Actually La Belle Helene dessert was created first around 1864 by Auguste Escoffier who named it after the operetta La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach.
I prepared the dessert from pears poached in sugar syrup and I served with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and crystallized violets.
But there is a simpler version, in which poached pears could be replaced with canned pears and crystallized violets with sliced almonds.
Ingredients: 2 cinnamon sticks, ¾ cup granulated sugar, 2 ½ cups water, divided, 4 firm Bosc pears, cut lengthwise with stem intact and cored, 8 small scoops vanilla ice cream, Chocolate sauce, for drizzling
Directions: In a medium saucepan, combine the cinnamon sticks, sugar, and ½ cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 2-5 minutes, until it becomes thick like syrup and turns golden brown. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and gently whisk in the remaining 2 cups water, until the syrup is completely incorporated into the water.
Add the prepared pears to the syrup mixture and bring to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes. Test doneness with a knife prick in the thickest part of the fruit; the pears are poached when they are just cooked through, but not completely soft. Allow the pears to cool in the syrup until they are room temperature. Serve with 2 small scoops of ice cream and drizzle of chocolate sauce.