Spiced Poached Pears with Hot Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

by thomandaimee

There are many varieties of pears available in the markets. Conference pears are not native to us, but we thought we would try something different this time. You might want to experience with other types of pears, let us know, we love to learn from others.

Spiced Poached Pears with Hot Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from Adam Gray

Serves 10

For the Poached Pears
10 Conference pears
1 lemon, juiced
600ml dessert wine (We used moscato)
200ml orange juice
125g caster sugar
1 star anise
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla pod

For the Chocolate sauce
50g caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
325ml water
50g dark chocolate

1 tub of vanilla ice cream, to serve


Start off with the poached pears by peeling it. Rub the flesh with lemon juice to prevent the pears from browning.

Combine the dessert wine, orange juice, caster sugar, star anise, and vanilla paste in a large heavy-based saucepan. Place over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Add 4-5 pears to the saucepan and cover with a crumbled greaseproof paper, then the lid. Bring to the boil and simmer for no more than 5 minutes. Remove pears and repeat with the rest of the pears.

To make the chocolate sauce, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk mixture until smooth. Simmer gently for 5 minutes while whisking occasionally. Remove from heat.

Add a small piece of chocolate one at a time to the sauce, while stirring until all the chocolate has melted and the sauce is smooth. You can even add whipping cream to add a little richness to the sauce. If you find the sauce too watery, you can cook it at low heat while stirring to reduce to a thicker sauce.

Warm the poached pears in moscato liquid if need be. Then remove and trim the base of each pear a little so they are able to sit upright.

(Optional: You can roll the pear in caster sugar until completely covered. Caramelise the sugar with a blowtorch. We however, found this too sweet so we omitted it)

To serve, sit a poached pear upright on a serving dish and place a scoop of vanilla ice cream next to it. Pour the hot chocolate sauce around the pear and serve.


You can core the pears if you want to. We thought they look prettier with the stem intact though.

Conference pears are available in Jason’s Market at this time of the year.