Friday, April 25, 2008

Pear and Chocolate Muffins - Recipe

It all began when I had 3 extremely overripe pears and some good quality dark chocolate...

The result? A batch of yummy yet unusual muffins. To make these I followed a recipe for basic sweet muffins, added in some cocoa, and used pureed pears instead of buttermilk. After putting the batter into the muffin tin holes, I pushed half a square of dark chocolate into the centre, and made sure it was (only just) covered by the batter (I used my fingers to spead the batter over the chocolate, and then licked my fingers clean...).
These are not very sweet muffins: the pear taste is subtle, but the lump of dark choclate is absolutely heavenly. Ommiting the cocoa and using spices (maybe cinnamon and cloves) would probably be just as yummy. Hmm, might try that next time... Here's the recipe:

Pear and Chocolate Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

300g (10oz) self-raising flour
2 Tbspns cocoa
125g (4oz) castor sugar (I used normal white sugar, having no castor, though raw or brown sugar would probably compliment the pears really nicely)
1 1/2 cups (375ml, 12 fl oz) pear puree (about 3 ripe pears, cored and chopped-I left the skin on)
2 eggs
150g (5oz) butter, softened a fair bit
6 squares of dark chocolate, each chopped in half (0r, if the square are little, 12 whole squares)

1. Heat oven to 200C (400F, gas mark 6). Grease a 12 hole muffin tin. Sift the dry ingredients together. Make a well in the centre.

2. Puree pears (if not already done). Add in the eggs, one at a time, blending them in, and then blend in the softened butter. Make sure the mixture is quite smooth.

3. Add the pear mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix gently to combine. DO NOT over-mix, or your muffins will end up tough and springy. The batter should be lumpy.

4. Spoon the batter into the muffin holes. Push a bit of chocolate into each muffin, and then stick it in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until risen and golden and beginning to come away from the side of the tin.

Mmmmm... yummy. These were so moist. I think using fruit puree instead of buttermilk is genius, and can't wait until I have some more overripe fruit!! (Hopefully strawberries... !)

(Edited to add the whatsit below. Digital recipe card, I think it is called. See this post and this post to find out the backstory.)

Chocolate and Pear Muffins

Muffins flavoured with pear puree, and with a dark chocolate ...

See Chocolate and Pear Muffins on Key Ingredient.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Silly Animal!!

Someone was playing with crayons!(I think it might be lizard blood...)

Lovely Lilies!!

The lilies I got on Sunday have bloomed beautifully over the past week. This was Tuesday: And a close up:This was Wednesday:And Thursday:And Friday:

Monday, April 14, 2008

Consider the lilies...

Yesterday Julian let me choose a bunch of flowers for myself. This is what I decided on:I am really looking forward to watching these lilies open up and bloom over the next week. There has already been a little bit of progress since yesterday :)

I'll (try to remember) to keep you posted...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Making Cards!

I have actually done something creative today...

A little while I bought some card-making things (cardboard, stamps, and 'choc chip' coloured ink) from Stampin Up. In addition to a card I made at a Stampin Up workshop, and the two cards I made today, I now have 3 cards:

Here is a pic of the frog card (for Anita's {aka 'frogwoman'/'greenlady'} b'day!! ) (the envelope for this card has a frog very conveniently hiding the ugly boxes meant for the postcode) and the cake card (which was made at the workshop for no-one in particular...):

And, just because I love it so much, the flower card (for Em's birthday) again...
And my ever-so-slightly artistic shot:

What do you think of them?? (and what do you think of our 'beautiful' carpet?!?)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Of Pumpkins and needy cats


Julian and I went to a carboot sale today after church and look at the pumpkin we found:

It's 1.7kg, nice and heavy for its size like a good pumpkin should be :) I'm thinking most of it's going to be soup and some of it I'll glaze and bake. We also got some green beans, raspberry jam (homemade! yum!) and some handmade soap. Next week I want to buy purple potatoes! Sorry, I can't remember what they are actually called, but the guy says they ar great to put in soup because of the colour they add. Sounds yummy and pretty, and I can't resist...

As I write this my cat, Dougal (go here to see a pic of him), is sitting on my lap (not curled up - actually sitting up) watching me type and use the mouse, trying to figure out how it all works... he just learnt how to select large amounts of text at once: stand on 'shift'. He has been sooo needy lately: everytime Jules or I sit down it's only a matter of minutes until he's sitting on our lap, cutting off our circulation. But we love him! He's our (usually very low-maintenance) baby!

Ahh well, I think I have procrastinated enough... better get back to that uni assignment!

**edit** the pumpkin was actually 2.8kg - not bad for $5!!