Mini chocolate pear cakes

A great way to enjoy this beautiful fruit. Satisfying and rich, the perfect accompaniment to an after- dinner coffee.



Makes 12

- 3 cups water

- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

- 12 small pears, such as corella, peeled, cored

- 1/3 cup cocoa powder

- 2 eggs

- 100ml sour cream

- 80ml oil

- 20g butter, melted

- 120g light brown sugar

- 200g dark chocolate, melted

- 120g plain flour

- 35g cocoa powder

- 1 tsp baking powder

- 1/2 tsp bi-carb soda

- 1/4 tsp salt

- 40g ground almonds



Bring water to the boil in a large saucepan fitted with a lid. When boiling, reduce to a simmer and add vanilla paste and pears. Cook covered for 10 minutes until tender, remove pears and set aside, but keep liquid.

Whisk cocoa powder into the pear poaching liquid, bring back to the boil, reduce to a sauce consistency and set aside. Preheat oven to 170C. Butter two 6-hole muffin tins. Whisk the next five ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until just combined then whisk in the chocolate. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bi-carb. Add them to the wet mix, along with the salt and almonds and fold together gently. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and press a pear in the centre of each one. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins. To serve, drizzle with chocolate vanilla syrup.

TIP: To make this gluten free, substitute the flour for almond meal.

© The West Australian