Poire belle Hélène is a French dessert made from pears poached in sugar syrup and served with vanilla ice and chocolate sauce. It was created around 1850 by Auguste Escoffier and named after the operetta La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach.
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 cups water
1 pinch salt
1 splash cognac (optional)
1. Bring some water to the simmer in a large saucepan, enough to cover the pears. Stir in the honey and cinnamon. In the meantime, peel off the pears but leave the stalks intact for decorative purposes. Place them upright in a deep pan and cook for 20-30 min or until tender. Let them cool down in the syrup.
2. To make the chocolate sauce, heat the chocolate pieces gently until the chocolate has melted. Mix in a pinch of salt and a splash of cognac if you wish!
3. Place 2 or 3 scoops of ice cream in each bowl.
4. Place the poached pear quarters on top or beside the ice cream and drizzle with warm chocolate sauce.
5. Garnish with Crème Chantilly.