Pear, almond and chocolate muffins

I wish the smell of these muffins stayed in the kitchen for days, it would make gloomy days so much better! There’s a point in which you stop caring about the weather and start thinking that the best thing you can do is make your kitchen (and heart) warm, by baking a nice batch of buttery muffins. The chocolate in these muffins makes them a little bit naughty. Naughtier than one of those acai-oats-no-sugar-no-flour muffins that surely are brilliant if you don’t want to have any fun in life, but eat with the sole purpose of boosting your immune system. The baked pear chunks give them a soft texture, while the flaked almonds add a bit of a crunch. By swapping 1/3 of the flour for ground almonds, they have a slight marzipan flavour along with the perfect density.

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Ingredients (makes 6 muffins)
40g ground almonds
70g self-raising gluten-free flour
80g fair-trade golden caster sugar
2 organic eggs
1 organic pear, peeled and chopped
30g dark chocolate, chopped
30g flaked almonds

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°/350°F. Line a muffin tray with 6 paper muffin cases.
2. Beat the butter in a large bowl with the sugar, until pale. Add the eggs and whisk until well combined. Don’t forget to scrape the sides.
3. Fold in the flour. Add the pears and chocolate, and mix without over stirring.
4. Fill the muffin cases two thirds full and bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden and cooked through. Transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm, or allow to cool.

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