Sunday, 10 August 2008

Chocolate Muffins……for Grown-Ups

Occasionally I like to indulge in a chocolate muffin, to go with a good cup of freshly brewed coffee, but I've never found anything in the shops that caters for more grown-up tastes. Shop bought muffins are mostly very sweet and I want something a little more sophisticated.
To achieve the desired flavour, I use a good quality dark chocolate. Nothing less than 70% cocoa solids will do. You need the intense, almost savoury flavour to elevate these muffins into the realms of refinement. That's why the sea salt is there too – it gives a little extra boost.

Makes 12
200g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
115g light muscovado sugar
good pinch of sea salt
185g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 eggs
100 ml sunflower oil
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
165ml milk

Preheat the oven to Gas 6, 200C, 400F.
Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder cinnamon, sugar and salt into a large bowl. If you find that some of the sugar won't go through the sieve, just use a spoon to rub it through.
Now stir in the broken chocolate pieces.
Whisk together the eggs and oil in a separate bowl until they become foamy. Now add the yogurt and then carefully whisk in the milk. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients until blended.
Spoon into cake cases, filling each to three-quarters full. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes.
The muffins are ready when they are well risen and firm to the touch. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean – unless you've gone through some melted chocolate, of course!


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