If you read the story behind the Chicken Waldorf sandwiches, you will know that these scrumptious muffins were also enjoyed during my day with the injured Marissa. As my co-stylist and photographer for this shoot, it was her bright idea to roll out the red carpet for these chocolate beauties. Marissa, being the perfectionist pro that she is, thought I should also incorporate some special effects, which involved holding the sieve over the muffins and trying to slowly dust the muffin tops with icing sugar with the shadow of the sieve just visible in the photograph. Muy technicale! It perhaps could have worked for a chocolate muffin video clip, but for still photography it was a little tricky and with my demanding artiste of a colleague on one leg mit crutches, it was also a logistical nightmare! Thankfully, the muffins stepped up to the challenge of having to perform for this complex shoot, knowing how to skilfully make love to the camera whilst showing us their preferred angles. Sadly for the muffins their short life was over immediately after the shoot.
200 g dark chocolate
150 g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (200 g) chocolate chips
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C pour moi and my excitable oven) and grease a 24-hole muffin tray.
Break the chocolate block into small pieces and place these and the butter into a medium-sized saucepan. Over a low heat, melt the chocolate and butter, continually stirring so that the mixture doesn’t burn. Once the chocolate and butter have completely melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.
Add the sugar to the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk for roughly 20 seconds to ensure these are well-combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Slowly pour in the milk and continue to whisk until it is incorporated into the chocolate mix. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. I like to use milk chocolate chips rather than dark for this recipe to cater to the chocolate-loving masses.
Spoon the mixture into each muffin hole and bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins have risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven as soon as the muffins are cooked so as not to overcook them. Gently lift the lovely muffins out and place them onto a wire rack to cool. Be sure to give them your own red-carpet treatment by dusting them with a little icing sugar, then you can mercilessly devour them.