Chewy discs of meringue topped with poached pears, vanilla cream and chocolate sauce - a real showstopper!
Preheat the oven 120C/250F/Gas ½.
For the meringue, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. In a large, clean mixing bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold in the caster sugar and cornflour.
Use a pallet knife to spread the meringue out to make four 8cm/3in disks on the baking tray, leaving plenty of space between each one.
Bake the meringues in the preheated oven for 50 minutes (any excess meringue can be baked at the same time and stored in an air-tight container for up to three weeks). Remove the meringue from oven and set aside to cool.
For the pears, remove the core from the bottom and cut a small slice off the bottom of the pear so it can stand up on its own.
In a saucepan, add the pears, apple juice, honey, cinnamon stick and amaretto. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then simmer for 35 minutes or until the pears are soft. Once cooked, remove the pears and set aside to cool.
For the cream, in a large bowl whisk the double cream until soft peaks form. Stir in the seeds from the vanilla pod and a tablespoon of icing sugar (taste and add more if needed). Set aside until ready to serve.
For the chocolate sauce, in a saucepan set over a low heat gently warm the chocolate and cream until the chocolate has melted. Stir well to combine.
To serve, place a cooled meringue on each plate. Top with a tablespoon of cream and place a pear on top. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over and serve immediately.
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