Chocolate and pear muffins with cake crumbs and cocoa nibs

I had a baking mishap* and ended up with quite a lot of chocolate cake crumbs. Not wanting to waste perfectly good cake crumbs, I took inspiration from Mika and settled on a making a chocolate version of the pear and ginger muffins. This recipe makes 20 muffins. While I appreciate that most people may not wish to bake using left-over cake, this recipe can be boosted to 325 g flour and 3 to 4 tbs cocoa if cake crumbs are omitted.

1 tin of canned pears (preferably in juice rather than syrup)
100 g caster sugar
50 g light brown sugar
2 tbs cocoa
250 g flour
3 tsp baking powder
150 ml vegetable oil
1.5 pottles of low fat sour cream
3 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla
70 g dark chocolate chips
125 g chocolate cake crumbs
cocoa nibs** for sprinkling (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease and/or line muffin tray(s).
  2. Cut the pears into small dice (approx. 1 cm).
  3. In a large bowl, mix the sugars and cocoa together well, taking care to mix in any clumps.
  4. Mix in the flour and baking power.
  5. In a separate bowl (preferably a measuring jug), add the oil, sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Whisk very well until smooth.
  6. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry. Mix until just combined. Stir in the pear, chocolate chips and cake crumbs with minimal mixing.
  7. Distribute the batter into the muffin trays.
  8. Sprinkle cocoa nibs over the top of each muffin.
  9. Bake for 20 min. Once baked, let sit in the tray for about 5 min, and remove to cool completely on a wire rack.

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I’m relieved to report that these turned out well. They taste pretty much how you’d expect chocolate and pear muffins to be, with the added interest of cocoa nibs and cake crumbs.

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* I wanted to make 12 heart-shaped chocolate cupcakes using my ultimate chocolate cake recipe. I’ve made this reliable recipe many times before. The only problem was that this time I was distracted while baking, and although I took the cakes out of the oven at the right time, I left them to cool for too long in the silicone mould. So when I finally went to take the cakes out, the bottom half of this rather damp cake got stuck in the bottom and only the top half came out unscathed. Not to be deterred, I saved the tops and the scraped out cake crumbs which were used as above.

** Thank you to my dear friend JM for the cocoa nibs, who sent these to me all the way from England 🙂

Having satisfactorily found a way to use up the cake crumbs, not to mention coming up with a new muffin flavour combination, it was gratifying to put the cocoa nibs to good use aside from sprinkling over the top of blueberries and yogurt for a quick and easy snack – not that there’s anything wrong with doing just that.

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The muffin recipe above used up most of my cake crumbs, but not all. So I put 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream in a bowl with a handful of chocolate cake crumbs, and topped this with one of the left-over heart cupcake tops. This was so good that it almost made me forget about ruining my cupcakes.

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I decorated mini loaf cakes with some of the left-over cupcake tops – the glue is just a thin layer of melted dark chocolate.

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