Poached pears are served with a créme anglaise drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with sliced almonds.
Chocolate Sauce (makes about 1 cup/250 mL)
For the crème anglaise, heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, along with the scraped seeds and the vanilla pod until it just begins to come to a simmer. Remove the vanilla pod. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl. Slowly pour the hot cream into the egg mixture while whisking constantly, and add this back to the pot. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the cream (still over medium heat) until it coats the back of the spoon, about 4 minutes. Pour the crème anglaise through a strainer and cover the surface of it directly with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature and then chill completely.
For the pears, peel the pears (leaving the stem on, if possible) and scoop out the core from the bottom of the pear, using a melon ball scoop. Bring the sugar and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the pot and add the lemon halves as well. Add the pears to the liquid, ensure a gentle simmer is reached and then cover the surface of the liquid with a pieces of parchment cut to fit inside the pot, and top this with a small plate or lid, to keep the pears under the surface of the liquid. Poach the pears for about 20 minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a fork or skewer. Remove the pot from the heat to cool, and then transfer the pears and the liquid to a bowl to chill until ready to serve.
For the chocolate sauce, stir the cream, chocolate, butter, milk, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt together in a heavy bottomed saucepot over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Remove the sauce from the heat and serve warm or chill for later use. The sauce can be reheated to make it more pourable. (The chocolate sauce will keep, refrigerated, until the best before date of the cream.)
To serve, spoon some of the crème anglaise into a flat-bottomed bowl (such as a pasta bowl). Place a drained pear upright in the centre of the plate. Drizzle warm chocolate sauce over the pear, letting it spill into the plate with the crème anglaise and sprinkle with sliced almonds.. Serve immediately.