These hazelnut pear and chocolate muffins are the cat’s pyjamas and its slippers too. A gorgeously moist muffin sweetened with pears and littered with melted dark chocolate buttons; a toasted hazelnut, chocolate and oat streusel to finish. I believe in kitchen gods and I think they were here today.
A weary woman writes this post tonight. At the very beginning of my training for a half marathon my little legs protest too much. I have short legs so many steps make up every mile. I have been running everyday but my willpower is kind of dragging my legs along for the ride at the moment. Also, I am designated labourer on our house project and my current job is hauling bricks up stairs. Again, little legs. But as the pallet dwindles I am nearing my I am Woman Hear Me Roar moment but tonight I’m stifling my roar with a yawn.
I am eating pretty well on my new training regime but I couldn’t resist a wee treat. Trust me, there are no saints living in this house and since I am running, running, running what harm can a little something sweet do? This recipe was inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction’s recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins with Cinnamon Streusal. They are ridiculously good and frankly I don’t think there is anything on Sally’s blog that doesn’t have me salivating. In order for the original recipe to be all things plant-based I use a flax egg and vegan butter but while noshing on the original, I was inspired to mix it up a bit.
Our markets are currently laden with delicious pears and they are just so pretty it is easy to be inspired. Pairing pear with dark chocolate and toasted hazelnuts and this little baked good comes to life. These hazelnut pear and chocolate muffins are a little luxurious and more than a little decadent but so easy to make. Take it from a non-baker type, you can’t really stuff these up. The baking rule regarding flour- don’t overwork it- applies to spelt flour too which, I have used to assuage any misplaced guilt about making and eating one, two…ok three of these muffins. But other than curbing any overzealous mixing, this recipe is simple. I also used coconut sugar to further mitigate the guilt, so guilt-wise we are golden.
My Sally inspired hazelnut pear and chocolate muffins are full of contrasting textures and beautifully balanced flavours. The cake portion of each muffin is gorgeously moist, spiced with cinnamon and lightly sweetened by the pear. The top, the streusel, is a stunning contrast in crunchy textures and toasted hazelnut flavours while melted dark chocolate morsels tie the whole thing together. Honestly, I’d run a full marathon for another one of these.
Hazelnut Pear and Chocolate Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 flax egg
- 1 cup grated pear (I used 2 beurre bosc pears leaving the skin on)
- 3 tbs coconut yoghurt
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate buttons
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate buttons (dairy-free)
- Pre-heat over to 220 degrees C.
- Line 12 muffin moulds with parchment or cup cake paper.
- For the streusel, place the hazelnuts and oats in a food processor and pulse once to a very rough crumb.
- Combine nuts, oats, coconut sugar and dark chocolate in a bowl and set aside.
- To make the muffins, sift the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- Add sea salt and set aside.
- Make a flax egg (1 tbs flax powder and 3 tbs water) and sit for 2 minutes.
- In a new large mixing bowl whisk together the flax egg, softened butter and coconut sugar to a light creamy texture.
- Add the grated pears, coconut yoghurt and almond milk and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle in the dark chocolate buttons.
- Fold the wet mixture in to the dry until just combined.
- Spoon the batter evenly amongst the 12 muffin moulds and sprinkle each liberally with the streusel mix.
- Bake on high heat for 5 minutes before turning the oven down to 170 degrees C and baking for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
- Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes for turning out to cool. Eat warm or cold.