Tall, dark and delicious (as opposed to handsome) is the best way to describe these dark chocolate muffins, although indulgent and rich are suitable descriptors, as well. These Dark Chocolate Muffins are the perfect food to complement your latte during your morning coffee break – assuming that you’re a fan of chocolate and aren’t overly concerned with having something a bit dessert-like before lunch.
Good quality dark chocolate gives the muffins a depth of chocolate flavor that you can’t quite get with, say, milk chocolate. It also keeps the muffins from being overly sweet and cupcake-like (because when you want a sweet and chocolaty, you might as well just eat a cupcake). They are relatively hearty, which means that you can top them with butter, raspberry jam, cream cheese or clotted cream. Since they’re not too sweet to begin with, there is no need to use the darkest chocolate you can find for this recipe. I used 72% Callebaut, but any good quality dark chocolate (65-80% cacao is probably ideal) will work and will infuse that bittersweet chocolate flavor. Feel free to substitute semisweet chocolate for dark if you prefer something a touch sweeter, or if it’s simply what you have on hand.
The batter for the muffins comes together quickly, as the butter and chocolate and melted together and stirred in to the rest of the ingredients, no creaming necessary. When baked, the resulting muffins are tender and moist with a heavy hit of chocolate; they’re loaded with chocolate chunks (or chips) in addition to the melted chocolate in the batter. Be sure to check them with a toothpick for doneness when the baking time is just about up because these muffins can overbake easily and can become slightly dry because of the low sugar content.
Dark Chocolate Muffins
5 oz-dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chunks, dark or semisweet
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together the butter and chopped dark chocolate. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring frequently until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Whisk until almost smooth. Stir in melted chocolate mixture, making sure the batter is smooth and the chocolate is evenly incorporated, followed by chocolate chips.
Bake for about 16-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool muffins on a wire rack before serving. May be served at room temperature or slightly warmed. Store in an airtight container if not eating right away.