Roasted Pears with Vanilla Ice Cream (and caramel)

The perfect Valentine’s day dessert! These treats are pretty easy to make as long as you plan ahead and are perfectly portioned.

Roasted vanilla pear, recipe courtesy of the every-wonderful and oh-so-reliable Smitten Kitchen.  I used vanilla bean paste instead of real beans because that’s just what I had on hand.

Cold homemade vanilla bean ice cream on top of a warm pear straight from the oven. 

It stated to melt before I could take good pictures, so I just dug in and enjoyed the beautiful mess. 

And yes, that would be homemade caramel sauce on top. Caramel is my baking nemesis, but Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s recipe made it so easy.  The roasted pears also made their own sauce of wonderful pear drippings. I drizzled some of that on too, because I couldn’t find a reason not to.

A candle for ambiance. The guests will just have to wait and drool – I’m busy taking artsy pictures over here!

This last picture was taken before I licked the plate clean. Judge all you’d like – it was absolutely delicious.

Yummy Mousse/Chocolate/Cheesecake/Raspberry Thing

I don’t really have a name for this fabulous dessert, so I’ll just explain what’s in it, layer by later.

At the bottom, I cut out a ring of flourless chocolate cake.

Above the chocolate cake layer is a tin but decadent layer of dark chocolate ganache.

The pink layer is a tart raspberry mousse, made with raspberry and whipped cream. That was my favorite and I used the leftovers to fill a cake. So tasty and it helped lighten up this super-rich dessert quite a bit.

The chocolate layer in the middle is a mixture of mini chocolate chips and chocolate ganache. This added some nice texture with a crunch from the chips.

The light layer almost at the top is vanilla bean cheesecake. Deliciously perfect.

It’s all drenched in gooey chocolate ganache.

And drizzled with homemade raspberry sauce.

I was happy with how all the elements went together nicely. Even though this was a very rich dessert, most of us completely polished off out plates! Next I have to try this with a layer of ice cream…