Monday, February 11, 2013

'Snow Days' and Gorgeous Muffins

It was a very snowy weekend. In fact, I don't remember seeing so much snow since I lived in New Jersey. I still remember snow blizzards that would leave cars almost buried under mountains of white. And that you had to actually lift your knees to get through the deep blanket of snow that covered the streets. The snowfall in the Netherlands has never been quite as dramatic (at least not in the 15 years I've lived here), so when we have half a foot of snow, it feels like a lot.
The best thing to do on snow days (a very different kind of snow day than the ones I knew as a kid) is to stay home and make comforting, delicious meals; thick soups and stews are standard fare, as is anything baked. Actually, snow demands something baked. It goes without saying.
I made these gorgeous muffins yesterday and I really think you'll love them as much as we did. The thick chunks of chocolate, the sweet bits of pear and the kick of just the slightest touch of candied ginger make them the perfect 'snow day' treat. Enjoy!
PS: I also made a hearty Guinness stew (talk about 'comfort food'). That recipe will be up tomorrow!

Pear, Dark Chocolate and Ginger Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

250g all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
150g dark, good-quality chocolate, chopped
1 large, ripe pear, chopped
120g crème fraîche
60ml milk
2 tbsps candied ginger
100ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
160g sugar
2 small eggs

Preheat oven to 200C and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
Mix the flour, baking powder, chocolate and pear in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whish the crème fraîche  milk, candied ginger, oil, vanilla extract, sugar and eggs. 
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until everything is mixed well. Do not stir too fanatically!
Divide the batter over the liners and bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.


Le Grumeau said...

Such a good idea, I love ginger! It must balance well with the chocolate chips. We had a lot of snow in NYC too this week-end (and in NJ too I guess)! Thanks for the good recipe.

Le Grumeau

Paola said...

Thank you! :)
Yes, I spoke to my mother in New Jersey and she told me about the snow. Snow has its plus points (a good excuse to bake),but I'm really craving spring by now!