A muffin, to me is a little bundle of home. A homey, sturdy little cake, usually studded with fruit, and absolutely at its apogee when still warm from the oven.
If I’m in need of the comfort that only baking can bring, I will more often than not turn to the muffin.
There’s that scene in the movie Julie & Julia where the Julie character talks about the comfort she finds in making chocolate pudding.
“You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure – and when I say nothing, I mean nothing – you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That’s such a comfort.”
Now, whilst I love Nora Ephron, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, I just could not get behind the movie. I know, controversial, but I kind of hated it. I’m hesitant to criticize, but I found so many of the characters in that movie to be basically insufferable.
That particular quote, however, is classic Nora Ephron and it resonates perfectly with me. Muffins are my chocolate pudding. One bowl, a wooden spoon, a banged-up old muffin pan, and about 20 minutes and you’ve got a house that smells like a home, and 12 little bundles of delicious comfort.
These are a particular favourite – they have a higher proportion of liquid to dry ingredients than most muffins, resulting in a richer, more moist crumb, which I think is perfect for their cocoa intensity. The raspberries add pleasing pockets of jammy tang, and a generous handful of chocolate chunks never hurt anyone.
These are a guaranteed win every time. Super easy, delicious and simple. I needed these. What’s your go-to comfort recipe?
- 2 cups (300g) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- big pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup (50g) cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 cup (225g) caster sugar
- 1 + ½ sticks (150g) butter, melted
- 1 cup (250ml) buttermilk (or milk soured with vinegar or lemon juice)
- 2 eggs
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped
- 100g raspberries, fresh or frozen
- Preheat the oven to 375F/180C and grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
- Place the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
- Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients, and add the butter, buttermilk and eggs.
- Stir until all the ingredients are combined and wet, do not over mix at this stage - less is more, and a few lumps don't hurt.
- Add the chopped chocolate, reserving a few pieces to sprinkle over, and the raspberries to the bowl, and stir them through.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin holes, and sprinkle over the reserved chocolate.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until they spring bake when pressed lightly.
- Leave to cool on a rack for a few minutes, but definitely don't miss your chance to eat these while they're still warm and the chocolate is oozing.