Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chocolate Muffins and a Rant

When I visit my fellow bloggers' blogs, I'm always blown away by what they're making. I recently read Nancy's post on Vermont Oatmeal Maple Honey bread, and thought maybe I should check out the King Arthur flour cookbook she got the recipe from (it also made me order some maple sugar so I could make the bread). When I say "check out," I mean buy it on Amazon and look through it when it arrives. But Nancy said she had checked it out of the library...what a concept! As I was looking on Amazon, I thought I should check it out of the library as Nancy did before deciding to shell out the money for the book. So I did.

After paging through the book, I've decided there isn't enough in it for me to want to buy the book, though I liked how it gives weights for the dry ingredients. I did find a few recipes to try over the next couple of weeks, before the book is due back at the library. One of them was for what are called chocolate breakfast muffins. Having made these muffins, I can wholeheartedly say I would love to eat these for breakfast, if I was one of those night owl types who eats breakfast at 4 in the afternoon. At 7 AM, not so much.

That's not a slam against this recipe (my version is below), it's more a testament to their deep, dark chocolate flavor. These need either a glass of milk or cup of coffee to wash them down. Resist the urge to eat them warm from the oven...they are so much better after they cool completely. This is easily one of my favorite muffins.

The rant? I am SO OVER silicon muffin molds. I am beyond tired of digging out the bottom after it doesn't emerge attached to the rest of the muffin. Maybe they work with a straightforward muffin without any sticky (chocolate, cinnamon sugar, etc.) components, but that's not the type of muffin I gravitate to. I would rather butter a muffin tin and have the muffins COME OUT than use a pan that requires no buttering but eats half your muffin. Imagine what a lovely and thoughtful gift to give someone a dozen muffins, half of which look like a child picked off the bottom part of the muffin! Grrr...

There. I feel better now. Time for another muffin. Well, maybe I should eat lunch first.

Chocolate "Breakfast" Muffins - Printable Recipe
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Baking Companion

2/3 cup (2 ounces) cocoa, Dutch-process or natural
1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 12 cup muffin tin or use paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. The better combined the dry ingredients are at this stage, the less you need to stir the muffins, which keeps them from getting tough. Set the dry ingredients aside.

In a 4-cup measure or small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, espresso powder, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients and the melted butter to the dry ingredients, stirring with a spatula until well combined. Don't overmix. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before turning out onto the rack to cool completely. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Note: Since I made these in a European silicon muffin mold, I had leftover batter, which I baked as minis. The minis baked for 10 minutes, and probably could have come out after 9 minutes.


Megan said...

I've never used silicone pans before - but listening to your "rant" makes perfect sense.

That said, I think I will make those cakes for tomorrow's breakfast - the kids will love them!

Steph said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed these! I don't like using silicone bakeware, not only because of the sticky, but because the texture of the cake feels rubbery vs if I used a regular baking tin. You should buy some nonstick muffin tins. I have the goldtouch from williams sonoma, which I think are overpriced, but they do a good job with even heat distribution. As long as you don't put your tins in the dishwasher and rinse them with warm water and the soft part of the sponge, the coating doesn't wear down as much. I don't usually have to grease if it is a butter based cake, but if it's oil based, I always have to grease.

Di said...

I've made these! My girls really liked them. And I snuck some white whole wheat flour into them (which you couldn't detect at all), so I felt a little better about us eating them for breakfast. =)

Anonymous said...

Your muffins look delicious. The only time I use my silicone muffin molds is when I have more batter than pan and I use the molds for the extra bonus muffins.

Amanda said...

Yeah I'm not impressed with the silicone muffin tins either, I stick with my metal pans. Your muffins look great!

On the library note, I always have a stack of cookbooks from the library. LOL My husband teases me about it all the time. :-p I usually just head over to that section and see what's there and grab what looks good. Sometimes I hit gold and end up buying a book, other times I find a few good recipes, and the rest of the time I return them without turning back. The library is a great way to sample before buying :)

Pamela said...

Well, now that I've read this post, I'm gonna scratch silicone muffin pans off of my wish list. I'll stick with paper liners! The muffins look so rich and yummy.

Tracey said...

Your muffins look incredibly rich and chocolaty! I could definitely eat these for breakfast :)

Sorry about your trouble with the silicone molds. I've never really used them but I would be super frustrated if I couldn't get my baked goods out of them.

Donna-FFW said...

These muffins sound increidbly delicious. Bet it could be used for breakfast or dessert. Id love 2 with my coffee right now however.

Joyce said...

I agree with you on the silicone baking molds. I think they are the worse thing but some people just adore them and I just do not get it:) I also like to check out the books at the library if possible before I buy them. Now it is so easy to find good recipes on line but there are some books I just have to own like Ina's.

Michele said...

Chocolate muffins! Lovely!