Hello chocolate lover. How about we start the day with chocolate? And after that? Who cares.
These chocolate muffins are rich and chocolaty enough to satisfy even the most dedicated chocolate lover and guaranteed to start your day in the sweetest, most delicious way.
Let's begin the day with Chocolate
You might not be reading this in January, but I'm writing it at the start of 2020 and reflecting on the fact that January has always been one of my favorite times of the year. After all the lovely chaos of December, there's something about the plainness of January that feels roomy and luxurious.
For many of us, December is a month where normal routines are set aside. The entire month is a celebration that takes over our shops, our homes, our buildings, our clothes, our food, our routines. There's a tree in my living room, for goodness sake.
I love December's gregariousness. But, I also love putting it all away and returning to normal life. My house always looks a bit empty after taking down all the Christmas decorations. The January social calendar is filled with blank spaces. Both of these facts make me feel like I have room to breath. Time to reflect and reinstate routines that contribute to my health and sanity.
I love you, December. But, come January 1st, I'm ready for the 11 month break.
And so, a few days into the new year, I started working my way back into my normal routine. Then I decided that my "normal routine" would involve chocolate, and I baked some chocolate muffins.
Because chocolate is a spectacular way to welcome a new year.
These should probably be called "Triple" Chocolate Muffins
They contain BOTH melted chocolate and cocoa powder, PLUS mini chocolate chips. They are deep, dark, fudgy, and created for those among us who believe Chocolate is a perfectly acceptable way to start the day.
They are also simple. Baking them requires only about 20 minutes of hands-on time. Aside from the optional vanilla glaze, they require no adornment. They are exactly the kind of thing I want to eat on a cold January morning, in my slippers and favorite sweater, with a hot cup of coffee.
This Recipe includes two great ideas from two master bakers
#1. A bit of rye flour.
Claire Ptak, in her gorgeous book The Violet Bakery Cookbook, has a recipe for chocolate brownies that uses rye flour. This caught my attention and has me experimenting with the many ways that rye flour can compliment the flavor of chocolate.
I've been making these muffins for years with all-purpose flour and was perfectly happy with the result. But, just for kicks I substituted a bit of the all-purpose for rye flour and honestly feel that it's worth the extra ingredient in your pantry.
The rye flour intensifies the rich fudgy-ness of the muffins, bringing out their chocolate flavor while adding some complexity and depth. I'm into it.
Having done my best to make the case for the addition of rye flour, you can absolutely use only all-purpose flour in these muffins with splendid results.
#2. Whipped Cream.
In this recipe, you mix all the ingredients together and then gently as you can, fold in some whipped cream. This is a handy little trick I learned from Shirley O. Corriher in her essential book BakeWise.
Folding a bit of whipped cream into the batter adds some additional air which makes the texture of these muffins a bit lighter without interfering with their fudgy qualities. The cream also adds additional moisture and creates an almost silky smoothness to the crumb.
When you add the cream, it's important to stir it into the batter as gently as you can. The batter is thick and the cream is delicate. You won't be able to preserve all the air trapped inside the cream no matter what you do. But, the goal is to preserve as much as possible. Mix gently just until the cream is mostly distributed but you can still see white streaks of cream throughout.
Bake regular-size or mini muffins
This recipe makes quite a few chocolate muffins - 24 regular size muffins or 48 mini muffins. You could, of course, cut the recipe in half if you want fewer muffins. But, let me just point out that they freeze quite well, and having extra chocolate muffins in your freezer is never a bad thing. (More information about freezing muffins below.)
Generally, my preference is to divide the batter between a regular size muffin pan and a mini muffin pan, resulting in 12 regular size muffins and 24 mini one. This gives everyone, including me, options. Do you want an entire muffin or just a bite? Take your pick.
