Pear and Almond Muffins with a Chocolate Drizzle Topping

Yep, I'm using 'dem silicon muffins cases again. It's getting to the stage were I'm really missing having my own kitchen with my own equipment and it's becoming a tad boring just making cupcakes and muffins all the time:( The good news is we got the flat we wanted (yay!) so I'm one step closer to having my own kitchen again. There was quite a bit of negotiation to be had before we secured it but it's been worth the stress because we absolutely adore the apartment - I will post photos soon. The other good news is that our stuff will be arriving in the country next week and by the 20th we should be moved into our new place with all our familiar things around us. I cannot wait! I'll have to make do with my silicon cases for now, which is no major hardship I suppose, especially when you discover little winners like these pear and almond muffins. Again, this recipe makes a small batch of six - perfect for a weekend treat.

There are a few things I'd change the next time. I'd prefer not to use white sugar because it's highly processed and refined, which is just bleugh for our bodies really. But because the sugar was already in the flat when we arrived and we hate waste we've decided to use it up before buying anymore. I'd also like the drizzle to penetrate the cake more but unfortunately I was hindered by the amount of chocolate I had left so it only coated the surface really.

Speaking of chocolate, the one I used here was a vegan 'milk' chocolate made with almond milk. It's quite delicate - not at all like dark chocolate - and not very sweet, which is how I like it. I've never been a fan of Cadbury's and don't think I've ever bought a bar dairy milk. That sickly sweet, stick to the roof of your mouth, shouldn't even be allowed to be called chocolate, confectionery is not my bag. Call me a chocolate snob but in my opinion you do have to pay for quality when it comes to the fruits of the cocoa plant and I for one am willing to go that bit extra for the good stuff. This Artisan de Chocolat one is about 3 quid for a small bar - I managed to get two for a fiver in Selfridges, as they were on offer. They also have a range of heavenly dark chocolate that is suitable for vegans. So, you have no excuses now, you can be a vegan and have your 'milk' chocolate and eat it!

pear and almond muffins

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1/4 cup flaked almonds plus more for decorating

1 pear

1/2 cup soy milk

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp olive oil


1/2 bar chocolate of your choice

splash of soy milk

chopped almonds

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius/350 fahrenheit.

Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Peel the pear, cut into smallish pieces and mash. You could also use tinned pears and cut them into chunks instead of mashing for extra peariness:)

In a small bowl combine the soya milk, vinegar and oil. Set aside and allow to curdle.

Chop the almonds allowing some larger chunks/pieces to remain for texture.

Add the mashed pear to the dry ingredients and gradually pour in the soya mixture. When it forms a thick batter stop adding liquid. If, however, it is too dry add a touch more soya milk.

Stir in the almonds and combine throughly. Do not overwork the batter as it will lose it lightness.

Divide the mixture between six muffin cases and bake in oven for 12-15minutes. Every oven is different so be sure to keep an eye on them. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack before taking them out of the cases.

Melt the chocolate and soya milk in a pan over a low heat. When the muffins are completely cool, poke several holes in the top using either a chopstick (this was all I had to hand) or a toothpick. Carefully pour the melted chocolate over the top, repeating until the entire top of the cake is completely covered.

Chop a few more almonds and sprinkle on top of the melted chocolate. Set aside for an hour or so until the chocolate has hardened.

Eat them all at once or store them in a container for a few days.

dessert, veganAine Carlin