Double Chocolate Mini Muffins
This recipe is for everyone whose heart sinks when receiving yet another letter from the PTA requesting bakes for the school cake sale, but also feels a raging inner fury when reading the bit at the end where they chirp ‘home made or shop-bought is fine.’ Fine? It’s not fine! It’s not really in the spirit of a school bake sale, is it? I tend to make these little muffins and they are eternally popular. There isn’t a man, woman or child that won’t pass by these chocolate cuties – so you’ll never feel like your efforts are wasted. And trust me, it’s not really an effort – just slop the wet ingredients into the dry, mix for a bit (don’t overdo it) and spoon into mini muffin cases. I once spent a whole day baking for a Hallowe’en bake sale. I made beautiful Madagascan vanilla sugar cookies in the shape of pumpkins, bats etc – intricately iced and finished with more glitter and sparkle than an Abba video – and they were snubbed for some sliced-up Tesco chocolate flapjacks and fairy cakes studded with smarties. Lesson learnt. Kids don’t want fine piping skills and decorations sourced from Partridges in Sloane Square. They basically want chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. So bake these for next to nothing, drop them off – full of pride – and think no more about it.
Makes 24 mini muffins, or about 10 normal muffins. But if these are for a bake sale, remember everything is usually bagged up and sold for a flat price of 50p, so it makes sense to make the small ones and raise double the money for the PTA. Your call, champ.
You’ll need a mini-muffin tin (24 cavity) lined with mini paper cases.
125g plain flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
60g caster sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
45ml sunflower oil (or any neutral tasting oil)
100g chocolate chips (reserve a couple of tablespoons)
Make it Vegan! Muffin recipes are easily adapted and this is no exception. To be honest, this is the way I usually make these muffins now: Omit the egg and simply use a total of 160ml milk (your favourite non-dairy) combined with 2 tsp apple cider vinegar. Dark chocolate chips from Sainsbury’s are brilliant and dairy free.
Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6. Allow it to preheat for a bit before you start, as this recipe is very quick to make. Stir together the dry ingredients – the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, cocoa powder and salt, in a mixing bowl. In a separate jug, lightly whisk together the wet ingredients – the egg (if using), milk, and oil. Now pour the wet mix into the dry mix and lightly combine. Sprinkle in the chocolate chips (remember to reserve a tablespoon or two.) Use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape down the sides and fold everything together just until there are no ‘dry’ bits visible. Don’t worry about lumps – muffin batter is supposed to be pretty lumpy!
Use about a heaped teaspoon per muffin case. When everything looks about right, add a few extra chocolate chips to each case. This is just to make sure each muffin is guaranteed to have some chocolate inside. You don’t want pesky kids demanding refunds. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the tops spring back when gently pressed. They don’t need long at all, so don’t be tempted to overbake. Remove from the tin as soon as you’re able to handle them and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight tub when cold. Best eaten within 2 days.