Thursday, 3 December 2009
Dan Lepard is an award-winning baker and he publishes many recipe through his Guardian column "How to Bake." I regularly trawl through the archived recipes and bookmark those that look delicious (most of them) and easy to recreate at home. I have had this recipe for chocolate custard muffins bookmarked for ages and, in a desperate need for a chocolate fix, decided to make them to share with my family one evening.
The muffins were delicious and decadent. They had a wonderfully rich chocolate flavour thanks to the cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate. When served warm these were moist and sweet and when cold were still tasty and soft.
The recipe is really rather simple. A warm chocolate custard thickened with cornflour is made in a saucepan and the flour is added to the mix. The batter is then baked and comes out amazingly moist but still light. Dan boasts that this is "the best chocolate muffin you'll ever eat!" and I must say that I'm inclined to agree.
The original recipe is posted here along with links to the whole series. I've reprinted it here for ease of use.
3 level tbsp cocoa
100g dark soft brown sugar
225ml cold water
75g unsalted butter, cubed
125g dark chocolate, broken small
75ml sunflower oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
125g caster sugar
125g plain flour
2½ tsp baking powder
First make the custard: put the cornflour, cocoa, brown sugar and water into a saucepan and whisk together over a medium heat until boiling, very thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, beat in the butter and chocolate until melted and absorbed, then add the oil, vanilla and one of the eggs, and beat again until combined. Add the remaining egg and the caster sugar, and beat again until smooth and thick.
Measure the flour and baking powder into a bowl, stir together, then sift directly on to the custard and beat through until combined. Spoon into a dozen paper muffin cases sitting in the pockets of a muffin tray; heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and bake for 25 minutes.