Strawberry Poached Pear Chocolate Shortcake

Posted by

I know I promised to post the recipe for my strawberry-peach shortcake, but my friend (the birthday boy) requested a chocolate cake. So….. I went with a strawberry poached pear chocolate shortcake. YUM! and probably more appropriate for the ‘fall’…

Strawberry Poached Pears

4 firm pears (I used Anjou)
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups frozen strawberries
1 bottle sweet white wine (I used vinho verde, surprise, surprise)
1 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
pinch salt
juice from 1/2 lemon

*Peel pears. Add to large bowl full of water and lemon juice (to prevent discoloration).

*Blend frozen strawberries and water. Add puree to large stock pot, add wine, and sugar. Bring to boil, dissolve sugar. Reduce to medium low. Add lemon zest. Add pears.

*Poach pears until tender, but still slightly firm (not mushy … about 45 min.). The poaching liquid should remain at a gentle simmer. Turn pears occasionally to ensure that they poach evenly.

*Remove pears, add to dish, refrigerate. Add remaining poaching liquid to medium saucepan. Turn heat to medium high. Reduce to a light syrup (about 20 minutes). Serve pears with syrup and chocolate cake (see recipe below). I also love poached pears with sorbet and soy whip!

Chocolate Cake

1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup boiling water
1 cup earth balance
2 1/2 cups white sugar
4 eggs or equivalent egg replacer
1 cup sour cream (I used vegan)
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a Bundt pan.
*Dissolve cocoa powder in boiling water; set aside.

*Cream earth balance and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs/egg replacer, one at a time until fully mixed and fluffy.
*Mix flours, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
*Add 1/2 of dry ingredients to egg/butter/sugar mixer. Beat until incorporated. Add 1/2 of sour cream. Beat until incorporated. Add remaining dry. Beat. Add remaining sour cream. Beat. Beat in cocoa/water mixture and orange zest. Add mixture to prepared pan. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Note: The orange essence in the chocolate cake goes really nicely with the fruity poached pears. If not pairing the cake with fruit, feel free to use all vanilla extract.

Written by

Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!


  1. simply irresistible !

  2. LOL! I've never met a poached pear I didn't like 🙂

  3. So many wonderful recipes to try… which one to try first? This sounds heavenly!

  4. Hello Ladies,
    You have such great recipes on your blog, everything looks delicious. Including this Strawberry Poached Pears, you've made my mouth water. By the way I would like to invite you to join a little event on my blog, it is not a competition just a showcase. Please stop by my blog and look under the YBR tab. Hope you join us, and keep up those amazing recipes.

  5. I've never tried this before. It looks good.

  6. @FamilySpice … THANKS 🙂
    @Spicie Foodie… Will def. take a look!
    @ Sandra… I had never tried this before either! LOL. It's an original…but soon to become an oldie but goodie 🙂

  7. I've never had poached pears before but this looks fabulous! Definitely saving this one for later.

  8. Thanks! It's a nice dish to make on a weekend!

  9. I make a dish with poached pears, raspberry sauce and a chocolate sauce. This is very similar but in a different format.

    And, I really like how you used white wine and the strawberries IN the poaching liquid. I'm going to have to try that next time I make mine.

    Thanks for sharing and thanks for the FoodBuzz add.
    Matt Kay

  10. Sounds really really good. And I never met a poached pear I didn't like either!

  11. Sounds great Matt!
    Thanks Clare!