Monday, January 25, 2010

Beautifully Peared

yes, i know
that is not how you spell
but i am taking poetic license
because i can
i taught a cooking class
to eight very enthusiastic women
scared me a bit
because let's be honest
they were all very fit
and didn't quite look the part
of hearty eaters
which is always scary for a
caterer, chef or cooking instructor
i kept saying to myself
don't take it personally if they just glance at the food
and the plates remain completely full
over and over again
the good news is
they were very interested in the cooking of the food
the eating of the food
some even had seconds
they all ate dessert
and I know
because I forced it on them

we poached pears in wine
placed them on top of a very small scoop of vanilla ice cream
and then drizzled homemade chocolate sauce on top
come on
i won't apologize
there were 2 superfoods in there
red wine
bittersweet chocolate

paired beautifully
and absolutely delicious
i didn't take pictures
which meant i had to duplicate it all today
so i could show you
which means i cheated a bit
and used some wine poached pears I made this fall and canned
but they are poached in white wine
and not as beautiful as the ones last night
you can find that recipe here
for the class we used a combination of
moscato and petit syrah
with enough sugar to make it lightly sweet--not sticky sweet
2 cinnamon sticks, 1 star anise pod, a pinch of cardamom
and two strips of orange peel
it simmered away for about 45 minutes

the pears are delicious in this dessert
you can tuck them into some puff pastry and bake
and serve with a bit of cream
enjoy just how it is for an afternoon snack
perhaps you would rather
slice thinly and serve as part of a cheese platter
or maybe
add a little zip
to your luncheon plate

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
(printable recipe)
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate--chopped
(please use good chocolate...with a 57% or more cocoa content)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 Tbs water or other liquid (you can use coffee or liqueur or poaching liquid)
3 Tbs corn syrup (if you are opposed to corn syrup or don't have it...omit is not won't affect the taste)
Place all ingredients together in a double boiler after the water has begun to boil  Don't let the mixture get too hot, it should just be warm enough to melt the chocolate and sugar.  I like to turn the heat off the pot once the water begins to boil, it will have enough residual heat to do the job.  Once chocolate is melted stir so the ingredients all mix nicely together and you are ready to serve.  This will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.


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