This recipe appeared with Margo True's article "Trifling Matters" (November 2002), in which it was described as the favorite trifle of Alan Davidson, the late author of The Oxford Companion to Food (Oxford University Press, 1999).
1 15-oz. can pear halves in syrup 12–15 boudoir biscuits or ladyfingers 2 tbsp. amaretto liqueur 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped 1 cup marscapone 1⁄4 cup double cream 3 tbsp. confectioners' sugar 2 tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted
1. Drain pears, reserving syrup from can. Slice pears lengthwise into 1/4"-thick slices and set aside. Arrange biscuits in the bottom of a footed deep glass dish or medium glass bowl and sprinkle with amaretto and 1/4 cup of the reserved pear syrup. Arrange pear slices over cookies in a single layer and set aside.
2. Put chocolate and 1/2 cup of the reserved pear syrup into a small heatproof bowl (discard remaining syrup or save for another use), then set over a small pot of gently simmering water over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is completely melted, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Pour chocolate sauce over pears, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon to coat pears evenly.
3. Put mascarpone, cream, and sugar into a medium bowl and whisk until smooth, then spread over chocolate. Garnish trifle with almonds.