Recipe video above. Chocolate muffins that truly taste of chocolate and stay fresh for days are a rarity! This recipe delivers, thanks to some tidy tricks including hot milk to bloom the cocoa, and a little coffee to enhance the chocolate flavour (you won't taste the coffee). Using brown sugar, oil, sour cream and less egg meanwhile is the secret to keeping the crumb ultra-moist and tender!
Preheat oven to 210°C / 410°F (190°C fan). Place shelf in the top 1/3 of the oven. Line a 12-hole standard muffin tin with paper cases.
Sift Dry ingredients: Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
Bloom cocoa: In a separate bowl, sift the cocoa then add coffee and HOT milk. Whisk until lump-free.
Add remaining Wet ingredients: To the cocoa mixture, add sugar, oil, egg, sour cream and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
Mix flour in: Pour Wet mix into the bowl holding the flour. Whisk until smooth and glossy. Stop once it's smooth, don't mix excessively. (Note 7)
Add chocolate chips: Stir in most of the chocolate chips - reserve approx 1/4 cup for topping.
Fill muffin tin: Divide the batter between the 12 holes, up to 0.5cm / 0.2" from rim of paper liner. (Note 8)
Top with chocolate chips: Top muffins with reserved chocolate chips (just pile in middle, they spread when baked).
Bake at high temp, 5 minutes: Bake for 5 minutes in preheated oven. The higher temp kick will start the rise.
Lower oven, 20 minutes: Turn oven DOWN to 190°C / 375°F (170°C fan). Bake a further 20 minutes, checking at 15 minutes. When toothpick comes out clean they're ready. Don't confuse melted chocolate with raw batter!
EAT! Rest in muffin tin for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before devouring!
1. Self-raising flour can be used instead. If using, skip the baking soda.2. Baking soda (bi-carb) gives the muffins a slightly better rise and makes the muffins a deeper chocolate colour (it's a food science thing!). However, baking powder works perfectly fine - use 4 teaspoons.3. Dutch process cocoa powder gives baked goods a more intense chocolate flavour and deep brown colour, pictured. Ordinary cocoa will work fine but expect a slightly paler colour and slightly less pronounced chocolate flavour.4. Instant coffee granules - This age-old baking trick enhances chocolate flavour! Once baked, you can't taste the coffee. It really works. Any old instant coffee granules fine here, no need to get premium (I use Moccona, a common Aussie brand).5. Brown rather than white sugar - Keeps the crumb more moist. White sugar works just fine and makes the surface slightly crisper (which is appealing!) but the muffin doesn't stay as fresh for as long.6. Fridge-cold ingredients are ok! Usually my recipes insist on room temperature eggs and other fridge ingredients as they incorporate more easily into batters. In this recipe, fridge-cold is fine! Why? The batter is thinner so you need to whisk vigorously to incorporate anyway. But if you only have a room-temp egg, that's fine too!7. Over-mixing = Bad - As with all flour based cake and muffin batters, mix only as much as needed. The less you mix, the more tender your cake crumb will be. (Over-mixing by a lot → gluten in flour overworked → tougher crumb).8. Don't overfill the muffin case higher than 0.5cm / 0.2" from rim because it will overflow rather than rising to a nice dome. This is because the batter is thinner than typical muffin batter (a reason why the muffin crumb is so moist).9. Storage - All muffins are at their absolute prime freshly made, and these are no exception. However, the big difference here is that these are still moist and fresh for 3 days afterwards, even without warming them up! Once cool, store in an airtight container in the pantry. Beyond day 3, a 10 second microwave will resurrect them to warm, fresh perfection. Or freeze for up to 3 months.