Muffins. Always popular and always welcome on my plate! I got some 85% cocoa chocolate the other day and thought I’d make some dark chocolate muffins with it. I think the chocolate was perhaps a bit too dark and bitter but better than being too sweet. Has anyone noticed how sweet icing is on most cupcakes? My, oh my! I find it quite a turn-off. I think my sweet tooth is sobering (with age?) and I am gradually hovering closer to cakes with less icing so muffins are a great replacement. There are so many cupcake companies out there. I have tried many but the best I tried recently were at a stand at a Swing ball by Swing Patrol at Shoreditch Town Hall. It was the first sale of this newfound cupcake maker and they were scrumptious. I shall dig out her card so I can do her justice with a credit. I had a peanut butter one and a mocha one – so good. I was there with a friend who is allergic to eggs and nuts (poor thing!) but was so pleased to see that there were vegan cupcakes so I raced over to him cooing “Vegan cupcakes! Perfect for you egg-free man!”. He was excited too and we trotted back only to find…(Pinter pause)…a blasted walnut on top of each cupcake. Aaaaaaaaa, etc, ah! Oh well. Swing dancing with rock and roll moves confusing his Swing educated partners seemed to make him get over it pretty fast. Back to muffins, these muffins have grated chocolate in the batter and shards of chocolate spiked into the top which gives them an appealing marbled look. Bake away!
What you need (makes 8):
110g unsalted butter
70g dark brown sugar
100g dark chocolate (20g grated and the remainder broken into pieces)
150g plain flour
20g coarse oatmeal (optional – I like this for a bit of bite in the texture)
1.5 tsp baking powder
What you need to do:
1. Heat the oven to 180C (fan) and line a muffin tray with muffin cases or scrunched up squares of baking paper.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together with a fork in a big bowl and once combined crack the eggs on top (one at a time) and beat in.
3. Add the grated chocolate and stir it in.
4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl (and add the coarse oatmeal if using it) and mix into the eggy buttery mixture.
5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and spike each with a couple of shards of chocolate. Make sure the shards sit in the batter rather than on top otherwise they will melt off the muffins onto the tray and you will lose some chocolate. No!
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Check they are done by testing them with a skewer – it should come out clean.
These would be really good warm from the oven with some vanilla ice-cream or, if you can handle rich food, with some zabaione!