Personally, mini muffins are my jam because they allow me to spread the whole chocolate muffin experience out throughout the day. One little muffin with my first cup of coffee. Another with my second cup. One mini muffin after lunch and another to pull myself out of that mid-afternoon slump. Four mini muffins = 1 regular size muffin. But, the four mini muffins makes me feel as if I've gotten to eat chocolate all day long.
The other scenario in which I prefer mini-muffins is when entertaining a group for brunch. We've hosted brunch several times over the past few years and I generally set out two bowls of mini-muffins for guest to much on, one containing these chocolate muffins and the second containing Cinnamon Streusel Muffins.
Regardless of the size of muffin pan you choose, it's important to fill each cavity nearly to the top. The batter will be too thick to pour, so use a couple of spoons or an ice cream scoop.
Glazing, storing, and freezing instructions
The vanilla glaze is a delicious touch, but also completely optional. It takes about 2 minutes to whip up and cuts through the rich chocolate of the muffin, simultaneously enriching their chocolaty flavor while providing a bit of contrast.
No matter what size muffins you bake, they will keep well in an air tight container for a couple of days. They also freeze well, although I prefer to freeze them without the glaze.
Freeze mini muffins in a single layer so they don't stick together. Spread them out onto a plate or tray, cover them with plastic wrap, and pop them into the freezer for a few hours. Once frozen, you can pile them into a zip-top bag.
To freeze regular size muffins, wrap each individually in a piece of plastic wrap then put the wrapped muffins into a zip top bag. Wrapping them individually will keep them from sticking together and allow you to pull out however many you want whenever you want them.
Other popular muffin recipes:
- Cinnamon Streusel Mini Muffins
- Mixed Berry Muffins
- Blueberry Corn Muffins
- Healthy Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Zucchini Blueberry Muffins with Oatmeal and Almonds
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Streusel
- Lemon Blueberry Muffins
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #ofbatteranddough on Instagram.
- 6 ounces (1 cup) bittersweet chocolate, at least 60% cacao, cut into small pieces
- 4 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup dark rye flour (*see note)
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon table salt (1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
- 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
Make the chocolate muffins:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees if baking regular-size muffins or 350 degrees if baking mini muffins. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
- Put the bittersweet chocolate and butter in a small saucepan and set it over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until both the chocolate and butter are melted. Stir in the brown sugar and continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute to melt the sugar slightly. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and let cool until it's just barely warm.
- Add both flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon to a medium-sized bowl and mix with a wire whisk to combine.
- When the chocolate mixture has cooled a bit, use a wire whisk to beat in the eggs and vanilla. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk. Stir just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix; it's ok if there are some small lumps in the batter. Add the chocolate chips and stir just until distributed.
- In a separate bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer until thick and stiff peaks form when you lift the beater out of the cream. Add half the whipped cream to the batter. Fold it into the batter as gently as you can, stirring just until it's mostly distributed. There will still be plenty of white streaks throughout the batter. Add the rest of the whipped cream and fold it in as gently as you can, mixing just until incorporated. You should still see some white streaks of cream throughout the batter. (See video and photos above for images of what the batter should look like.)
- Distribute the batter among the muffin cups, filling each about ¾ full.
- If baking regular-sized muffins, bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 350 and bake for 20 - 25 minutes. If baking mini muffins, bake at 350 degrees for 18 - 20 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out without any sign of raw batter. (*See note.)
- Remove the pans from the oven and let the muffins cool for at least 5 minutes before removing them from the muffin pan. (You can also just let the muffins cool completely in the pan.) Wait to drizzle the muffins with icing until they are completely cool.
- Using a bit of rye flour intensifies the rich fudgy-ness of these muffins, bringing out their chocolate flavor. However, you can use only all-purpose flour in these muffins with splendid results.
- No buttermilk? No problem. DIY Buttermilk: How to make your own
- When testing to see if the muffins are done baking by sticking a toothpick in the center of one of them, be sure to look for evidence of raw batter on the toothpick, not melted chocolate from the chocolate chips.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 regular size muffin without vanilla icing
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 189mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 4g