I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, I’d rather be happy and feel good with myself and change what needs to be changed when I’m ready to give it a go – which is not necessarily at the beginning of a new year, especially if it involves changes to my (sweet) diet. During winter, my body loves to keep a few more pounds on my hips, it’s cold out there so it does so for a good reason. And anyway, I wear large wool sweaters most of the time, it’s not summer yet and there’s no bikini or walks on long beaches in sight. So I accept my pounds, I’ll even feed them well, and enjoy what makes this time of the year so special: getting cozy on the sofa, sipping tea or hot chocolate and nibbling on some cake or dark, chocolaty muffins. The cookie cutters get a break and my cake tins and muffin trays are back on the counter tops. Happy New Year!
To add even more richness to my spongy muffins made with melted bittersweet chocolate and butter – no vegetable oil and cocoa powder for me – I fill them with dollops of creamy peanut butter. The nutty golden filling is almost liquid when the muffins are fresh out of the oven and still warm inside. I got hooked on the combination of dark chocolate and peanut butter when I made my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies in autumn, I knew it would come back sooner or later.
If you’re up for another kind of muffin treat, try one of these:
Fig, Ricotta, and Olive Oil Muffins (if you can’t find fresh figs you can replace them with chopped dried dates)
Bittersweet Chocolate Muffins filled with Peanut Butter
Makes 12 muffins
plain flour 200 g / 1 1/2 cups
baking powder 2 1/2 teaspoons
baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
a pinch of salt
butter 150 g / 2/3 cup
bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces, 100 g / 3 1/2 ounces
granulated sugar 150 g / 3/4 cup
organic eggs 3
peanut butter, about 135 g / 1/2 cup
icing sugar, to dust the muffins (optional)
Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F (preferably convection setting) and line the 12 molds of a muffin tray with paper baking cups.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Take the pan off the heat and whisk the chocolate into the melted butter until combined. Add the granulated sugar and eggs and whisk until well combined.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a lumpy dough, with a bit of flour left here and there. Keep in mind, the more you mix it, the more it will lose its light texture. Drop 1 heaped tablespoon of the dough into each muffin cup and add 1 heaped teaspoon of the peanut butter on top. Cover each dollop of peanut butter with the remaining dough, then flatten it lightly with a tablespoon. Bake for about 20-22 minutes (slightly longer using conventional) or until the muffins are firm and spongy on top. Let them cool for 1 minute before you take the muffins out of the tray, sprinkle the tops with icing sugar (optional) and enjoy, preferably warm.
You can keep the muffins in an airtight container for a few days but I find them best on the first day.