• 2½ cups granulated sugar

  • 4 cups of water, enough to cover pears
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 strips lemon rind
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 4 medium-large Bartlett or Comice pears, under ripe, peeled
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ½ cup strong espresso
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 8 amarettini, coarsely chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint
  • 15 raspberries

Combine the water and sugar in a pot just large enough to hold the 4 pears. Bring to a boil and add the lemon juice, lemon rind, and cinnamon.

Boil for 5 minutes. Carefully lower the pears into the sugar syrup and cook over moderate heat for 15–20 minutes.

Remove the pears from the syrup and cool. Combine the cream and espresso in a small pan and cook over moderate heat for 4 minutes, or until mixture thickens.

Add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and blends with the cream and espresso. Stir in the butter and the Grand Marnier.

Cook for another 4–6 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

Divide the chocolate sauce evenly among 4 plates. Slice each pear into 6–8 slices and place them on the sauce.

Sprinkle the amarettini on the pears. Garnish with mint and raspberries.

Serves 4