesterday! Can I just tell you how wonderful that feels! 🙂 Now we look forward to several months of testing the recipes, editing the text and doing that over and over again, until it goes to print in the fall.

24 thoughts to “Chocolate Poached Pears!”

  1. It never even occurred to me to try doing this with chocolate sauce! Lovely! I’d add some whipped creme fraiche as garnish, just ’cause I need some fat!

  2. This looks absolutely divine! I just made poached pears yesterday, but am not contemplating on buying more pears just to try them with chocolate!

  3. Happy New Year – Congratulations on meeting your deadline with your second book. The pears look fabulous. I’m teaching an Indian class soon and Naan is on the menu. Guess which recipe I’m using? Giving you full credit.

  4. Your New Years sounds perfect!! Love the idea of staying in and slurping down oysters with champagne – YUM! The poached pears are also lovely especially when you combine with chocolate, I would have never thought to do this! Thanks for a great new idea!

  5. Congrats on the book! Can’t wait to have it in my hands. The pears look gorgeous. What a great idea to simmer them in cocoa syrup. Brilliant!

  6. What a menu! All of my favorites in one meal. The pears look divine.

    My kids have adult palates – clams, lobsters, brie. It can get expensive.

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