I Like Muffin Tops and I Cannot Lie

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

This weekend I was having coffee with my boyfriend, and there were these amazing looking muffins on the counter. I am the biggest sucker for those muffins that you find in stores, you know the ridiculously huge ones with the giant muffin top? My favourite thing about them is the crunchy top mixed with the delicious, soft interior. I could happily leave the rest of the muffin once I’ve eaten the top off it. So when I saw these muffins, the only thing that stopped me wanting to buy one was that we had breakfast reservations. I was so surprised that I was able to stop myself, but I managed…just.

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

As I was drinking my coffee, longingly gazing at these amazing muffins, I started thinking about baking muffins, which is my classic response to seeing baked goods I can’t eat. For some reason, every time I bake muffins, they never get that huge, delicious, crusty muffin top on them. They always bake quite flat, and just don’t have the same texture. No matter how hard I try I can’t seem to replicate that bakery muffin that I am obsessed with. So when I was sitting in that café I started looking it up to see if other people were having the same problem. It turns out that they are, and a lot of the articles I read said that it was impossible to replicate it because of the ovens they use in bakeries being so different to those we use at home. This made me quite upset, because it seemed that I wasn’t going to be able to make my own delicious bakery muffins.

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

In comes my boyfriend. I told him what I was thinking about, and in classic construction manager style, he went to problem solving. He said surely it would either be something to do with the ingredients, or the oven temperature. He said perhaps if you started on a higher oven temperature, and then reduced the heat, it would probably cause the muffins to rise. He also said he was more than happy for me to test the muffins on him, if I wanted to try it that afternoon. Such a selfless boyfriend he is!

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

So I looked up a few more articles and found out that my boyfriend was on the right track! A couple of articles had mixed solutions, either to do with the flour content in the muffins, or to do with the heat – turning the oven up higher at the start for a few minutes and then reducing the heat for the remainder of the cook. So I figured to be safe that I would try a recipe that had both in it – a high flour content and the different cooking temperatures.

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

The best part about my spot of Sunday afternoon baking was that I did it at my boyfriend’s house, which meant I got to use his mother’s Kitchen Aid! Oh, my life would be complete if I had one of these, they are so amazing! I was so excited to use it and it made the baking so much more fun! I’m sure the novelty would wear off, but for now this is my ultimate Kitchen goal! Maybe one day I will be lucky enough to own one, although I am concerned that if I did I would be baking something every single day (a problem? I’m not so sure).

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

This recipe was quite simple to make, and really versatile. I let my boyfriend choose the flavours for the muffin (I did have to reign him in a little), and he chose to go down the chocolate and berry road. I love a good chocolate and berry muffin, especially when it’s still warm and the chocolate goes all gooey! However, if this isn’t your taste, you could definitely substitute the chocolate or the berries for something else! As long as the base mix stays the same the muffins should have the same result.

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

The muffins ended up rising a whole heap, and had the crunchiest top I have ever made on a muffin! They were absolutely delicious, so much so that I had to have two! I think they were best served warm, but they still tasted delicious cold. I just love that gooey, warm, muffin goodness that you get when they are fresh out of the oven, so maybe try one straight away and then save the rest for later, if you can make it that long!

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

Adapted From Little Sweet Baker
Preparation Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 20 minutes
Serves 12 Muffins

Ingredients

·         2 and ½ cups of plain flour

·         1 tablespoon + 3 teaspoons of baking powder

·         ½ teaspoon of salt

·         ½ cup of unsalted butter, melted in the microwave and cooled

·         1 cup of caster sugar

·         2 large eggs

·         1 cup of milk (I used Zymil and this seemed to be fine)

·         1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

·         1 cup of chocolate chips (I used a mixture of white chocolate and dark chocolate to get different flavours into the muffins, but entirely up to you what you use)

·         ½ cup of frozen mixed berries

Method

1.      Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius (425 Fahrenheit) and line a 12-cup muffin tray with muffin liners.

2.      In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. Whisk to combine, and set aside.

3.      In a medium bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla until combined and light.

4.      In batches, slowly add in the dry ingredients to the mix, until the entire mixture is just combined. Once it has come together, fold in the frozen berries until they are evenly distributed.

5.      Divide the batter into the 12 muffin liners evenly.

6.      Bake in the oven for 5 minutes on 220 degrees Celsius, and then reduce the oven heat to 190 degrees Celsius (375 Fahrenheit). Cook the muffins for another 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean.

7.      Leave to cool for 5 minutes and serve warm. The remaining muffins will keep in a container for around 5 days.

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

And that’s really all there is to it. I told you it was a nice and easy recipe. And these muffins were amazing! I definitely recommend having at least one fresh out of the oven for full effect, because muffins are always best served warm! I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed by the delicious, crunchy top and gooey, chocolaty inside of these muffins. My boyfriend was certainly a happy taste tester, and I left him with the remaining muffins so he had treats for the rest of the week (if they lasted that long). He was lucky that I gave them up, I must have been feeling generous!

