Double chocolate and spicy pear muffins and equine sleepovers


Two of our horses went for a sleepover last night. Castaño, our youngest horse, goes for private tuition every Monday at a nearby School for Extraordinarily Naughty Horses. The school is very recent; I’m convinced its creation was motivated by the mass of potential clients amongst our wayward equines. We received a phone call from Castaño’s teacher at 11pm, asking whether we had lost anything. After establishing that, unfortunately for me, she hadn’t found my sunglasses, she said that she did have our two bay horses. It was decided they stay overnight, which thankfully avoided us a precarious and muddy moonlit traipse. When I went to fetch them this morning, it occurred to me that maybe Castaño had been trying to win brownie points by turning up early for his weekly lesson and had taken Texas, the wise 30-year-old, to show him the place where he was learning to become A Better Horse. I think we can safely say this particular project is still very much ‘work in progress’…



These muffins are a really rich double chocolate treat. Just in case you’re looking for an excuse to make them, both cardamon and dark chocolate increase serotonin levels in the brain. Amongst other things, serotonin helps ward off depression. And who doesn’t need a serotonin boost towards the end of the winter?


Ingredients (makes 12)

275g spelt flour

50g pure cacao powder (no added sugar)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon cardamon

½ teaspoon ginger, freshly grated

3 eggs

250ml coconut milk

4 tablespoons honey

1 pear, peeled and chopped into small cubes

150g organic virgin coconut oil, melted

100g 70% dark chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare and grease two muffin tins with butter or coconut oil. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cardamon and ginger into a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add the coconut milk, honey, pear, melted coconut oil and chocolate, stirring constantly. Combine the two mixtures well. Fill the muffin tins and bake for about 18 minutes.

Absolutely delicious served hot or cold!

18 responses to “Double chocolate and spicy pear muffins and equine sleepovers

  1. A school for naughty horses, that really is hilarious, I can see them getting time out’s having to stand in a corner. How did your other horses get there, did they walk over, your animals are amazing really, willful and so smart. Write a childrens book please, it would be fantastic.
    Now for those muffins, I love chocolate and pear, add some spices and it’s really heavenly, Those muffins are not only beautiful I know they would be delicious. Very very nice.

    • LOL re the standing in the corner – they’d have trouble standing still for long enough! The older horse always roams freely about our land because – retired horse’s privilege and Castano unfortunately thinks absolutely nothing of jumping out of the field to join him. And thank you! I’m glad you think the muffins look good – praise indeed from such a talented pastry chef 🙂

  2. I am not much of a baker, more of a cook. However, these have me intrigued, coconut, chocolate and pear. Perhaps with my day off, these will do nicely to finish our oxtail tonight; will let you know how they turn out. Thanks for the laugh as well (free spirits, your horses).

    Also, your photos are always so lovely. What type of camera do you use and how do you get the background to look so romantically blurred?

    • Can’t wait to hear whether you like them if you make them – I’m sure you’ll love them. Oxtail – lucky you!

      Thank you for the photo compliment. I usually use a fixed 50mm lens on my Nikon D3000 and use a very shallow depth of field which is what creates the blur behind the immediate focus…

  3. Love the idea of the cardamom and ginger in these – such a tempting recipe but love the fact that, as usual, you include lots of healthy ingredients.

  4. Pingback: Double chocolate muffins |

  5. I love this combination of flavors! These muffins look awesome!

  6. Can’t think where the ‘wayward’ gene comes from in the family! Those muffins sound delicious … will place an order with the chef!

  7. Love this post — so fun, and delicious! 🙂 The muffins look great. I’m a big fan of cardamom and pear. Will be posting about a pear butter that I did with cardamom in the coming weeks.

  8. The Editors of Garden Variety

    Looks devine…thanks for sharing the recipe!

  9. Mmmmm, chocolate and pears with ginger – heavenly combo of ingredients Fiona. x

  10. Pingback: February Flashback | 10 Legs in the Kitchen

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