I give you this wonderful classic French dessert Poires belle Hélène recipe, both simple and elegant that will definitely please your family or your guests, and the story behind as you know that I love to explain where traditional French recipes come from.
A few tips to master poires belle hélène like a real French
- Poached pears
For this recipe, it is highly recommended to choose organic pears and citrus as we use the skin (pear peels and citrus zests) for the poaching syrup.
Choose ripe but firm pears. If you don’t have time, use canned pears if you find this in your country as we do in France, but homemade poached pears are much tastier!
As for Melba peaches (see the recipe here), do not throw away the juice. We need a little bit of this juice to flavor chocolate sauce. There will be quite a lot of syrup remaining. Pour it in a bottle, store it in the refrigerator and drink it as a juice, eventually with water if you find it too sweet, it’s delicious!
Now that you know how to make poached pears, make this recipe your own and use the poached pears as a base for other desserts, such as for example my chocolate pear yogurt cake.
- Chocolate sauce
Dripping warm chocolate over room temperature smooth pears and cold ice cream is definitely part of the magic of this dessert. Maybe a bit like a sundae actually. I highly recommend serving pears and ice cream in individual plates or bowls, and let your guests, family or the kids pour over the chocolate sauce, soooo yummy. I guarantee they’ll love it. You can even double the chocolate sauce quantities, the more you’ll have, the less will be remaining! In my recipe I pour a bit of pear poaching syrup in the chocolate sauce, it gives a wonderful taste. However, if you want a clinging thick coat of chocolate sauce, just melt chocolate with a bit of milk.
- Vanilla ice cream
Choose a good quality ice-cream, if possible with natural vanilla flavors.
- Almonds to garnish
You can sprinkle slivered almonds over melted chocolate, ideally lightly toasted. Heat them in a pan or in the oven (on a tray covered with aluminum foil or baking paper) and stop when a nice golden light brown colour. I don’t do this here, a priori as in the original recipe. Hazelnut could work as well don’t you think so?