Serves 4

For the pears:
3 cups red wine
7 tbsp tawny port, or ruby
1 cup water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 medium pears, peeled with stalks intact

For the cakes:
1 1/4 cups bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter
4 medium eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp All-purpose flour
2 tbsp almond meal
1 pinch salt

For the meringue:
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

To serve:
granulated sugar, for sprinkling


For the pears: Combine the wine, port, water, and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to a simmer over a moderate heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pears, cover with a lid, and cook for 25-30 minutes over a reduced heat, until tender to the point of a knife. Remove the pears when ready. Increase the heat and bring the poaching liquid to the boil. Reduce by about half until thickened and syrupy. Return the pears to the syrup and set aside to cool.

For the cakes: Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease and line the bases of four 4″ diameter molds with greaseproof paper.

December 2019
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