This is a delicious grown-up dessert. You could use cherries or berries in place of the rhubarb.
Place the wine, the 100 g (1/2 cup) caster sugar and spices in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Cut the rhubarb into lengths and add to the simmering cabernet syrup and move around very gently with a wooden spoon. When just tender, remove to a bowl.
Increase the heat under the cabernet syrup and simmer until thickened and reduced to 125 ml (1/2 cup).
Strain, pour over the rhubarb and allow to cool.
Meanwhile put the cream and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Melt the chocolate and stir to combine. (Alternatively do this in a microwave on low for a couple of minutes.) Cool but do not chill.
Gently fold the vanilla bean paste and the extra 1 tablespoon caster sugar, if desired, through the crème fraîche.
Spread a quarter of the crème fraîche mixture onto each serving dish, top with rhubarb pieces and drizzle with syrup. Top with the chocolate and serve immediately.
Wine: Serve with cabernet sauvignon of course! The chocolatey character of cabernet marries well with this dish, and the wine has enough power for its intensity of flavour.
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