To me there is nothing better than the combination of chocolate, almond and pears. Would you believe this recipe is something I thought about coming home on the train? I knew there were pears in my fruit bowl and some cream cheese in the fridge and I needed something that wouldn’t take too long to make so here it is, my latest cupcake recipe.
Chocolate & Pear Cupcakes with Amaretto Cream
For the cupcakes
140g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa)
110g caster sugar
100g plain flour
50g ground almonds
Pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ tbsp amaretto liqueur
1 pear, peeled and cubed
For the frosting
200g cream cheese
200g icing sugar
250ml double cream
1tbsp amaretto liqueur
For the topping
80g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa)
¼ tsp nut or vegetable oil
12 sugared almonds
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper liners.
For the cupcakes, break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl, add the butter and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water until melted. Be careful not to let the bowl touch the water. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth and leave to cool.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and salt until pale and fluffy. Stir in the amaretto liqueur and the chocolate butter mixture. Sift over the flour, baking powder and ground almonds and gently fold into the chocolate mixture.
Spoon about a tablespoon of the mixture into each paper case and top in the centre with a teaspoon of the pear cubes. Spoon on the remaining mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the tin before turning them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, place the cream cheese, icing sugar and amaretto into a bowl and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the cream to the cream cheese mixture and stir until smooth and thoroughly combined. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle with the frosting and pipe onto the cakes.
To make the chocolate topping, place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan with barely simmering water until melted. Again be careful not to let the bowl touch the water. Remove the bowl from the heat, add the oil and stir until smooth. Drizzle some of the chocolate over each of the cakes and top with a sugared almond.