Set a large saucepan (I used a 5 quart) over medium high heat, add water, sugar, and vanilla pod and all the spices.
Note: Make sure your vanilla pod is moist. Dried out vanilla pods do not have much flavor and are best to stick into sugar for vanilla scented sugar rather than use for this syrup.
Meanwhile, peel pears leaving the stem intact, and cut off 1/4 inch from the bottom so the pear can stand upright later.
Note: My organic pears did have some bruised areas under the skin even though they were very firm; I continued to peel the area until removed.
When the water begins to boil add the pears.
Let it cook for 30-40 minutes, until soft, not mushy and can be indented by a spoon.
The liquid should have reduced by about 2 inches.
Turn off heat and let cool for 20-30 minutes, or until room temperature.
The syrup will be thicker when cooled.
Note: The spiced simple syrup is worth keeping. It is perfect for cocktails
In a small sauce pan set over medium heat, add coconut milk and coconut oil (do not worry, there is no coconut flavor that will come through into the chocolate).
Heat until small bubbles are just beginning to come up around the edges. Do not let it boil.
Turn off heat, add all chopped chocolate and stir until melted.
Pears can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Ganache can also be made up to 3 days in advance, tightly sealed.
Stir well and heat ganache to warm (optional) just before serving.
Using a large serving spoon, gently (they dent easily) lift a poached pear sideways (do not be tempted to lift pear by the stem, it will come off) then using your hand as a guide, transfer the poached pear into a deep glass by holding it from the bottom, and slide into a small truffle glass (I used) or a wine glass (also will work perfectly).
Pour ganache over one side of the pear.
Add a dollop of gluten and dairy free whipped topping.
Sprinkle on cocoa nibs for garnish (or shaved dark chocolate, using a grater).