I do love a good muffin, don’t you? Here’s a quick muffin vs cupcake factorama for you: muffins are different from cupcakes because a) they don’t have a big swirl of icing or frosting on top (but they can be glazed), b) the texture is denser (wet ingredients are stirred briefly into dry, rather than creaming butter and sugar) and c) they tend to be much less sweet. Anyway, I wanted to do something with a bit of a Halloween twist involving the cupcake’s less sweet, denser, unfrosted cousin, but I’m absolutely no good with novelty things (as evidenced by these rather clumsy Halloween cupcakes back in 2013), so I decided on chocolate orange drizzle muffins basically because chocolate orange is my favourite flavour combo and also because the drizzle seems suitably autumnal and pumpkin-coloured (I’m always thinking about the ‘gram). I used cacao powder because I think it gives a better chocolatey hit than cocoa, but feel free to use either.
Chocolate orange drizzle muffins
For the dry ingredients:
175g plain flour
25g cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
125g golden caster sugar
For the wet ingredients:
125 ml milk
1 small orange, zested and juiced
2 eggs, beaten
75g chocolate – either chips or a bar chopped into small chunks
For the orange drizzle:
3 tbsp icing sugar
Orange food gel
First, make sure you have all the ingredients weighed out, and preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, cacao, baking powder, salt and caster sugar.
Put that bowl to one side. Next, melt the butter on a low heat in a saucepan.
While the butter is melting, whisk the milk and eggs together in a large jug, and stir in the orange zest and half the orange juice (don’t use all the juice – it will make the batter too runny, and you need to save some for the orange icing).
Lastly, stir in the melted butter.
Now just pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Remember the golden muffin rule and just briefly mix the batter – it doesn’t matter if you can still see a bit of flour. Stir in the chocolate chips too.
Spoon the mixture into muffin cases – I think muffins should be quite big so I tend to make 9 large rather than 12 small. 10 or 11.
Bake for about 20 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and a gentle push on the top makes them spring back up. Allow to cool while you make the drizzle.
Mix the icing sugar with enough of the juice to make a thick icing. Add a little orange food gel if you like (totally optional – I used tangerine/apricot), then drizzle all over the cooled muffins.
Et voila. Delicious muffins and a little useless baking information. You are most welcome!