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Saffron Poached Pears & Spiced Chocolate Sauce

You often see pears poached in a robust red wine with aromatic spices like clove, cinnamon and star anise, which can often mask the flavour of the pear. This recipe poaches pears in a dry white wine delicately laced with saffron, cinnamon, ginger, honey and orange, flavours that all marry well with chocolate. The sauce is delicately spiced with cardamom, orange and honey, creating an exotic note that compliments the aromatic pears perfectly. This refined and simple dessert can be prepared ahead, making it perfect for entertaining!

Difficulty: Easy


  • 6
  • 1.5 litres white wine (eg. Riesling)
  • pinch saffron threads
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 5mm thick slice ginger
  • 2 strips orange peel
  • 6 Beurre Bosc pears, peeled
Cardamom, chocolate & orange sauce
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) cream
  • 4 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 2 strips orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 200g Haigh’s Dessert Chocolate block, roughly chopped


  • 15 mins + standing Prep
  • 40 mins Cooking
  • Place wine, saffron, cinnamon, honey, ginger, peel and pears together in a large saucepan, over a high heat. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, set aside and allow pears to cool in cooking liquid.
  • For the chocolate sauce, combine milk, cream, cardamom, peel and honey together in a small saucepan over a low heat. Bring to just below boiling point, remove from heat and allow to stand for 15 minutes, for the flavours to infuse.
  • Remove the cardamom pods and peel, add chocolate and reheat mixture very gently over a low heat until warm, stirring until chocolate melts. Remove from heat.
  • To serve, place pears into 6 small serving bowls, drizzle over warm chocolate sauce and serve with cream or vanilla ice cream.
  • Note: for a bit of crunch, sprinkle chopped pistachio nuts over pears to finish.