Triple chocolate muffins on a food blog that tries to keep to the healthy side of the street?
Yep, I’m temporarily going over to the dark side. Or at least … the dark chocolate side.
Um, how many times is it acceptable to use the word side in one post?
I figured it was about time I introduced you to these triple stuffed, dark chocolate muffins. These babies are what I reach for when I’m having one of those “I need chocolate, and I need it now” moments.
We do all have those, don’t we? It’s not just me?
We’re talking about rich, that word that begins with ‘m’ and rhymes with joist that everyone hates so much, dark chocolate muffins, packed full of cocoa’y flavour. Soft and tender inside, they are stuffed with all the chocolate you (or at least I) can find!
Is there anything more tempting than warm chocolate muffins full of chunks of dark, milk and white chocolate, all melting and gooey and…
Where’s the coffee?
Now, I’m not going to pretend that these are the absolute healthiest recipe you could ever make. After all, they do contain butter, sugar and even white flour ← lettuce leaves they’re not…
But here’s the thing.
I don’t consider anything “naughty” or “forbidden” ← that way leads to cravings … which inevitably leads to over-indulgence and guilt…
If you’ve checked out my about page, you’ll know that I’m on a (lifelong) quest for more balance in my life.
When it comes to food, balance for me means being mindful about what I eat. Homemade food made using real ingredients rather than something out of a box. Choosing healthy options as much as possible.
And not beating myself up if I choose something a little indulgent every now and then.
I think that’s something worth repeating – if only for my own benefit.
Not beating myself up.
Boy, is that a tough one…
I’ve actually been working on this recipe, on and off, for months. I find that most muffin recipes contain way more sugar than I’m comfortable using, so I wanted to see if I could create a muffin that was delicious and tasty and soft (and most importantly, not dry!) but which didn’t leave me feeling wired from too much sugar…
I knew from experimenting with my recipe for hazelnut chocolate chip quick bread, that using half white, half wholemeal flour would still give me a light, fluffy texture (I wouldn’t recommend swapping more than half of the white flour, otherwise they become too heavy).
I also used as little sugar as I could get away with (1/2 cup or 100g spread over 12 muffins). Buttermilk helps to keep the batter light and fluffy as it bakes, and the melted butter lends flavour and tenderness (as well as keeping the muffins from drying out). I tried using oil a few times, but much prefer the version using butter.
An important note for this recipe: It’s best to use cocoa which has been dutch processed (washed with an acid to neutralise it). Check the label – if it uses the word ‘alkalised,’ or includes an ‘acidity regulator’ as an ingredient, it’s been dutch processed (you will usually find it’s a lot darker in colour too). If you are in the UK, this is the brand I find most easily in-store.
When you are reading a recipe, if it doesn’t state what type of cocoa to use, this is a good rule of thumb to follow:
If a recipe is mainly leavened with baking powder, go for dutch processed. If it uses mainly bicarb (baking soda), use natural cocoa powder.
You wouldn’t believe the number of failures I puzzled over before realising I was using the wrong cocoa…
Another important thing to note with this recipe?
Once you’ve taken the muffins out of the oven, and allowed them to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes?
Do not wander off, forget them and allow them to cool completely in the tin – they will stick and you will be left with still delicious, but, how can I put it … rather less aesthetically pleasing muffin … um, pieces … I wonder how I know this…
Go. Go now, and preheat that oven – in about forty minutes time, you too could be digging in to one of these warm, gooey triple chocolate muffins…I’m off to check my baking stash for some chocolate chunks…
- 1 cup (125g) plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 cup (125g) plain wholemeal flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- Pinch of sea salt
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder (dutch processed) *
- 1 cup (170g) dark, white and milk chocolate chunks
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature **
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon (50g) light brown soft sugar
- 1 and ¼ cups (300ml) buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons melted butter, allowed to cool a little
- ¼ cup (60ml) milk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6 (400F degrees). Grease a regular 12 cup muffin pan with non stick spray or line with muffin liners and set aside (my muffin pan is non-stick and fairly new so I usually just lightly grease the bottom inch or so of each cup, I never find muffins rise as evenly using liners).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the two flours, baking powder, bicarb, salt and cocoa powder until evenly mixed. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and both sugars until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk, melted butter, milk and vanilla. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until there are no obvious pockets of flour left. I prefer to use a silicone spatula to scrape around the bowl and gently fold the ingredients together without over-mixing them.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup almost to the brim.
- Bake in the hot oven for 5 minutes (to help the tops rise), before lowering the oven temperature (without opening the oven door) to Gas Mark 5 (375F degrees) and baking for a further 14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out cleanly.
- Allow to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes (but no longer - or they will stick) before transferring to a wire rack to fully cool.
- Muffins freeze well and can be defrosted / warmed in the microwave (I usually zap them for 30-40 secs on high - when you need chocolate, you need it now!) Otherwise, they can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
** It's best to work with ingredients that are at a similar temperature when baking, it helps everything mix together more evenly.
Recipe adapted from my Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Quick Bread recipe.