I’ve spent the last week away on a relaxing holiday, after a summer of dashing here, there and everywhere, every weekend; which, don’t get me wrong, was lovely. I got to see so many places and spend quality time with loved ones. All summer though, I’ve been counting down to spending a couple of days at Disney Paris with treasured friends, followed by a week in Scotland with James and his lovely family. I spent my birthday in Scotland (the day of the independence vote results!) and it couldn’t have been lovelier. I was completely spoilt. All that being said, this left little time for cooking new recipes and blogging. Fear not though, this week has a few new savoury dishes on the cards, followed by a belated birthday tea party this weekend; featuring my new, beautiful cake tin and many other sweet things.
These muffins are simple, quick and easy and inspired by James’ brother; not because he is any of those things but because when asked what he wanted me to bake, he replied with “chocolate chip muffins that have a melty bit in the middle”. Forgive me, if you will, for cheating and opting for ganache in the middle, as opposed to a complicated bake involving gooey middled choc chip muffins, I was on holiday and wanted something simple to bake.
It also doesn’t help, blogging wise, that I’ve had two baking disasters in the last few weeks. Hindering my already minial posts this summer. I made whoopie pies where the filling wouldn’t set and a lemon, rhubarb ricotta cake that after two hours in the oven, STILL haven’t cooked as I’d liked. I called it a pudding instead and it tasted quite nice, but it was nothing like the recipe said it should be. Ah well, these things happen.
The good news is that autumn is upon us, don’t get my wrong, I LOVE sunshine and summer but I really love cinnamon, pumpkins and layering my clothes. Autumn brings Halloween, a fantastic themed baking opportunity and just around the corner is Christmas. Don’t even get me started on Christmas baking, that is many new posts to come. I will say though, that I bought a GORGEOUS Christmas cook book from the work book club, it was worth buying for the cookies section alone but the whole book is beautiful.
The recipe for these muffins is my go to vanilla cup cake recipe with chocolate chips added in, plus a ganache filling in the middle. We scored a bargain in Hotel Chocolat whilst in Scotland; my favourite box was half price, as were their milk chocolate chips! I put some in these muffins.
Muffins: (Makes 18 muffins)
- 250 g of butter, at room temperature
- 1.75 cups of caster sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1 heaped tsp of vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract and the seeds of half a vanilla pod)
- 2.75 cups of self raising flour
- 0.5 tsp of salt
- 0.5 cup of milk chocolate chips/chunks
- 100 g of milk or dark chocolate ( I much prefer dark but used milk here, it made it much harder work though)
- 100-150 g of double cream, up to you for consistency
- Icing sugar until you get the right consistency for you, I purposefully made the ganache runny as I wanted it to ooze out of the cake when bitten into. Messy but much more fun!
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two muffins trays with paper cases (18 in total).
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (with an electric whisk).
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat well, until well combined, for each addition.
- Add the salt and vanilla to the mixture and then alternate the milk and flour, beating well after each addition. Do this until all the flour and milk has been added (3-4 times).
- Using a spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure all the flour is combined and the mixture has no lumps.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for around 25 mins but be sure to check after 20 mins. The cakes are done when a skewer inserted into the centre of one comes out clean. The cases will appear quite full but you want them to rise up above the cases, so that you can cut out the tops/middle to fill with ganache.
- Leave the cupcakes in the tin for 5 mins to cool slightly and then transfer to a cooling rack. Leave to cool completely.
- Whilst the cupcakes are cooling, make the ganache.
- In a glass bowl, microwave the chocolate (broken into chunks), stirring every 30 s until melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.
- Stir in the cream. You may want to use an electric whisk if using milk chocolate, the higher fat content made the chocolate separate in the bowl.
- Once well combined, you should have a runny mixture; add icing sugar until you get the consistency you want. Alternatively, use less cream and add no icing sugar, my preferred option. The filling is a bit of a trial and error for personal preferrence, find the ratio of ingredients that suits you.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, cut a cone shaped chunk out of the top of each muffin (the point of the cone pointing to the floor). Chop the point off of each cone (to allow more room for filling).
- Fill the holes in the muffins with ganache (I found piping it in easiest) and then put the muffin tops back on.
- Serve and enjoy!