Rich and airy chocolate muffins. This Dairy-free, Gluten-free and Paleo recipe is made with cacao powder, dark chocolate, hazelnut butter and honey.
In a previous post, I gave a basic muffin recipe, which turns out beautifully light muffins by using cashew nut butter as a flour substitute. Cashew butter is mild-tasting, so imparts very little flavour into the finished product. This recipe uses Hazelnut butter, which has a stronger flavour and a denser texture. This makes it ideal for making rich chocolate muffins.
Chocolate bakes made with cacao powder have a lighter crumb and a more intense flavour than those made with melted chocolate. This is because cacao powder is comprised almost entirely of cacao solids, whereas chocolate is diluted with cacao butter. Chocolate bakes made with melted chocolate have a fudgy texture and a richer mouth-feel. So this recipe gives you the best of both worlds by, combining cacao powder and melted chocolate.
Tips & Tricks
- Use chocolate that is 70% cocoa solids – chocolate with a lower proportion will contain more cacao butter and sugar, which will result in a greasy texture
- Allow the melted chocolate to cool before adding – otherwise the heat will cook the eggs, curdling them into scrambled eggs
- 50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
- 1 cup (170g) hazelnut butter
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cocao powder
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and set over a pan of simmering water. Do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water, or any steam to come into contact with the chocolate, as this will cause the chocolate to seize into a grainy lump (so use a bowl that has a wider diameter than the pan). Once completely melted, set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Put the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk with an electric whisk for 1-2 minutes, until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, measure the wet ingredients (egg yolks, hazelnut butter, water, lemon juice and honey) and mix until blended using an electric whisk.
- Add the melted chocolate and the dry ingredients (baking soda, salt and cocao powder) to the wet ingredients, and mix until blended using an electric whisk.
- Lighten the mixture by stirring in one-third of the whisked egg whites. Tip in the rest of the egg whites and gently fold in using a spatula: cut down the centre with the side edge of the spatula; scrape across the bottom of the bowl and up the side, scooping up the mixture as you go so that it is turned over and under; rotate the bowl 90° and repeat until fully blended. Be careful not to overwork the mixture and knock out the air, but make sure the bitter egg white is fully blended.
- Pour the batter into silicon muffin moulds, nearly to the top of each mould, and bake for 20-25 minutes (until the top is browned and springy to touch). Do not open the oven door before 20 minutes, as this will stop the muffins from rising properly.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes, before popping out of the moulds and onto a wire cooling rack.