Saturday, July 31, 2010

Double chocolate muffins

Hello everyone, this week I heard someone say that the Melbourne Cup is only a few weeks away. Well, that is probably stretching reality somewhat, but it did give my heart a lift and the thought that tomorrow heralds the beginning of the last month of winter for another year is a very good thing. I have tried so hard to not complain about the cold weather this year as I usually do (and have realised how many others do, I must have been drowning out their voices previously) but I will be so glad to welcome back longer, brighter, warmer days.

Having said that, I do love winter cooking and have just popped some fennel with a lovely crunchy topping into the oven to bake for my dinner. It is a recipe in the August edition of delicious and as I love fennel, I was very keen to try out both the baked fennel and a fennel soup from the same article. Another lovely thing to have baking on a cold winter morning, as I did last Sunday, is a batch of muffins for morning tea. Now I have baked my fair share of muffins over the years and I have to say, I think these are the best yet. They are so chocolately (as the name suggests) and very moist. Do make sure you use very good quality chocolate - I have been buying the chocolate buttons from Adora chocolate (in the plaza outside the Sofitel Wentworth in the city) and they are excellent. I'm sure you'll think these muffins are great too when you whip up a batch yourself!

Have a happy week! Love from Jane xxx

Double chocolate muffins

What you need:
  • 150g dark chocolate, either buttons or chopped
  • 125g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 150g white chocolate, either buttons or chopped

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  3. Place the chocolate and the butter in a saucepan over a very low heat and stir until melted and combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
  6. Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients.
  8. Stir in the cooled chocolate and the white chocolate bits, and stir everything together just until combined. DON'T over mix - muffins need a very light hand.
  9. Divide the mixture between the prepared cases and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the muffins shows they are cooked. You might want to leave them slightly under-done in the middle to get a nice fudgy texture.
  10. Serve as is or drizzled with a little melted dark chocolate if you wish.

You can also serve these muffins as a pudding for dessert, by warming gently and serving with cream and/or ice-cream and chocolate sauce. In that case you might want to make six larger muffins.