My Pears Belle-Hélène

“This chocolate syrup is, according to my mother, “the best in the world”! It keeps for about one month in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar.” ~ Hélène Laurendeau

Makes 4 – 6 servings


Syrup will slightly thicken when cooled.



4 cups water 1 l
1/2 cup sugar 125 ml
6 peppercorns 6
1 bay leaf 1
4 firm Ontario Bosc or Bartlett pears peeled, halved and cored 4
  vanilla ice cream  
  fresh mint, for garnish  

Chocolate Sauce

3 unsweetened chocolate squares 3
2/3 cup water 150 ml
2/3 cup sugar 150 ml
1/2 cup corn syrup 125 ml
  pinch of salt  
2 tbsp unsalted butter 30 v
1 tsp vanilla 5 ml




  1. In medium saucepan, add water, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaf and bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  2. Add pear halves and cook for 25-30 minutes until tender.
  3. Let pears cool in cooking liquids.


  1. In a small saucepan, add chocolate and water.
  2. Over medium heat, stir constantly until chocolate is half melted.
  3. Remove from heat and continue to stir to melt all the chocolate.
  4. Add sugar, corn syrup and salt.
  5. Mix well. Return to heat, stir until boiling.
  6. Reduce heat to low and simmer five minutes.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Stir in butter and vanilla.
  9. Pass syrup through fine sieve for a smooth texture.
  10. Serve syrup over pears.