Poached pears are one of the highlights of the fall season: they are easy, full of flavours and very tasty. Here I will present you a variation of the classic recipe, as it is garnished with simple chocolate mousse. And you can even make this gourmet looking dessert completely vegan!
Why make this dessert
Poached Pears with Chocolate Mousse are perfect to serve when you are aiming for excellent presentation without much fuss. They are also easy to make. You need a little bit of time, especially for thickening the sauce, but the actual efforts are not much.
What ingredients you need
In summary you need:
- Dark chocolate, preferably vegan
- Spices: star anise, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and cloves. Optionally you can also add fresh ginger.
- Sweetener: I have a preference for honey due to its nice flavour which complements the pears very well. However if you prefer strictly vegan ingredients, use maple syrup or coconut sugar. Alternatively you can also use regular white or brown sugar.
- Water: both for the chocolate mousse and for the pears.
How to make the mousse
Did you know that you can make chocolate mousse just out of melted chocolate and water? If you haven’t tried it, you don’t know what you are missing!
The trick is to combine the melted chocolate with lukewarm water in a bowl, to place the bowl on top of ice and start whisking energetically. That way the chocolate will start thickening quickly but at the same time is consistency will become mousse-like due to the air incorporated during the whisking. The key is to whisk quickly and vigorously, otherwise the chocolate might become grainy. But don’t worry, this can be fixed easily by melting again the chocolate with the water and whisking them again over ice.
Here are few more recipes with this type of chocolate mousse:
How to make the pears
Before poaching the pears, you need to peel and core them. Use a small sharp knife or a special tool to remove the core from the bottom. Optionally slice the bottoms a bit, so the pears can stay straight.
When the water with the spices and the honey starts simmering, add the pears. Poach them at a low temperature until soft.
How to serve the dessert
Place the pears in individual plates or in large ramequins and spoon some of the sauce on top, after boiling it on its own to reduce it. Add some of the chocolate mousse on the side.
You can find the complete instructions and ingredient list below the post, in the recipe card.
Did you like this recipe? I will be glad to receive your comments about it.
Below are few more pear recipes that you may also enjoy:
Poached Pears with Chocolate Mousse
For the chocolate mousse:
- 3,5 oz/ 100 g dairy free chocolate, melted
- 1/3 cup / 80 ml water
- Ice cubes, for cooling
For the poached pears:
- 4 pears
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 star anise
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 cloves
- 2 cups/ 500 ml water
- a piece of fresh ginger, optional
- Combine the melted chocolate with the water in a bowl. Place the bowl in another, larger bowl with ice inside. Start whisking immediately and vigorously: don't leave the bowl in the ice without whisking! Soon the chocolate will start cooling and thickening. Keep whisking until it resembles a mousse.
- Transfer the chocolate to a ramekin and let it sit in the fridge, while preparing the pears.
- In a pot heat all ingredients except the pears. Bring to boil, whisking from time to time, until the honey is dissolved.
- In the meantime peel the pears, leaving the stem and some skin on top. Cut the bottom, if needed, to make them stay straight. Core them using a sharp small knife or a special tool.
- When the water is close to simmering, add the pears to the pot and lower the heat. Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the pears soften.
- Remove the pears and the spices and increase the heat. Let the water boil uncovered for 30-40 minutes to reduce its volume significantly and to thicken.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let the sauce cool about 15 minutes.
- Serve the pears in individual plates with some of the sauce and with a tbsp of the chocolate mousse aside.
- The pears should be ripe but firm, not soft.
- The consistency of the chocolate mousse should be smooth. If it becomes grainy, you didn't whisk quick enough. Just melt the mousse again and repeat the process.