Pears in Caramel Sauce

6 egg whites
150 gm castor sugar
5 egg yolks
50 gm cocoa
Poached pears
4 pears
250 gm sugar
1/2 l water
1" sliced ginger
1" stick cinnamon
2 cloves
1 strip lemon rind
Caramel Sauce
125 gm sugar
250 ml cream
25 gm butter
sprigs of mint
1 tsp cream

For the sponge: 
whip egg whites until stiff. 
Gradually whisk in sugar. Stir in yolks. Fold in cocoa.

Spread onto a greased tray in a 1/4" thick layer. 

Bake at 180 degrees C until firm to the touch. Cool.

To prepare the pears: 

peel the fruit. 
Dissolve sugar in water with remaining poaching ingredients.
Boil for five minutes. 
Add pears to the pan. 
Cover and poach until tender. Cool.

For the sauce:

melt sugar in a heavy pan. 
Gradually pour in warmed cream. 
Dissolve over a gentle flame. 
Add butter in small pieces. Set aside.

Arrange pears on sponge. 

Pour on the sauce. 
Decorate with cream and mint sprigs before serving.