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

The muffins rose a lot more than muffins that I have made in the past, so it must have really helped having the two temperatures. I think the main thing about this recipe was that it produced muffins with that perfect crunchy top and soft, fluffy centre. They were pretty much just what I would expect from a bakery muffin, but a little smaller. I guess that means you are allowed to have two, or four! For such a simple, easy recipe, the results were absolutely delicious! I think this might become my new go to muffin recipe, because it is so easy to change up the flavour with whatever you have lying around. What combination would you try?

Chocolate and Berry Muffins

Until next time, happy baking!

Ella xx

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Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins

I think there might be something wrong with me.

Some people like to unwind in front of the TV with a glass of wine, or read a book, or take a bubble bath. I myself, as much as I enjoy all of the above, really find baking relaxing. Whenever I feel like unwinding, I think about what I should bake. There’s just something about mixing all these ingredients together and turning them into something wonderful and delicious. I think I might even like the process of baking more than actually eating the finished product (which works out well for those around me). Baking to me is my passion, my hobby and my therapy.

Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins

So this week I felt like baking something all week, but I just kept running out of time. I was working, exercising, catching up with friends, and you can hardly put your life on hold just because you want to bake, can you? I wish! So I finally found some time to bake, and then it was just about finding the perfect recipe to try.

Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins

For some reason, I had a real urge to bake muffins. I haven’t made them in such a long time, and I’m not sure why, because they are so delicious. My favourite are gooey in the middle, more filling than muffin, and of course they have to have a crunchy muffin top. Muffin top is totally acceptable in my books.

Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins

I had a recipe for dairy free blueberry muffins on my Pinterest that looked really delicious, but I realised when I went to make them that the only milk I had was cows milk. So I figured, what’s the harm in adding in some chocolate if I’m going to make them with dairy. Because chocolate makes just about everything 10 times better, and muffins with chocolate in them are just about the best type of muffin.

I feel a little guilty as the website I got the recipe off is a dairy free website, but it just looked like such a good recipe. And where’s the fun in exactly copying a recipe, when you can change it up and try something new? I guess I won’t know which one would taste better, but I like to think of this as my spin on it. Hopefully you like it!

Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins

Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins

Adapted From Go Dairy Free
Serves 12 muffins
Preparation Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

·         1 and ½ cups of plain flour

·         1 tablespoon of baking powder

·         ¼ teaspoon of salt

·         ¼ cup of brown sugar, firmly packed

·         ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar, divided

·         2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

·         ¾ cup of milk

·         2 large eggs

·         2 and a half tablespoons of melted coconut oil, or canola oil

·         1 cup of blueberries (preferably fresh)

·         1 cup of chocolate pieces, roughly chopped

·         ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Method

1.      Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners

2.      Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

3.      In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, ¼ cup of caster sugar, lemon or vinegar, milk, eggs and oil. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.

4.      Add the wet mixture into the flour mixture and whisk to combine. Mix to ensure that there are no lumps, but avoid over mixing.

5.      Fold in the blueberries and chocolate to the mix.

6.      Divide the batter between the cupcake pans, ensuring each has an even amount of blueberries and chocolate.

7.      Combine the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the cinnamon in a small dish. Sprinkle each muffin with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

8.      Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until brown on the top and cracked.

9.      Allow the muffins to cool on a wrack, and serve warm with butter, or on their own.

The muffins themselves ended up beautiful and gooey, full of blueberries and melty chocolate, and so crunchy on the top. The sugary top really added a nice crust to the top of the muffins, which I think really took them up a notch! Plus, they were really easy to make, you only need two bowls and didn’t even need an electric mixer! It’s a perfect recipe for a late night baking expedition, and then you will have delicious muffins for your breakfast in the morning! These muffins are delicious warm because the chocolate and blueberries are all gooey and delicious, so I would highly suggest doing this for maximum enjoyment!

Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins

When I think about it, these muffins aren’t that bad for you. They have no butter, use coconut oil and you could substitute the milk for a non-dairy alternative and remove the chocolate chips if you wanted to. They are also pretty low in sugar. So you don’t need to feel that guilty about making these and eating one, or five.

Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins

These went down a treat at work, everyone really needed a Friday pick me up and these made for a delicious one. Perfect for a morning tea snack, or time or occasion really. We don’t discriminate when it comes to muffins!

What do you think? Would you give these a go to unwind, or perhaps for a spot of procrasti-baking? Is anyone else weird like me and enjoys baking to de-stress? I’d love to know if I’m not the only one!

Until next time, happy baking!

Ella xx

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