Belle-Hélène Pear

Credit: Esther Wechsler on

The Belle-Hélène pear is a dessert that originated in the theatre. Indeed, when Jacques Offenbach’s opera La Belle Hélène premiered in Paris in 1864, several top restaurants created new dishes in its honour, including this dessert.


  • 50g of vanilla ice cream
  • 6 pears
  • 250g sugar
  • ½ lemon
  • 250g of dark chocolate


  • Pour the sugar and 20cl of water into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes on a high heat.
  • Peel the pears and cut them in half lengthways. Remove the core and seeds. Squeeze the lemon.
  • Pour the lemon juice into the syrup. Cook the pears in it, taking care that they do not overlap. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat immediately.
  • Let the pears cool in the syrup, then take them out, drain them and set them aside in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • Break the chocolate into pieces in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and melt it in the microwave or in a bain-marie.
  • Put 2 scoops of ice cream in each individual cup. Place the pears on top and cover with the chocolate sauce.