Quadruple chocolate muffins

Ingredients – serves 12

For the chocolate muffins:

  • 3 eggs
  • 250 g butter
  • 250 g sugar
  • 250 g flour
  • 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 100 ml buttermilk

For the chocolate almond cookies:

  • 100 g plain flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 25 g ground almonds
  • 100 g butter
  • 60 g sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

For the chocolate buttercream:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 100 g sugar
  • 135 g butter, cut into cubes
  • 100 g dark chocolate

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 75 ml double cream

Method

Make the chocolate muffins:

  • Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.
  • Put paper cases into a 12-hole muffin tin.
  • Put the sugar, flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and mix to combine.
  • Melt the butter in a pan over a very low heat and pour into a second bowl.
  • Whisk the buttermilk and eggs into the melted butter.
  • Tip into the dry ingredients and quickly fold with a spoon to combine.
  • Divide the mixture between the muffin holes and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Leave to cool completely.

Make the chocolate almond cookies:

  • Tip the flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds and butter into a food processor and whizz to fine crumbs. When not using a food processor: rub the flour and ground almonds into the butter between your fingers until they form fine crumbs.
  • Add the sugar and egg yolk, then whizz to a smooth dough. When not using a food processor: knead the sugar, egg yolk and buttery flour crumbs to form a smooth dough.
  • On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 5 mm and cut into 12 small rectangles.
  • Put the rectangles on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and cool for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake the biscuits for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, put on a wire rack and leave to cool.

Make the chocolate buttercream:

  • Put the egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl, simmer over a pot of water and whisk constantly but gently until the temperature reaches 60°C (if you don’t have a thermometer: until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are warm), then remove from the heat.
  • Whip the warmed egg withes for 10 minutes with the whisk attachment of the mixer, until the meringue is thick, glossy and cooled down.
  • Switch over to a paddle attachment and mix in the butter cubes, one at a time. Keep mixing until the buttercream has reached a silky smooth texture.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Once melted, add to the buttercream and beat until incorporated.

Make the chocolate ganache:

  • Heat the cream in a small pan until just steaming, then take off the heat.
  • Break the chocolate in small pieces.
  • Add the chocolate to the warm cream and leave to melt for 5 minutes.
  • Stir to make a glossy ganache, then set aside to firm up a little.

Assemble the quadruple chocolate muffins:

  • Scoop out 1 teaspoon of cake and fill with chocolate ganache.
  • Pipe a swirl of buttercream on each muffin and top with a cookie.
  • Lightly dust with cocoa powder.

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