I have never been especially drawn to French cuisine - those who know me know Italian, Spanish and Caribbean occupy most of my heart and stomach - but lately I have found myself intrigued by the recipes in my Corden Bleu cookbook. This dessert is based off a similar recipe in my cookbook, altered for my convenience and taste.
For Creme Anglaise (adapted from Epicurious):
1 cup whole milk
1 2-inch piece vanilla bean, split
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
Combine milk and vanilla in heavy sauce pan and bring to a simmer/boil. Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return custard to saucepan. Stir over low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Strain sauce into bowl. Cover and chill.
For Chocolate Sauce:
2/3 cup whole milk
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Bring milk and vanilla to a simmer in small saucepan. Add chocolate and turn heat to low, whisking until melted and smooth. Cool sauce to room temperature.
1 bottle white wine, such as Viognier
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Zest of 1/4 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 Bosc pears
Core and peel pears.
Place the white wine, water, sugar and vanilla and zest into a large saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium low and place the pears into the liquid, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until the pears are tender but not mushy.
Remove the pears, stand them upright in a dish, and refrigerate.
To serve, scoop creme onto small dessert plates. Place pear upright over cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce.