Friday, October 7, 2011

Orange and Chocolate Chip Muffins


          Once I’ve read that chocolate and orange is considered to be a gourmet combination. Well, chocolate and mint can probably claim the same title but…it is so frequently exploited that it is a bit dull and boring (think of once so popular “After eight” sweets). To my mind, orange nowadays has also become a usual accompanier to cocoa and lost its originality as well. I would rather think of more elaborate combinations as truly “gourmet”, like chocolate and basil, chocolate and avocado or chocolate and beetroot… By saying that, I can’t but admit that I really love the bitterness of cocoa against the sweetness of the orange juice and I would never mind to put some orange zest in my chocolate mousse to give it that real punch!

            When it comes to baking, I have this recipe of orange and chocolate chip muffins that I would never trade for any other. Whenever I come across a new recipe of orange and chocolate cake, I never bother to try it (although I’m a type of a cook who tries similar recipes in search of that perfect combination and proportion of the ingredients) because I’m more than satisfied with the one I already have. It’s simple, maybe way too simple (I reckon even a child can make those muffins) and not time-consuming at all. So of you feel like indulging into that “gourmet combination”, there’s now an easy way to do it!

Recipe adapted from the original Sanjeev Kapoor’s one

190 gm plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
150 ml buttermilk
100 gm sugar
100 ml butter, melted
100 ml orange juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp orange zest, soaked in 1 tbsp Cointreau overnight
½ cup chocolate chips

100 gm dark chocolate, chopped
80 ml heavy creamy
1 tbsp butter

Caramelized zest
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp Cointreau


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease 12 standard muffin tins or 8 big ones.
  2. For muffins, sift flour together with cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine buttermilk and sugar (till it’s dissolved), whisk in the butter, add vanilla essence, orange juice and soaked orange zest together with the liquor.
  3. Combine two mixtures together until just mixed, stir in half of the chocolate chips. Divide the batter between the tins, sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  4. For ganache, place a bowl of cream over a pan of simmering water. When the cream is hot enough (small bubbles will start to appear on its surface), mix in the chocolate and remove from heat. Stir till the chocolate melts completely, then add the butter. Allow to cool, then place into a piping bag and refrigerate.
  5. For caramelized zest, put vanilla sugar into a heavy-bottomed pan and allow it to melt over low heat. Add butter to dissolve the caramel. Stir in the zest, cook for 1 min, add the liquor and the juice and cook for a further minute (if the mixture is too thick, you can add more juice).
  6. Allow the muffins to cool completely before decorating with caramelized zest and chocolate.


  1. If you don’t have buttermilk, use plain or vanilla-flavoured yoghurt (in which case reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe).
  2. Once I ran out of my butter and substituted it with canola oil. So, you can turn these muffins into a completely vegan treat!
  3. Decorating is, of course, an optional thing. Even without the chocolate ganache and the caramelized rind they taste wonderful!

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...