Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Okay, we may be going back to basics here, big time, but I honestly think that sometimes the simple chocolate chip muffin is so underrated, and also done in completely the wrong way.

And also, I completely disagree with this accusation that “muffins are just ugly cupcakes” because it is completely untrue. Are you not seeing how beautiful these muffins are?! Besides. Muffins beat cupcake by a long shot. Cupcakes are dry and far too small, muffins are moist, delicious, huge and packed full of anything you want to put into them. I wanted chocolate chips.

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Well, actually, my mum wanted chocolate chips. My parents are going away to France this weekend to visit my Nan. When we were shopping, my dear mother said “we need to go and get some cakey things for me and dad to eat on the boat” no, woman. You have a baker in the house. I will bake for you dammit. And that’s how these gorgeous creatures (can I call a muffin a creature?!) were born.

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Also, did I tell anyone that I’m going to America in a week? Yep. 1 week in San Francisco, 1 week in Los Angeles and the final week in Las Vegas. Ohmygod so excited.

The most exciting thing for me about this holiday will be all of the new and exciting food that I can never get my hands on (because England is a deprived country) and I’ll get to bake completely awesome things in an awesome country in a new and awesome kitchen. I’ll bring my own utensils though.

Boring part (my actual life) of the blog over, let us direct our attention bake to muffins. Yummm.

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A mixture of dark and milk chocolate chips in this recipe is ideal; you get little hits of super sweet (milk) and rich (dark), which compliment each other b-e-a-utifully.

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My secret moistening agent is sour cream. Truth be told, I made my friend a chocolate fudge birthday cake for her birthday, and I had sour cream left over after making it. So why should it be wasted when it can be used so beautifully?!

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I’ve talked enough, here’s my recipe (makes 9 muffins):

  • 130g unsalted butter
  • 80ml sour cream
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 250g plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 1/2 tsps
  • 80ml milk
  • 80g milk chocolate chips
  • 80g dark chocolate chips

Preheat the your oven to gas mark 5/190°C/375°F and line a muffin tray with 9 muffin liners. Melt your butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Keep an eye on it and remove from the heat once the butter begins to foam.

In a large bowl, beat together the sour cream and the eggs. Add in the melted butter and beat again to incorporate. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and baking powder.

Add all of the flour/sugar/baking powder in one go and fold together until just combined. Add in the milk and whisk together until combined.

Toss the chocolate chips in a tablespoon of flour and then fold 3/4 of them into the batter. You’ll need to reserve a 1/4 to sprinkle on top of the muffins, make ’em look all pretty and what not.

Using an ice-cream scoop or two tablespoons, fill the muffin liners with the batter, then sprinkle on a few of the reserved choco chips for decoration.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the middle muffin comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tray for an hour, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Then just eat them. 

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You are welcome 😉

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Brownie, Marshmallow and Rice Krispie Treat Bars

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Shall I be honest with you? This bar was a complete experiment that paid off.

Usually, if I’m trying something new out in the kitchen, I don’t take pictures because I know it won’t go on the blog if it doesn’t work; I swear to myself this is just a test. But let’s just say, I was feeling pretty adventurous, and I decided to track my progress through this recipe juuuussssttt in case it paid off.

And dayyumm did it pay off

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Basically, these bite-sized bars are a layer of brownie, topped with a layer of toasted marshmallows and then completed with chocolate rice krispie treats…

Do you feel like crying? I feel like crying.

But although I guarantee a river of tears as you bite into these, I promise they will be worth every tear. Did I take the crying metaphor too far? Probably. Bare with me, chocolate makes me excited.

I originally got the inspiration from Sally’s Baking Addiction – one of my all time favourite blogs.

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I have a habit of gliding through the recipe index of my favourite food blogs whenever I have some free time – because I’m such a nerdy foodie – and I happened to, although just for one divine moment, glide across a little something that looked like this.

Thank you, Sally. I bow down to your amazing imagination.

And so, from that beautiful picture, I decided to create my own brownie krispie-marshamllowy-bitey-thingys; you follow?  Make these, I promise you they are as beautiful as they look.

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Oooo that brownie layer… Pop that baby into the oven and, as soon as it comes out, place the marshmallows on top. Pop them under the grill for 30 seconds to toast them off…

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Squish those beauties down to cover the surface of the cooked brownie and then… (yep, it’s not over yet…)

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Mix your rice krispies with your molten milk chocolate then smother them on top… Let it cool, and chill in the fridge, and what to you end up with?

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Do you love me for this? I love me for this.

My recipe; for the brownie layer:

  • 3 free range eggs
  • 165g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 165g unsalted butter
  • 200g (good quality) dark chocolate
  • 3 (heaping) tbsp plain flour
  • 1 (heaping) tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 large marshmallows

For the rice krispie layer:

  • 100g of rice krispies 
  • 400g milk chocolate

First melt the butter and the chocolate on a double boiler until both have melted and combined. Take off the heat and leave to cool. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190°C/375°F then grease and line a rectangular baking tray well – you need to be able to get these babies out.

