Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Muffins

Yum

Finally! An actual recipe post! Enjoy x

Before I left for London I wanted to squeeze in some baking as I knew I wouldn't have time when I got back and as I was going to be spending 7 hours trapped on a megabus coach I knew I would need some form of baked treat to cheer me up and keep me going.

I decided to go with muffins as I figured cupcakes with frosting wouldn't travel well and also I had some fresh cranberries that needed using up.
I had never baked with fresh cranberries before and I was worried they might be bitter or too tart. After seeking advice on twitter I decided to cook them up in a little sugar before adding them to the muffin mix, here is the recipe;

Adapted from the Mixed Berry Muffins from Humingbird's Cake Days.


Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Muffins
Ingredients
300g plain flour
155g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb
1/4 tsp salt
250ml whole milk
2 large eggs
half a sachet of vanilla paste
85g melted butter

a punnet of fresh cranberries (could use dried)
2 tbsp red wine
30g caster sugar
cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves (pinch of each)
150g chopped dark chocolate

This recipe is incredibly simple, you start of by sifting together all of the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, bicarb, baking powder). As I now have my lovely Kitchenaid I put all the dry ingredients in the metal bowl and fitted the paddle attachment.

Mix together all of the wet ingredients in a jug or bowl (eggs, milk, vanilla paste)

On a low setting I slowly added the wet to the dry and turned up to medium until smooth.

Once smooth I then stirred in the melted butter (I am really not sure why the butter is added at the end or why it has to be melted? Any experts out there want to explain?)

I cooked up my cranberries with some red wine, sugar and spices for a few minutes, not too long as I wanted the cranberries to keep their shape.

I folded the cranberry jammy mixture and chocolate into the batter by hand, I didn't want to pink liquid to incorporate fully as I wanted jammy deposits studded throughout the muffins.

I cooked at 180C for around 35 minutes until the tops had domed and were golden and a skewer came out clean (except for a bit of jam/chocolate)


These muffins were absolutely delicious! The alight alcohol kick to the cranberries really came through and added an extra depth. The added spices tasted like Christmas and resonated warmth, these would make an amazing Christmas treat; in fact when I first tasted them I immediately started planning mulled wine muffins for next year!
The muffins didn't rise as I imagined they would, next time I would fill the muffin cases a little more to get that signature muffin top.

I am definitely falling in love with the humble muffin though, I have a stash of blueberries and some bananas ripening ready to whip into something scrummy!

What are your favourite muffin recipes? How do you make them more healthy?

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