Guest chef

Sarah Randell

Our very own food director, and former food editor to Delia Smith, Sarah has written more than 1000 recipes for the magazine. She is also author of the delightful baking book, Family Baking and Marmalade; A Bittersweet Cookbook.

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Chocolate brownie, date and pear muffins

  • Makes 8 large muffins (or 12 smaller ones)
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Total time 45 mins
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Chocolate brownie, date and pear muffins
Chocolate brownie, date and pear muffins

step by step

  • 1Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Put the dark chocolate and butter in a bowl and place over a pan of barely simmering water to melt, giving the mix an occasional stir, then take off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Line a muffin tin with 8 cafe-style tulip muffin cases (or 12 cupcake cases).
  • 2Roughly chop the dates. Peel, quarter and core the pears, then chop into small pieces. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the soured cream, milk, sugar, eggs and the melted chocolate and butter.
  • As always when making muffins, don't over-mix –a light hand makes airy, well-risen muffins. Eat warm for brunch or tea.
  • 3In another bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and ground ginger. Add a pinch of salt, the chocolate chips and the dates and pears; fold gently to combine. Add the cream and chocolate mixture to the dry mix and gently fold together until just combined; don't over-mix.
  • 4Divide the mixture between the muffin cases. Bake for 25 minutes until well risen (or 20 minutes for smaller muffins). Remove the muffins from the tin and transfer to a wire rack. Best eaten warm.
  • Recipe photograph by Tara Fisher

Get ahead

You can make the muffins a day ahead but, once cooled, store them in an airtight container. They freeze well, too.

You will need

  • 100g dark chocolate (50-60% cocoa solids), in pieces
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 100g pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 ripe but firm pears
  • 1 x 150ml carton soured cream
  • 50ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 50g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 x 100g bag milk chocolate chips

+ Nutritional Information