Luscious Dessert for One: Red wine-poached pear and chocolate ganache

I’m thinking that the word “luscious” applies to this dessert. That is my understanding of the connotation of the term, that it specifically refers to a pear poached in red wine with chocolate ganache.

The thing about pears is that it’s like one pear per person is like a thing. So that’s why it makes a good dessert for one.

Poaching is when something is cooked fully submerged in a liquid that is simmering but not boiling. Poached eggs are probably most familiar, but people poach chicken, fruit and other things as well. I got this dessert idea from a class I took (journalism perks!) at the Culinary Underground School for Home Cooks in Southborough, Mass.

Not too complicated to enact. Here’s the “recipe” for a poached pear with some chocolate. It actually looks long, but really the only thing you have to do is stir things. About 15 mins, start to finish. Serves one!


  • 1 cup red wine or water mixed with wine if you don’t want to use up all that wine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pear (Anjou pictured here, but any variety is fine) cored and sliced; slightly under-ripe is best so it won’t get too mushy
  • 2 squares bittersweet chocolate broken into pieces or 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • about 2 tbsp milk or cream


1. Combine water/wine mixture and sugar in small saucepan over med-low heat until sugar dissolves.
2. Add pear slices and cook, stirring occasionally until desired softness is reached. This should take between 5 and 15 minutes. Check softness with spoon and make sure liquid simmers but does not boil.
3. While pear is poaching, melt chocolate in 30 second increments in microwave. Chocolate burns easily and this is a small quantity of chocolate, so stir it and break up as much as possible between each round.
4. Add milk or cream to chocolate in small increments and stir until it comes together as a thick and creamy sauce, as pictured below.
5. When desired pear softness is reached, you can either serve the liquid as-is with the pear and chocolate or let it simmer for longer (at least 10 more minutes) until it becomes syrupy. Or discard it or let it cool and drink it. In any case, stir the wine-enhanced pears into your chocolate ganache and enjoy!!

Oh man, this looks (and was) shiny and good. Can’t stress enough, STIR the chocolate together and let it bathe in its own warmth until you’re certain it won’t melt any more without additional heat. Don’t burn that sucker!

Kind of has a black-forest looking thing goin’ on with the deep red and the dark chocolate. Really a recipe you can adjust to your own tastes (sweeter or not, stronger with more wine or not, thicker syrup, different chocolate). Just something a bit luscious that is doable on a weeknight!


About Jen Cantin

Follow Jen Cantin on Twitter if you have nothing better to do! Wouldn’t want to impose… Two cats and three times more ‘tude than the leading car insurance provider.
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