Today I took a dozen of the muffins to work for colleagues to share at the tea break - and while tempting to do so I didn't pass them off as my own, but duly credited the creator. She had to bring all the ingredients to school today, and the practical exam makes up 20% of her marks in home ec. I don't know the origin of the recipe as it's a scruffy dog-eared photocopy, with no identifying title. They are very light and airy, often unusual in muffins which can be very stodgy and heavy, and they are very more-ish.
I was very lucky to get real American chocolate chips some weeks ago from a lovely patient who gets them from a friend in the States. The real thing - here all you can get are small packets that barely do a single batch of cookies or muffins. So that was a lovely gift to get, and they are dark plain chocolate looking like Hershey's Kisses - I used to get those in Bangladesh back in the late '70s when we went to movie nights at the American Center - a place I first tasted Pringles so there are a lot of firsts associated with my time in Dhaka (not least that it's where I first met hubby Jan!)
Enough reminiscing. I am still embedded with strawberries and jam making every evening - as there are about two pounds of the fruit being picked every evening, which ripen fully over the next 24 hours, I have to keep the ball rolling and there are way too many to eat or use for desserts I am making jam - this will be used on cakes and Ice cream and rice pud over the coming months as well as just plain old jam on bread! I have started the great give-away too which benefits friends and neighbours who enjoy my strawberry glut as much as I do.
Double Chocolatete Chip Muffins
Handy Tip: This quantity makes a dozen standard size muffins - use muffin cases rather than cupcake/fairy cake cases as they are slightly bigger, although the latter will do fine if you prefer smaller muffins.
- 9oz/255g self-raising flour (or plain flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder)
- half-teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (bread soda)
- half-teaspoon salt
- 4-6oz/110-170g white sugar
- 3-5 tablespoons/45-75g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3oz/85g dark chocolate chips
- 1 egg
- 250ml milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (or use vanilla sugar*)
- 3oz/85g soft/melted butter
- Preheat oven 190-200 deg. Centigrade/375-400 deg. Fahrenheit
- Sift together flour, cocoa, salt, soda bicarb, baking powder (if using plain flour)
- Add sugar
- Add chocolate chips
- Beat egg, add milk and melted butter
- Add vanilla essence if not using vanilla sugar
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir to combine with wooden spoon
- Batter should be lumpy
- Fill muffin cases three-quarters full
- Sprinkle top with chosen topping
- Bake for 20-25 mins until tops spring back when gently pressed
Variations on a theme
- Cherry Chocolate - add 3-4 oz/85-110g chopped glacé cherries (yummy!) to mix
- Hazlenut/Walnut/Brazil/Macadamia/Pecan Chocolate - add 2oz/60g chopped nuts to dry mix
- Mocha Chocolate - add 250ml strong black coffee - cooled - instead of milk
- Orange Chocolate - add 1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind to wet ingredients
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) of each of the following
- Hot melted butter
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Hot water
- 4oz/110g icing sugar
- half-teaspoon vanilla essence
Enjoy the muffins with the essential cuppa tea and a relaxing book or favourite telly programme - I'm thinking Desperate Housewives, Gray's Anatomy, Supernanny (so you can feel smug that your kids were never that bad!) or Wife Swap (for exactly the same reasons as Supernanny, adding/substituting hubby/partner for kids!). Now you know what my late night viewing consists of, it seems that standards decline in inverse proportion to the lateness of the hour. My guilty secret, I can justify it if I'm knitting at the same time - how can it possibly be time-wasting then. And we all need down-time, so I won't make any apologies for my relaxation strategies!
The photos are a selection of the finished muffins - a little goes a long way as the chocolate is so rich. The ingredients are also pictured.