- 4 Pears
- 1 bottle Ruby Port (Fine Ruby)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 pod star anise
- 4 cloves
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 vanilla pod / 1 tsp vanilla essence
- ½ tbsp orange zest
- ½ tbsp. lemon zest
- Fresh ground black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- Combine all the ingredients, except the pears, in a saucepan and gently bring to a boil.
- Simmer gently the liquid gently for 5-10 minutes, whilst you peel and core the pears, leaving the stalk intact for decoration.
- Drop in the pears and continue to simmer for around 30 minutes, gently turning the pears occasionally to ensure they cook evenly.
- Remove the pears, and then reduce the remaining sauce by about half.
- Strain into a jug and pour generously over the pears.
- Serve immediately with cream or vanilla ice cream or chocolate ganache
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- Place the chocolate into a medium bowl.
- Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
- Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot.
- When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.
- Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake.
- Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.