Chocolate Facts
The human palate can detect particles down to approx 30 microns. Cheaper or lesser conched chocolates have a particle size around 40 micron (hersheys) whereas the expensive european chocolates can be down as low as 18.

Pears in Chocolate
by Jacques Pepin, author of Jacques Pepin's Kitchen

In this easy, flavorful recipe, pears are cooked simply with sugar, water, and vanilla. Then, when they are tender, cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate are added to the cooking liquid to create a sauce.

4 ripe Anjou pears (about 2 pounds), peeled, quartered and cored
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
4 sprigs fresh mint
4 cookies (optional)

  1. Place the pear pieces in a stainless-steel saucepan. Add the sugar, water, and vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook the pears for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are very tender when pierced with the pointed tip of a sharp knife.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a bowl. (You should have about 1/2 cup of cooking liquid in the pan. If you have more, boil it until reduced to 1/2 cup; if you have less, add water to bring it to 1/2 cup.) Add the bittersweet chocolate and the cocoa powder to the liquid in the pan. Mix with a whisk over low heat, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Transfer the chocolate sauce to a bowl. Cool to room temperature. It should thicken to a syrup-like consistency. (Yield: 1 cup.)
  4. Divide the sauce among 4 dessert plates, and arrange the pear pieces on top of the sauce. Decorate each serving with a sprig of mint, and serve, if desired with a cookie.

Total time: about 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition per serving: 246 calories, 2 g protein, 5g fat, 3g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 mg sodium, 53 mg carbohydrate, 6 g dietary fiber
Copyright: Jacques Pepin's Kitchen - buy the book

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