It’s amazing how a pinch of saffron and a touch of cinnamon and ginger can turn pears into golden delights. But that’s only the start. Left alone, the poached, spiced pears are delicious served with a dollop of cream or ice cream and a sprinkling of chopped pistachio nuts on top. But the orange, cardamom and chocolate sauce, made easily in the Thermomix in a recipe adapted from Haigh’s, takes the whole show from a simple, homey dish, to restaurant quality. Some tips: For perfectly smooth pears after peeling, rub the pears with a clean, lint-free damp cloth. If you want to ensure the pears sit upright, cut a thin disc from the base to create a flat, stable surface. There’s no need to use your finest wine for this recipe: something inexpensive and fruity is fine. Leftover poaching liquid can be refrigerated or frozen to poach pears, peaches or apricots another time.