Monday, July 9, 2012

Chocolate Covered Pears with Sauce

A beautiful symbol of decadence, these pears are a perfectly chocolaty after-dinner treat.  Goes great with either the espresso sauce or raspberry sauce.  Surprisingly, they are pretty quick and easy to make despite how fancy they look!


1 lemon
6 c. cold water
2 c. sugar, divided
1 (4") stick cinnamon
2 whole cloves
4 ripe Bartlett pears, with stems
4 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
2 tsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. brewed espresso coffee


Cut 2 strips of zest from the lemon, about 2" x 1" each.  Juice the lemon and keep the squeezed halves.

In a saucepan deep enough to hold the pears standing up, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, water, 1 1/2 cups sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.  Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil and boil 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, peel the pears, leaving the stems on.  With a small melon baller, working from the bottoms, scoop out the cores.  Rub the pears all over with a lemon half to prevent discoloring.  

Add the pears to the syrup, which should come up to their stems.  If necessary, add cold water.  Return the pot to medium heat and bring to a simmer.  Cook the pears until a thin knife easily penetrates at the thickest point, 15 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the pears and set on a plate to cool to room temperature.  Reserve the cooking syrup.

Pat the pears very dry with paper towels.  Combine the chocolate and butter in a microwaveable bowl and heat in 10-15 seconds increments until they are melted.  Remove and stir until smooth.  To coat the pears, set them on a wire rack over wax paper.  Spoon the melted chocolate over each pear to coat.  Let them set in a cool place until the chocolate forms a shell, about 2 to 3 hours.  

For the sauce, strain 1 cup of the cooking syrup into a small saucepan and add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. (I used the remaining syrup to make sun iced tea!).  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and boil until the syrup is reduce by half.  Off the heat, add the coffee. Set aside to cool.

Serve each pear with 2 tablespoons sauce.  

Alternate raspberry sauce:

4 cups raspberries
1-2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2-1 tsp lemon juice

Place the raspberries in a fine strainer set over a bowl.  Using a wooden spoon, push as much pulp as possible through the strainer.  Discard the solid from the strainer (I used mine to make fruit leather!).  Mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice into the strained fruit.