In my "recycling" ambition I also ended up including some dried pineaple that I had got in Bangkok airport on my flight home from Sydney. Here's what I came up with. As these are neither muffins, nor cupcakes, I've decided to call them mini-cakes for lack of a better name.Pineapple and Cranberry Chocolate Mini-Cakes
100g softened butter
70g caster sugar
2-3 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
70g chocolate, melted (I wanted to use up milk chocolate, if you use dark, which would always be my first choice, you might want to add more sugar)
3 dried pineapple slices, finely chopped
a handful of dried cranberries
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of Cointreau or other flavourful liquor of your choice
a pinch of salt
a handful of shaved almonds
optional: vanilla pulp to taste
Preheat your oven (convection setting) to 180°. Put 12 paper baking cups into a muffin tray (if you don't own one, you'll have to put two cups together unless you want the dough to spread in all directions.
Mix butter, sugar, baking powder, eggs, cocoa, a pinch of salt and vanilla pulp together until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and the dried fruits. Note: in order to prevent the pineaple chunks from sticking together I recommend putting them into a little bowl, then dusting them with flour and working through it with your fingers to have the chunks nicely separated.
Fill the paper cups to about 3/4s and sprinkle with the shaved almonds. I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I love
shaved almonds. Not only do they look nice, they prevent the top of cakes from burning. Clever, eh?
Bake for about 20 minutes. Don't overbake, they should still be soft to the touch when you take them out of the oven.
A citrusy or chocolate icing might add a nice touch, or simply dust your mini-cakes with some icing sugar if you are so inclined (I wasn't).