You will need
4 ripe pears
3 T (45 ml) sugar
½ cup (125 ml) water
½ cup (125 ml) white wine
1 star anise or 1 sliver of cinnamon stick
pinch of salt
90 g dark chocolate
2 rectangles of baking paper 40 cm x 30 cm
1 cardboard core from an empty roll of kitchen paper or foil
¼ cup (60 ml) strong espresso coffee
1 cup (250 ml) cold tap water
1 x 310 g Ina Paarman’s Chocolate Mousse Mix
1 cup (250 ml) fresh cream
Step-by-step chocolate shard technique:
Peel the pears and core. Cut each one into 6 – 8 wedges from top to bottom. In a medium saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water and wine. Bring to the boil, add the star anise, pear wedges and a pinch of salt. Simmer with lid on for 15 – 20 minutes depending on ripeness of pears, until they test soft with a tooth pick. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the syrup.
Gently melt the chocolate in a small bowl over hot water. Spread the melted chocolate on one sheet of baking paper leaving a wide border. Lay the second sheet on top. Use a rolling pin to gently level the chocolate between the sheets of baking paper. Roll out to the size of the paper, leaving a border. Roll the paper around the cardboard core and secure with paper clips. Leave to set hard in the fridge until ready to decorate the dessert.
To garnish: unroll the paper and pull the top sheet straight while unrolling, this will splinter the chocolate on the bottom sheet into slightly rounded shards.
Add espresso to 1 cup (250 ml) of water and mix according to package instructions. Do not fold the whipped cream in completely, but leave streaks of white to give a marbled effect.
Spoon the poached pears and all the syrup into a glass bowl. Top with mousse and add chocolate shards.