This red dessert wine from the south of France is an ideal partner for chocolate; the complex flavors of the wine are similar to those found in the chocolate. It also blends well with the spices in the preserved pears.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Heat a little water in a large saucepan and bring it to a boil at medium-high heat. Reduce heat and place a large bowl on top as a double boiler. Add butter and chocolate to bowl and stir until melted.
Add eggs and part of the sugar to a stand mixer. Beat until well combined. Pour into molten chocolate and stir thoroughly.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into the dough. Stir to combine.
Distribute dough evenly in a muffin tin. Bake in preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for approx. 15 – 20 min.
Meanwhile, peel, quarter and core pears. Caramelize remaining sugar in a small saucepan. Deglaze with port wine. Add pear juice, star anise, and cloves.
Add pears to saucepan and simmer for approx. 15 – 20 min. Enjoy the chocolate cakes with warm spiced pears and garnish with some confectioner’s sugar.