Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happiness is a warm chocolate choc-chip muffin

This is something I used to dream about in my last job, staring at a watery cuppa and a stale bun, wondering how I was going to cram all the work in unless I developed several clones. One day, I quietly vowed, on that tantalisingly out-of-reach day when I have nothing much to do except please myself, I will make delicious muffins. And I will take the chance to slow down and appreciate them properly, fresh and warm from the oven - every last soft, rich, chocolatey bite.

Today was that day.

And they were goooooooood.

Ok, I'm not working at the moment but I'm not completely free to please myself forever - unfortunately my bank account won't allow it :-( So now I have to find a new job. But at least I'll have some proper muffins to help me through any stressful times!

Chocolate choc-chip muffins from Baking – From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Makes 12

90g unsalted butter
110g dark chocolate (around 70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
2 cups plain flour
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1¼ cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 190C/ gas mark 5. Butter or spray a 12-hole muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

2. Melt the butter and half of the chopped chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or do this in a microwave). Remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together until well combined.

4. Pour the liquid ingredients, as well as the melted butter-chocolate mix, over the dry ingredients and with the whisk, or a spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter.

5. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from the pan.

Cook's notes

I chopped up the chocolate into pieces that were a bit to small - so most of them melted into the batter as the muffins cooked. But they still tasted fab, so no biggy.

However, I'd probably crank up the chocolate chunk quotient next time. I'd say use 55g for the melted choc that becomes part of the batter, as per directions above, and maybe 100g for extra chocolatey chunk goodness.


Holler said...

Those look amazing, even better than the pear and ginger muffins I made today and I thought they would be hard to beat!
Yours look like they have risen better too and great photo!

hellojed said...

Sorry to hear that you have to get a new job. :( Let me know if you need any recruitment agency advice - I've been to most of them at this stage!

Those muffins look delicious...I can taste them now...

Jen said...

Thanks Holler - great minds think alike! It's definitely muffin baking time! Something to do with standing next to a warm oven on a cold day as much as enjoying the baking, I think :-)

Hi Hellojed - I'm working my way through the agencies too! Any advice will be gratefully received...

Carrie said...

oh dear... those look too good for words! Dark chocolate in a muffin! Great post!

Jen said...

Thanks Carrie :-) The muffins certainly hit the spot - 11 o'clock treat AND chocolate hit rolled into one. What more could a girl ask for?

Laura said...

Perfect for the days when only chocolate will do...

kickpleat said...

wow, that looks so good! i think tea and a chocolate chip muffin sounds perfect right now :)

Soo said...

Those look amazing! I have bookmarked the page for baking when my goddaughter next visits.

Jen said...

Cheers Soo. I think they would be a lovely thing to make with someone else in the kitchen to lend a helping hand. A very sociable recipe! Hope you enjoy them.

Snooky doodle said...

these loo divine!