You know I absolutely love baking, and one of the recipes I’ve been trying to perfect for ages is for proper American style double chocolate muffins. American style muffins tend to be denser and less sweet than cupcakes, and I wanted to make ones that really erupt out of the case like the muffins you buy in bakeries in America. After a fair bit of twiddling, I’m pretty sure I’m there with this one. Oil definitely seems to work better than butter (no, me neither), and as usual with muffins, you need to remember the golden muffin rule: wet into dry and mix as little as you can possibly get away with to avoid developing the gluten (nobody wants a tough muffin). Don’t use huge muffin cases either – you want to fill the cases about 2/3 full so you get the proper volcano-erupting shape.
American style double chocolate muffins
4 tbsp cocoa powder
325g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (or orange extract)
100g chopped plain chocolate
Firstly, get everything together: weigh our your ingredients, preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5 and pop paper cases into your muffin tray.
Start with the dry ingredients: sieve together the cocoa, flour, sugar and baking powder and stir in the salt.
Next, mix the milk, oil, egg and vanilla (or orange – chocolate orange muffins are lovely).
Pour wet into dry and mix as little as possible. If there are pockets of flour visible, that’s absolutely fine. Stir in the chocolate chips, or nuts, or whatever else you’re using.
Fill each paper cup at least 3/4 full – we’re aiming for generous overspillage here.
Bake for around 20 minutes (if your oven is a bit uneven you might need to turn them around half way through.
Basic muffin recipe tweaks
If you want your muffins plain, just omit the cocoa and chocolate. Once you’ve mastered the basic muffin recipe, the world’s your oyster:
- for delicious breakfast muffins, try adding granola (plus a sprinkling on top as well
- banana and hazelnut work well together
- as do banana and peanut butter
- add big fat glacé cherries (give them a rinse first)
- replace half the flour with wholemeal and add grated apple and sultanas, or apple and walnut
- contentious, but apple and cheddar muffins are surprisingly good
- leave the muffin plain but top with brown sugar and cinnamon (ooh or add chopped red apple too)
- add blueberries (the cinnamon topping works well with these too)
- go classic with lemon and poppy seed
- add hundreds and thousands to add a splash of colour
Let me know your favourite combination xx