Chocolate makes everything better.
Particularly cake. But particularly healthy cake. This one is a perfect combination of warming flavours, just right for these cooler autumn days. Pear and chocolate isn’t a classic combination but pear with ginger is amazing, and chocolate with ginger is also amazing, so I decided to put all three together and hope for the best. I was not disappointed. Chocolate, Pear and Ginger Muffins are going to be on heavy rotation in The Fit Kitchen.
This recipe was inspired by a pear and dark chocolate loaf from one of my favourite cookbooks, the self-titled debut book from healthy recipe blogger My Darling Lemon Thyme. She uses homemade pureed pears for moisture and a gluten-free flour blend to meet her family’s needs, I’m using store- bought apple sauce and the flours I have in the cupboard because I’m both lazy and stingy. Feel free to use whatever flour you have at home; replacing the gluten free flours with regular wholemeal will still create a healthy, wholesome, flavourful muffin. You can also easily make your own pureed apple or pear by combining peeled, cored apple (or pear) slices with a splash of water and a squeeze of lemon and simmering until very soft then blending until smooth.
These muffins have everything I’m looking for in an autumnal snack - gentle warmth from the spicy ginger, moisture and subtle sweetness from the apple puree, pops of flavour and decadence from the chunks of dark chocolate and a dense, chewy texture from the buckwheat flour and almond meal. The pear slices are purely for decoration but are well worth including; if you’re feeling super lazy you could also chop the pear roughly and stir through the batter before baking. In the style of the original recipe inspiration you could also definitely make this into one large loaf/cake.
Don’t be scared of the slightly uncommon combination; Chocolate, Pear and Ginger Muffins are delicious, healthy and sure to become one of your favourite sweet treats.
Chocolate, Pear and Ginger Muffins
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1&1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1/3 cup coconut or unrefined caster sugar (or other sweetener)
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tbsp ground ginger (more if you like it really zingy!)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 large pear, cored and very thinly sliced
1 tsp coconut or unrefined caster sugar, extra
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper liners
2) Combine coconut cream and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Add eggs, coconut oil, vanilla and applesauce and whisk to combine.
3) Combine chocolate, sugar, ground almonds, flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and mix well.
4) Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
5) Evenly divide the mixture between the paper liners then top with pear slices and a sprinkle of sugar.
6) Bake for 30-35 minutes (mine took 32) or until cooked through. The muffins should be slightly springy to the touch.
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