Friday, 16 September 2011

Double Chocolate Raspberry Muffins

This is not one of those muffins which are super light and airy. PLEASE DO NOT BE MISTAKEN. These muffins are more like brownie-muffins... In fact, these are almost based on my brownie recipe. But with cocoa powder instead of chocolate because there was no chocolate on hand. There is also quite a bit of butter... Not to mention, it's a one bowl recipe!

If you have a look at the ingredients, you'll see that there is a generous amount of sugar. It's not actually that much, because you need to keep in mind that we're using cocoa powder. Another thing to note, is that I'm using regular cocoa (since I can't seem to find any Dutch-processed cocoa around here...NOOOO!) and this will affect the rising of the muffin. You would need to add baking soda. How much? Unfortunately, I don't know since I've never worked with Dutch-processed. In fact, the final result actually (sort of) looks like it uses dutch-process.

Anyway, this muffin yields a rich, dark-chocolatey texture with bursts of raspberries. I find that it's much easier to use frozen raspberries in the batter, because this batter is really, incredibly stiff and folding in fresh raspberries will result in...a disaster. You can always use fresh raspberries for garnish, or be awesome like me and oh-so-carefully microwave one frozen raspberry so that it looks like a fresh one because raspberries are around $12 dollars for around a 125g punnet. *le gasp*
The only presence of chunky, actual chocolate are the chocolate chips. In my opinion? COMPLETELY OPTIONAL. In fact, if you are going add them, don't be like, "...because I'm, like, such a chocoholic, I'm going to, like, add more chocolate chips". Seriously, the cocoa already makes the chocolate muffin so, so chocolatey that too much extra chocolate will weigh it down and ruin the balance of flavours. When I mean that the extra chips are optional, I mean it. This isn't one of those recipes that say that the chips are optional but when you don't add it, the final product is bland and disgusting. It's there for a little bit of texture and a little surprise. Trust me. Please also add the coffee, even if you don't coffee because it provides that depth and sophistication to the flavour of the muffin. And as always, don't stir the batter too vigorously, since we don't want gluten to develop. Once it's mixed, stop.

The crust is a practically brownie crust, and so I feel that there is absolutely no need for icing. You know, I DON'T EVEN LIKE CRUST... but on the muffin/oversized-cupcake, it is so, so good. The balance works wonders with the fudgy, yet still muffin-y inside. However, if you want a icing anyway, I suggest you skip the chocolate chips and use a ganache.

A little secret? If you want a darker brown, add one or two drops of blue food colouring after stirring in the cocoa powder. Sound weird? Not to worry, when you have been painting with watercolour for over 2 years it'll make sense. Don't get too excited and add more. Remember, we want a darker brown not a blue chocolate muffin. Trust me...again.

Well, without furthur ado;

Double Chocolate Raspberry Muffins
Yields: 10-12 muffins

150g of butter
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 eggs (~59g)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup normal cocoa powder (~60g)
3/4 cup self-raising flour
60g of roughly chopped chocolate, or chocolate chips
1 cup of frozen raspberries
1 1/2 tbsp of instant coffee

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a muffin tray with muffin liners (no need to grease).Cream the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl and then add the eggs (If it the mixture separates at this stage, ignore it, it will be fine). Dissolve the instant coffee in an equal amount of hot water and it to the butter with the vanilla extract and cocoa powder and fold it in with a spatula. Then add flour and fold it in. Fold in the chocolate chips and the frozen raspberries. Fill the mixture (using a ice scoop helps) almost to the top. **Don't worry about any gaps at the bottom, since the mixture will 'melt' into the liners when baking. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean, remembering not to mistake the raspberries and chocolate chips for uncooked batter. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Serve warm or cool, with a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of milk.



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