Despite my earlier hesitancy towards Nigella’s chocolate muffins, I went ahead and baked a batch this morning. While I worried that the 2 tablespoons of cocoa seemed paltry and the lack of butter meant lack of flavor, the straightforwardness of the recipe doubled with the fact that I had exactly two tablespoons of Ghirardelli cocoa left and 1 cup of semi-sweet chips motivated me to try the recipe. That, plus I was completely out of butter and the “all-oil” component was a plus. I also confess that the reviews on FoodTV left me no choice but to form my own opinion. Overall, the reviews were pretty good, but one person gave the recipe one star and brought down the overall rating.
Results. Nigella’s muffins are great. They’re handsome and definitely have enough chocolate if you use the full cup of chips she suggests. While the background is not as forcefully chocolaty as the King Arthur muffins, that might be more desirable when you’re looking for a light breakfast or snack. The KA muffins were decidedly more dessert-like than these. Oh, and these were sweet enough, which is contrary to what a few reviewers on FoodTV said.
The only changes I made to Nigella’s muffins were to nix the paper liners, use flour-added Pam cooking spray and add a generous pinch (somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4) teaspoon of fleur de sel. Since one reviewer perceived “lack of dimension” and since there is no salted butter in the recipe, I figured the salt could only enhance….and I think it did.
UPDATE: This has become one of my favorite chocolate muffin recipes!
Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (gently spoon and sweep — don’t scoop)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt or fleur de sel
2 tablespoons best quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup superfine sugar (comes in a canister)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 cup milk, room temperature
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 12 muffin cups with flour-added Pam.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, sugar, and 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips into a large bowl. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a measuring cup. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, remembering that a lumpy batter makes the best muffins. Spoon into sprayed muffin tins. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top and then bake for 20 minutes.