Today was a day of major sidetracking. Yes, yes, the sidetrack thing I get myself into. Can't help it! The brain wanders. The brain does what it wants to do.
I start editing the photos for this post and then started skyping a friend in Singapore.
I resume photo editing for a few minutes before a tweet caught my attention, which eventuated in me blog-surfing and finding two new blogs to follow!
Photo editing again...then suddenly remembering that just the other day I was googling Carmina Burana's O'Fortuna on youtube. So got wrapped up on O'Fortuna for a while, blasting it on my laptop. I SO want to sing this one day. Who knows, eh? Weirder things have happened in this world let me tell you!
Guess what I did next? Ah-ha. But...and yes, there is a but here. It didn't last very long. New Zealand's Next Top Model came on and it was all over rover - for about an hour.
But now I'm back. With no side tracks. (she says with gritted teeth and determination)
So this morning started early-ish for me. Well, early for baking that is. See, I normally bake in the afternoon or evening/night. But I had a friend come over for a late morning visit and to swap books. She and I used to be in the same book club. Yeah. I'm a bit of a nerd like that.
I didn't really know what I'd be making/baking until the morning. I did know however that it had to be chocolate though. I don't get to bake much chocolate-based stuff 'cos I'm the only one here with a sweet tooth. But since I had a girl-friend visiting, and which girl doesn't like chocolate right?
So I made these.
I've had an Allyson Gofton double chocolate fudge muffins recipe for quite some time now, but have never got round to making some. I'm not a huge fan of fudge and I wanted to bake something with chocolate and coffee. Coffee is the perfect partner with chocolate and makes it well, even richer and more chocolatey. So I used it as a base recipe and made a few bits of changes here and there.
I added espresso coffee, more good chocolatey stuff, and then in an attempt to make it a bit healthier (yeah, go figure right?), I sub'd some of the flour for wholemeal flour and used organic raw sugar (and less of it) in place of white granulated sugar.
Voila! Triple Chocolate Espresso Muffins. They were rather be-au-tiful, if I may say so myself!
Indulgently luscious and rich chocolate muffins speckled with melting dark chocolate bits.
Best way to eat these: warmed ever so slightly, then dust with some icing sugar...and enjoy with copious amounts of hot sweet black coffee.
Make these on a grey, cold and wet day (like it was today) and share it with your BFFs. Or just keep them all for yourself. They're that good - I think so anyway!
Ooo...and tomorrow, I'll be catching up with some Wellington foodie bloggers and a visiting Auckland blogger. I've never met these girls except online, so I'm terribly excited about meeting these new friends.
And to keep the weekend excitement going, I'm going to test out a recipe for lamb shanks. The recipe comes from one of my favourite bloggers - Whole Larder Love. You should check his blog out - gorgeous, gorgeous photos of his food, family and friends. The man is not just a photographer (by trade), but also hunts, gathers and fishes. All he needs now is a ring that emits a eerie green light to complete it all... :)
Triple Chocolate Espresso Muffins
Adapted from Allyson Gofton's Double Chocolate Fudge Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (the best quality you can afford)
3/4 cup organic raw sugar (white or light brown castor sugar is fine)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips/drops
1 cup instant espresso coffee, cooled (make it strong)
100g butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup cream
3/4 cup chocolate yoghurt, thick gourmet type if you can afford it (plain is fine if you can't get chocolate, but it won't be a triple chocolate espresso muffin if you don't)
- Preheat oven to 220C / 425F. Prepare muffin trays by lining with muffin/cupcake paper cups.
- Sift all the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips/drops, into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
- In a separate bowl or jug, mix together all the wet ingredients, except the melted butter.
- Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and fold in the butter and chocolate chips/drops. Mix quickly and with a light hand until the dry ingredients are just wet - mixture will be lumpy, which is fine. Over mixing will produce heavy muffins.
- 3/4 fill each muffin paper cup with the mixture. These muffins will rise a fair bit, so don't be tempted to fill the cups to the brim, unless you like those huge overflow 'texan' style muffins.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until well risen and cooked. Test with a skewer after 15 mins - you don't want overcooked dry muffins!
- Leave to cool in the muffin trays for about 5 mins before removing them to cool further on a rack. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy.
- If you're eating these muffins a little later, heat them up ever so lightly (I just zap mine in the microwave for 10-20 secs). These muffins are best eaten warm.