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Star Anise-Vanilla Bean Kissed Pears in a Chocolate Sauce #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Quail & Olive.
Complimentary product was provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
However, all opinions expressed here are my own.


Last week Anni of The Quail & Olive* asked if I wanted to play around with their Star Anise Vanilla Bean Vinegar and come up with some ways to use it. Yep. Sure thing!


As soon as I got it home and had everyone smell and taste it. It has all of the qualities you expect from a balsamic vinegar with the added allure of vanilla and the warmth of star anise. I had the idea of pairing it with chocolate...and pears. So I decided to poach some pears in red wine with a kiss of vinegar and serve them in a pool of chocolate sauce. Oh, delicious, chocolatey decadence was achieved!

You should poach the pears the day before you want to serve them. Or, at least, early enough in the day that they get to sit in their syrup for at least six hours before serving. And you should make the sauce right before you want to serve because there's nothing much better than warm chocolate sauce.

Ingredients serves 6

Pears


Sauce
  • 1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate (minimum of 64% cacao though I prefer 75%), chopped or use chips
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine (I used the some leftover Merlot)
  • 1 teaspoon Star Anise Vanilla Bean Vinegar

Procedure

Pears
Peel the pears, but leave the stem intact. That makes it easier to pick them up without damaging the flesh and it also looks cool!

Pour the red wine and vinegar into a saucepan and add the sugar. Heat and swirl the pan until the sugar is dissolved.


Place the pears in the red wine mixture and simmer gently at a very low heat for 25 to 30 minutes. You want the pears softened, but still retaining their shape. Once softened, remove from the heat, and leave the pears in the poaching liquid. You will need to turn the pears if they are not completely submerged in the liquid. I probably turned mine 4 times while they cooled. Then I refrigerated them - in the liquid - overnight.

Before serving, remove them from the liquid and bring them to room temperature.


Sauce
Pour the cream into a small sauce pan. Heat over medium high heat until the cream begins to steam and small bubbles form around the edge of the pan.


Once the cream is heated, pour in the wine and vinegar. Add in the chocolate and butter. Swirl the pan until the chocolate is completely submerged. Let stand for 3 minutes. Whisk until a smooth sauce forms. 


To serve, spoon the chocolate sauce into a shallow serving bowl. Pick up a pear by its stem and gently place it in the pool of chocolate. If the pear doesn't stand upright, you might need to slice the bottom flat.


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*Disclosure: I receive compensation in the form of complimentary products for recipe development 
and generating social media traction. All opinions are my own.

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