Sunday, 8 May 2011

Simple Chocolate Muffins (for emergencies)

Today I woke up and craved something chocolatey. I usually don't keep ready desserts at home because a) they are too much a temptation and summer is fast approaching and b) they are usually tasteless especially when compared to freshly home-made bakes. I was in a dilemma: I had too little time to go to town to shop for ingredients and come back, but I still wanted to bake something because I find the process unbelievably relaxing (and enjoyable) particularly in such hard times (cf two courseworks and two exams in the next ten days). 

I had to do something. I looked at my cupboard: cocoa, eggs, flour, sugar, some leftover chocolate chips (from another time when I experimented with a range of cookie recipes), and other bits and pieces. I thought of chocolate muffins; simple, not much fuss, and most importantly, chocolatey. For a recipe I went to my favourite Channel 4 food collection and came up with this recipe:

Chocolate Muffins (makes 10) I used half of the ingredients, to end up with 5, but I still got 10!

250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
100g caster sugar
75g plain chocolate chips
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
250ml milk

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5. Put 10 paper muffin cases (I used silicon cases, so much more convenient!) into a muffin tray.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and chocolate chips (I guess one could use chopped chocolate instead and achieve a gooey effect - chopped chocolate doesn't have the stabilisers chocolate chips have and so it melts more easily).

3. Beat together the egg, vanilla extract and milk. Add the oil, stirring to mix.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Do not beat or over-mix – the batter will still be a little bit lumpy.

5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.

The end result:

To be honest they are not the most unbelievably chocolatey muffins I've ever had, BUT considering the circumstances, they are the ideal quick fix if your PMS is approaching, you are a chocaholic but don't have enough time, or if you simply detest ready-made deserts (or all of the above like me).

PS: In the next post I will be singing the praises of silicon muffin cases which I have used for the first time today (and will unquestionably be using in the future).
PS2: If you do make these muffins, let me know how they turn out! :)

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