Ginger Poached Pears with Chocolate Mint Mousse
A light hint of ginger and smooth chocolate are only part of the reason this elegant dessert is loved by all who taste it. The pears boil easily in a bath of wine and spices, primarily to soften and spice up the fruit. An airy dollop of whipped chocolate reigns above all else.
In a small saucepan coated with Teflon™ non-stick, combine the chopped chocolate, egg yolks, sugar, Amaretto, and 1/2 cup of the whipping cream. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Stir in the chopped mint and peppermint extract. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a large bowl that will set in another bowl containing ice water. Cool 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
In a chilled mixing bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup of cream just until thickened but not to soft peaks. Fold the cream into the cooled chocolate mixture; cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Cut the pears in half from stem to the end; use a melon baller to remove the cores. In a Dutch oven coated with Teflon™ non-stick, combine the wine, water, sugar, ginger, and cinnamon. Cook uncovered over medium heat to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Gently add the pears and bring the liquid just to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until pears are just tender. Remove from the heat and cool pears in the syrup.
Drain the pears and blot away the excess liquid. Cut a thin slice from the rounded portion of each pear so they will sit flat on a plate with the cored side up. Add a large dollop of chocolate mousse to the center of each pear. Top each with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Garnish with mint.