Oct 16, 2012

Pear and chocolate cupcakes

In case you had not noticed yet, I love cheese. And dairies in general. I Italy we have lots of tasty, very different cheeses. Like for food in general, every region and even every small area has its own cheeses. Cheese is part of our diet and it is very rare not to find it, in one way or another, in every Italian meal.



Recently I have been using increasingly more often yogurt and fresh cheese for baking. I find they are a good way to use less butter or oil but still have a moist, soft result.
I had pears at home, quite a few of them actually. Pears are a beautiful autumn fruit, sweet and juicy, but I have noticed I tend to use them for baking or cooking rather than eat them as a snack, pure and simple.
I had quark at home and chocolate, of course, and pears and... well, pears and chocolate are known to be a perfect combination and so are pears and cheese. So why not bring them all together in these perfect, perfect cupcakes? They make a perfect sweet for tea time and are very easy to bake (the most boring part is to chop pears and chocolate).



PEAR AND CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES (makes 6)
Ingredients:
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup quark cheese 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch o salt
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 small pears, pealed, cored and diced (makes about 1 cup diced pear)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C and grease 6 cupcakes molds. 
Slightly beat the egg and whisk it whit quark cheese, olive oil, honey and vanilla. Mix until you have a smooth batter. Add flours, baking powder and salt and mix to incorporate. 
Stir in the diced pears and chocolate chunks. Spoon the batter into the molds and bake for about 25 minutes (check with a toothpick to see if the batter is cooked). 

Be patient and let the cupcakes cool down before you eat them, as much as I love to eat baked goods warm from the oven these taste way better at room temperature. 

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