Beat the eggs until frothy, then add the sugar and beat again until the mixture has thickened. Add the vanilla extract and beat again to incorporate. Pour in your cooled butter and chocolate mixture and combine everything together. Add the flour and the cocoa powder, beat until just combined – do not over mixture your batter. Brownie bread does not sound appealing, amirite?

Transfer the mixture to your baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the brownies comes out clean. Whilst the brownies are in the oven, cut your marshmallows in half.

When the brownies are done, take them out of the oven and onto a wire rack. Immediately place the marshmallows on top and place the tray under the grill for 30 secs to toast the marshmallows. When the marshmallows have obtained a golden brown top, take them out and smush down (smush; to press down lightly on a squishy object to expand the surface area of said object) so that all of the toasted marshmallows are touching – like a bed of melted marshmallows – yummy.

Then make the rice krispie treats. In a large bowl, add melted milk chocolate to the rice krispies and fold together to combine. Spoon the mixture on top of the brownies and marhsmallows (spreading over evenly) then leave to cool at room temp for 1 hour.

After the hour, take the bars out of their tin, and allow to cool completely at room temperature for a further 2 hours. Transfer the bars to the fridge and chill for another 2 hours. SO MUCH WAITING URGH.

Finally, take them out of the fridge, cut into bite-size squares and eat! 

Oh my…

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Millionaire’s Shortbread (Twix Bars)

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Yep. I am completely 100% aware that I have been totally lazy with posting on my blog recently. It’s not that I haven’t been baking, it’s just that I haven’t had the opportunity to put my baked goods through a photo-shoot, edit my pictures and type up a post.

Basically, June means University Open Days, and boy, have I been attending my fair share. So – without going into a loooonnnggg description about how tired I am and how amazing/completely rubbish these Uni’s are – I haven’t had the chance to share with you some really awesome recipes. 

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And so, considering I haven’t blogged in ages, I’ma come back with a SMASH-BANG-WALLOP in all of y’all’s faces! LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIES!

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You can’t go wrong when you’ve got shortbread, caramel and two types of chocolate combined into one sexy mouth-full of deliciousness. Some of you may know these as Twix Bars, us Brit’s know them as Millionaire’s Shortbread (rich shortbread, a pretty accurate description).

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Did I paint my nails a super pretty colour just for you guys? Maybe. Yes.

If you ask anyone that knows me well, I am by no means one to toot my own horn, but let’s just say that I’ve had many people requesting these bars AND telling me that they are by farrr better than the shop bought crud (or, y’know, *cough* Starbucks’ *cough*). Trust me when I tell you that these are gorgeous and that you will adore this recipe. And also, CHOCOLATE; I do not envy American’s. You guys don’t have easy access to Cadbury’s milk chocolate. If I were you I might cry.

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Yes, it’s sad, but these small bars make me so happy. They’re fun and simple to make. If you don’t love them already, this recipe will surely make you love them as much as I do, I promise (and if you still don’t, I am dreadfully sorry, but there must be something wrong with you).

Swirly, swirly, pretty and easy.

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Recipe:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 175g unsalted butter (chilled and diced)
  • 75g caster sugar

For the topping:

  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 75g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 1 x 397g can of condensed milk
  • 200g Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate
  • 50g white chocolate

Preheat your oven to gas mark 5/190/375. Grease a rectangular baking tray and line with greaseproof paper; make sure you leave some greaseproof overlapping to make getting the bars out of the tray.

Place your flour and butter in a large bowl and rub together using the tips of your fingers – do this until you achieve a breadcrumb consistency. Stir in your sugar and knead into a smooth ball. Press the shortbread into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until you see the top brown lightly.

While that’s in the oven, you can get started on the caramel. Place the butter, sugar and condensed milk in a saucepan and cream them together until all of the ingredients are combined. Place the (uncooked) caramel on a low heat and watch it like a hawk, stirring the mixture constantly until the caramel comes up to a boil, changes to a light brown colour and becomes thick. Take the shortbread out of the oven, cover the top of the shortbread with your caramel and spread it out to create an even level.

Pop that baby into the fridge and let it cool for 2 whole hours (tough, I know).

When the shortbread and caramel are suitably cold, take it out of the fridge. Melt the milk and white chocolate separately. Pour the milk chocolate all over the top of the caramel and spread it evenly. Drizzle over the white chocolate and, using the bottom end of a spoon, swirl the two chocolates together to make it look all pretty and nice. Pop it back in the fridge for another 2 hours (whyyyyy??) to set the chocolate.

When everything is set, take it out of the fridge and cut up into small pieces to enjoy immediately.

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