This recipe was from Good Taste August 2007. Will make these again as they were very yummy.
These ended up being a little overcooked as someone (won't name any names, but they begin with J and L) forgot to take them out of the oven for me when I went to pick up Kady for work. Luckily they were still edible and very cute.
Melted butter, to grease
10 small corella pears, peeled leaving stalks intact
750ml (3 cups) water
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
315g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 x 200g pkt dark cooking chocolate, finely chopped
200g butter, melted
150g (1 cup) plain flour
40g (1/4 cup) self-raising flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
30g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder, extra
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush ten 150ml-capacity Texas muffin pans with melted butter to lightly grease. Use a melon baller to scoop out the base and core from each pear.
Place the water, vanilla and half the sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Add the pears and cook, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the pears are tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears to a plate to drain.
Whisk the cocoa powder into the syrup. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the syrup thickens slightly.
Meanwhile, place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
Add the combined flours, egg, extra cocoa powder and remaining sugar to the chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.
Spoon mixture among prepared pans. Gently press the pears into the centres. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
Carefully remove from the pans and divide among serving plates. Drizzle over the chocolate syrup to serve.
To make this recipe quicker, in step 4, place the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat, uncovered, on High/800watts/100%, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, for 2 minutes or until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.