The baker (or chocolate lover?) in me has always found store-bought, or even bakery-bought muffins to be a disappointment (not enough chocolate, usually dry). So I decided I’d make my own. I wanted something of a hybrid of lot’s of chocolate but without totally sacrificing some nutrition (because I knew my 2 yo was going to be all over these in the early am, hehe).
I use olive oil instead of butter to keep the fat light, and sometimes I’ll sub in some oat flour instead of AP. I lean into the chocolate and swirl some chocolate hazelnut spread on top. The result is truly wonderful and, after eating one we did not feel that usual dessert heaviness, which make these a great brekkie or tea companion.
All-Purpose Flour: You can swap oat flour or white whole wheat to make these more nutritious. The muffin will be just a tad dryer.
Chocolate Chunks: You will very very rarely hear me say this but I recommend chocolate chips for the recipe. Normally I’d say cut up a good chocolate bar but the added wax to the chips keeps their shape and so when you are eating the soft muffin, you know a chip when you find it. Use a good brand though! I love Guittard’s Dark and Nestle’s Artisan Brand.
Cocoa: dutch-process as it gives a deeper look and taste to the muffins. I don’t recommend subbing with natural cocoa which is more acidic because there is no baking soda in the recipe for it to interact with.
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread: Nutella is ‘fine’ but this is tastes so much better!
Keffir: If you aren’t familiar with it, keffir is a fermented milk and in taste and texture is similar to a drinkable yogurt. It’s a lot like buttermilk but is often thicker, smoother. You can sub keffir with a thinned out greek yogurt.
For this recipe, we want to have all our ingredients laid out before we start beating because once we do, things will move pretty quickly.
Start by combining the sugar and eggs together – don’t leave eggs cracked on top of or under the sugar without immediately mixing them as the sugar can ‘cook’ the eggs (you’ll see them start to solidify). As soon as they’re both in the bowl, start mixing right away.
The mix will start out dark but as you beat it it will get lighter in color, airy and creamy looking.
With the mixer on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Then beat until you have a very light mixture
If the cocoa or flour is lumpy, sift it in. Add the leavening ingredients as well
Once the dry ingredients are partially mixed in, slowly pour in the kefir then mix to just combine
Add the chocolate hcips, if using, and stir.
You have the option to chill the batter for a few hours or overnight (this helps the domes rise higher) but you can also proceed to baking straight-away. When you do, line every other muffin tin with batter
If you are using the ‘nutella’ chocolate hazelnut topping, add a dollop to the top then swirl it into the batter with a toothpick
Bake until a cake tester comes out clean – you can also press the tops (avoid where the nutella is or it will burn you!) and if they spring back they’re done.
Store them in an airtight container, they’ll last a few days.
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