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Water. Air. Food. Sex. The essentials in life. The first two? Leave them in their natural state and they'll look after you just fine.. The later two? Fun to play with. Get a little creative with. And if the mood strikes you, mix the two... Food and sex have been linked throughout history. Think about it. I mean really think about it. Is there anything more sexy than good food? Chances are others think the same thing. These recipes are not just about seducing that special someone (or someones) but seducing yourself. Its easy to forget what a pleasure food can be. So take a knife, some nice ingredients, and get Seductive in the Kitchen.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pear, Cinnamon and Pecan Crunch Muffins

Yesterday I was bitten by the baking bug.
This happens occasionally and it normally happens the day before I'm due to go shopping. So I must get creative.
I scoured my cupboard and my sister scoured her cupboard and then I combed my recipe books till I found something that matched.
Pear Pecan and cinnamon-crunch-muffins from my Belinda Jeffries book. Her recipes have never yet let me down. And thus was our house filled with the scents of heaven.
The pear in itself is a sensuous fruit.
I love its delicate green flesh, its tempting curves and its luscious moistness. Spice it up a little with the exotic scent of cinnamon and the wonderful crunch and earthy nuttiness of freshly roasted pecans and you're on to a winner.
Also may i say that i am generally dissapointed by the over-puffed, over-sweetened, underflavoured giant monstrosities that are normally sold as 'muffins.'
A muffin should be a little dense, and a lot moist.
It should be light - but not cupcake light. And it should be, above all things, a flavor sensation.
And these are everything a muffin should be. With the added bonus of a cinnamon crunch topping.
They taste like a donut in a muffin - with pear....
I am eating one right now... And it is good.

For The Muffin Batter

2 free-range eggs 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup light olive, or flavourless vegetable oil 1/2 cup pear juice 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 2 1/2 cups diced, just ripe pears, plus more for eating while you wait 1 cup plain flour 1 cup wholemeal plain flour 3 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp bi-carb 1/2tsp salt 1 tsp ground cinnamon pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (please.. make it fresh!) 1/2 cup toasted pecans 1/2 cup of raisin, (or if you're like me and aren't a great fan of raisins, tear up some dates into raisin sized pieces)
For The Crunch Topping
1/4 cup castor sugar 1/4 cup freshly roasted pecans, bashed into small pieces 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 190 C.
Butter a 12 cup muffin pan
Thoroughly mix the eggs, brown sugar, oil, pear juice and vanilla. Gently stir in the diced pears. Try not to lick the spoon.

In another bowl mix the flours, bi-carb, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the nuts and raisins or date pieces and stir till well mixed.
Very gently and with as little mixing as humanly possible mix the pear mixture into the flour mixture. The less mixing you do, the nicer your muffins will be.
When you have a niced mixed batter spoon it evenly between the 12 muffin holes.

Mix together the crunch topping ingredients and sprinkly evenly over the muffins. Bake for approx 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Your house will begin to smell like the garden of eden, and its wonderful because the pear is not forbidden.
Bide your time and then, when the muffin is ready, slather it in butter and devour it whole. Your face may get sticky - but trust me, its worth it.
Just look...

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