This is a recipe that I created for the House of Sandeman Contest. This is the last of four courses that I created for the contest. The dessert was to be paired with Sandeman Founders Reserve Port. It still blows me away that I won. Grand prize was a trip to Portugal, it was a great trip. Thanks to George Sandeman and all the people we met at the House of Sandeman.
For the Poached Pears:
Peel and core the pears, leaving the stem intact.
In saucepan that can hold the pears upright without them touching the sides or each other, combine the port, water, sugar, sugar, coffee beans and vanilla.
Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the pears are tender. Allow the pears and liquid to cool together in refrigerater.
Once cool, remove pears from liquid. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce about 75 percent. Set sauce aside.
To Make the Dipping Chocolate:
Combine the melted butter and chocolate in a double boiler and stir until melted. Keep warm.
For the Garnish:
Heat the honey so it pours easily. Add thyme and pepper, mix together. Toss with pecan halves, until all are coated well.
Arrange pecan halves on a cooking rack on a sheet pan. Season to taste with salt.
Bake in 400F until crispy. Allow to cool
Cut pears in half. Slice pear halves nearly to the stem, fan out slices.
Carefully dip the stem end of the pears into the chocolate. Refrigerate the pear to allow the chocolate to cool.
Place pear half on serving plate. Top the chocolate with pecan half. Mark plate with a half moon of sauce on the bottom portion of plate. Lightly sprinkle espresso powder over entire plate.