POACHING THE PEARS
- Place 500 grams of sugar in a large, heavy-based sauce pot and place over high heat to caramelize. The caramel should turn dark brown in colour, but be careful not to cook the caramel too much or it will taste bitter.
- Add the water a little bit at a time (be aware that the caramel will spit as you do so).
- Add the remaining sugar and cardamom pods and then bring the mixture to a boil.
- Peel the pears and place them in the caramel syrup, cover with a cartouche (parchment paper cut into a circle to fit the inside of the saucepot) and poach the pears for 15–20 minutes or until the tip of a small knife just goes through the centre. Remove from heat and allow the pears to cool in the syrup.
- Once cool, remove each pear from the syrup and insert the tip of a small knife into the centre of the pear about three centimeters from the top. Place an appple corer at the base of the pear and push in until you reach the knife, then give the apple corer a little twist and remove with the core.
You can now stuff the pears with many options (dried fruits, chocolate ganache or even ice cream).
- Bring water, sugar and cocoa powder to a boil in a small sauce pot and then add the chocolate.
- Remove from heat and stir with a spatula until all the chocolate has melted into a smooth consistency.
To present, pour a little chocolate sauce onto a plate to make a bed for your stuffed pear. Place the pear on top of the sauce in an upright position. Dust with a little confectioners sugar (place the sugar in a fine sieve and tap the sieve gently). Garnish with a mint sprig.
Chef Robertson warns that caramelized sugar is really hot! Don't be tempted to dip your finger in! He suggests that you can use a cinnamon stick instead of cardamom to flavour the caramelized sugar. Watch Chef David Robertson prepare this recipe.