Chocolate Mousse with Poached Pears

Pears combined with chocolate is a culinary marriage made in heaven!

YOU WILL NEED

Pears

  • 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

Chocolate shards

  • 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

Mousse

Method
Pears

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.

Chocolate shards

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.

Mousse

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.

Assembly

Spoon the poached pears and all the syrup into a glass bowl. Top with mousse and add chocolate shards.

Ina's Tip

Step-by-step chocolate shard technique:

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