We’ve created an easy and elegant Valentine’s Day dessert for two that we know will impress your sweetheart.
Orange Anise Poached Pear with Mascarpone Cream and Toffee Sauce
2 firm Bosc pears
2 cups dry white wine, Champagne or sparkling wine
1 cup water
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
4 Tbsp freshly grated orange zest
4 Tbsp anise
Peel, cut in half and core pears.
Place anise in a Ziploc bag and crush with a mallet or rolling pin to release flavour.
In a saucepan, combine the wine, water, sugar, anise and orange zest. Bring to a boil.
Slice your vanilla bean down the centre and scrape out the seeds. Add seeds to the liquid. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Strain to remove the anise and orange. Place liquid back in a saucepan.
Keep the poaching liquid to a simmer. Add the pears and poach pears on a low simmer for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.
Cool pears in the poaching liquid.
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup whipping cream
Place all ingredients together in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until all is combined. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Cool.
250 grams mascarpone cheese
½ cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Place the mascarpone in a mixer bowl. With your whisk attachment, soften the cheese gently for about 1 minute. Slowly start adding in the cream, a little at a time, making sure to scrape the bowl often to avoid any lumps.
Continue adding until all the cream is incorporated. Whip until mixture is light and fluffy. Add in your maple syrup and vanilla. Chill until serving.
Spoon warmed toffee sauce on a plate.
Place room temperature pears on top.
Place a dollop of the mascarpone cream in the centre of the pear.
If desired, finish with a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts and fresh orange zest.
Note: All the elements can be made a day before and stored in the fridge.