Saturday, March 31

Chocolate and nut muffins


Typically I like my muffins light and fluffy with a crispy top, but there are times when I crave something dense and packed with delicious. Something that feels wicked in a way a light muffin never could. I think for those times I found the perfect recipe.

The recipe for these muffins was originally meant for a loaf tin, but mid-way through making I realised I didn't actually own a loaf tin. I know most people check these things before they start a recipe but, hey, I thought I owned one and the recipe calls for 10 minutes of beating so I figured I could grease and line the pan then.

Not owning a loaf pan didn't strike me as a big deal, I figured I could just make muffins instead... Then I realised I don't own a muffin pan either. Seriously, what kind of kitchen do I have? Fortunately, I do own a lot of dariole tins so I figured they would do, unfortunately they don't fit any of my cute muffin papers. Muffins without cute papers wrapping their bases taste the same but they're nowhere near as cute. So I vowed to buy a muffin tin, which I haven't done yet and probably won't do.


Not one to be deterred by a lack of appropriate equipment I decided to pucker on and boy was it worth it. These are chocolate and nut central. Yum yum.

If you do own the right equipment you can of course make this in a load pan. According to the recipe you'll need a 22cm x 12 cm (9" x 5") loaf pan and you'll need to bake the load for 60-70 minutes rather than 30-40.

Chocolate and nut muffins

  • 210g (1 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 130 (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 140g (5 ounces) almond paste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 65g (1/3 cup) almonds, blanched and chopped
  • 70g (1/3 cup) pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 55g (1/3 cup) walnuts, chopped
  • 85g (3 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks
  • 185g (6 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Centre an oven rack and preheat the oven to 180°C (250°F). Grease or line 12 standard muffin cups.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.

Put the sugar and almond paste in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the almond paste breaks up and mixes with the sugar; it would resemble damp sand. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 2 minutes after each addition.

Replace the paddle attachment the paddle with the whisk attachment, increase the speed to high, and beat for 8-10 minutes, until the ingredients have formed an emulsion - the batter should resemble mayonnaise and the whisk will leave tracks.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the milk, mix until combine, and then add the dry ingredients. Continue mixing until everything is combined.

Working with a rubber spatula, fold in almonds, followed by the pecans, walnuts, and chocolate. Lastly, gently fold in the melted butter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven and let the cakes cool in the tin for 10 minutes before unmolding. Remove the muffins from the tins and cool to room temperature. The muffins can be served the same day, or wrapped in plastic wrap and allowed to 'ripen' for a day before serving.