I'll be honest, I never used to care for pears all that much. They just seemed a little bland compared to some of the other fruits out there. Of course, tastebuds change, so I continued to try them each and every year (without much luck). Until now...until I found the most ideal chocolatey, nutty accompaniment.
When in doubt, add chocolate. I think it's helped me love a new type of fruit on more than one occasion. Same goes for roasting, which has to be the best cooking technique for amplifying the delicious, natural flavors in seasonal fruits and vegetables, especially in the fall.
Besides being the recipe that helped me appreciate pears, this simple dessert is also perfect for weeknights. Toss a couple pears in the already preheated oven while you eat dinner and they'll be ready to go for dessert by the time you're finished.
These roasted pears are effortless enough for weeknights but that doesn't mean you should write them off for holidays and parties either. They're both decadent and wholesome; a perfect fit for weekend brunch and Thanksgiving dinner tables.
The plant-based dark chocolate hazelnut sauce I drizzled over these roasted pears is a simple combination of coconut oil, cacao powder, hazelnuts, almond milk, honey or maple syrup, and salt. Think of it as a homemade Nutella sauce that works with so much more than just pears. Try it over apples, pomegranate, berries, yogurt, banana ice cream, and more.
There's no limit when it comes to dark chocolate and hazelnuts. No limit.
This dark chocolate hazelnut sauce might even be a bit magical, if you ask me. After all of these years, it finally made a bonafide pear enthusiast out of me.
- 2 halved pears cored (I used Bosc pears)
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil divided
- ½ cup chopped hazelnuts divided
- ¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or milk of choice
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt I used pink Himalayan sea salt
Preheat oven to 400º F. Place pears cut side down in a baking dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil. Bake until tender and golden brown, 35-45 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the chocolate sauce. Combine remaining melted coconut oil, ¼ cup hazelnuts, milk, cacao powder, honey or maple syrup, and salt in a blender and blend on high until smooth, about 2-3 minutes, pausing to scrape edges as needed. Cover and set aside until pears are cooked.
Remove pears from oven and transfer to serving dish cut side up. Drizzle chocolate sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts before serving.
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