I was in the mood for something sweet after dinner tonight, but not sickly sweet, definitely chocolate but dark and sophisticated. I came up with these 'grown-up' muffins, grown up as in more for adults than regular muffins that easily please masses of children. I am the first to admit that I love everyday chocolate muffins but for a little luxury this recipe really hits the spot.
I combined two cake making method to make these muffins, the usual muffins method of wet ingrediants into dry, and the chocolate brownie 'melting' method. I melted very dark, good quality chocolate into butter and stirred in sweet chestnut puree, after cooling slightly I stirred in beaten eggs and a little sugar, then folded in flour and very good quality cocoa, to give the muffins a little depth of colour. As a extra special treat I poured in a glug of Tia Maria, I recently fell in love with Tia Maria and am now finding uses for it all over the shop.
Chocolate chestnut muffins:
100g best quality dark chocolate
250g tin of vanilla sweetened chestnut puree
2 eggs, beaten
75g caster sugar
125g self raising flour
25g good quality cocoa
a glug of Tia Maria
Preheat the oven to 180c.
In a large heavy bottomed pan melt together the chocolate and butter, remove from the heat and stir in chestnut puree.
Cool slightly and stir in eggs and caster sugar.
Sift together the flour and cocoa and fold into the chocolate chestnut mixture, spoon into muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes.
Now, I did say that this recipe was intended for grown-ups, however my two children loved these and polished off two each before I hid the remaining muffins. They are very light, but a little goes a long way, they are very intensively chocolatey. I do think they would be very good as 'pudding' with coffee, or Tia Maria, after dinner with friends. The first thing that hits you is the chocolate, they are extremely chocolatey, and you can really taste it, I can't stand chocolate muffins that are just brown cakes with no hint of chocolate to the flavour.
Then the chestnut hits you, chocolate and chestnut, a great combination.
The liquor really gives a adult kick, it doesn't alter the flavour of the cakes, just adds a little depth to it.
Do give this recipe a try, and don't be put off by using chestnuts before Christmas, this is how I came to use the chestnut puree tonight, it had been sitting around in my cupboard since last Christmas as it didn't feel 'right' to use it any other time.
I recently heard of baby born born in the height if summer, who had been named Holly.
"you can't call a summer baby Holly" I declared, and so had a number of other people, as babies Grandad was very determined when he said, "It's not just a Christmas name!" So on that reasoning I decided if Holly wasn't just for Christmas then neither are chestnuts. Although these would be very good to leave out for Santa.....