For those of you who have tried to make muffins with high crowns, you and I can agree that it is no easy science. There’s all sorts of stuff having to do with this. Batter’s too thin, batter’s been mixed too much, the oven’s too hot, the oven’s not hot enough, cups not filled high enough, yadda yadda yadda.
(Yadda? What a weird word…What is it…Russian? Yiddish?
Anyway, I learned from this recipe, that it has to do with starting the oven off at a SEARINGLY hot temperature, then letting it down! It seems so simple!
So, you make the batter according to the muffin method, in other words, the standard quickbread method. Here we go:
1. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, as is normal. Then, mix together the wet ingredients thoroughly.
2. Pour the wet ingredients OVER the dry ingredients. This will make things easier to mix.
3. Stir, I like to use a whisk, for 10 seconds. Ten round turns. 1,2,3,4…you know :). When you reach ten DROP THE WHISK. DROP IT. I see you holding the whisk still, yes, you. Drop it. It’s still lumpy? That’s fine, it will cook out.
4. Gently fold in the chocolate chips for no more than 4 seconds. Don’t let yourself overmix this. If you over mix the muffins, their normally tight crumb structure will break up into huge holes into something that’s known as ‘tunnelling’.
It’s a lot easier than it sounds. I promise :). Okay class, school’s out for summer.
Well, not in ClaraBakes’ world, I’m teaching your baking summer school, break out your textbooks, kiddies. Where is my apple?
Scoop out the batter evenly in your muffin cups. I used cupcake wrappers, but you are more than welcome to just use the pan and spray it well. In my world, muffins are ugly cupcakes, and cupcakes are muffins’ pageant sisters whom they are jealous of. Fill them as high as they can go, heck, level with the top. This batter is so dense that it isn’t going to seep over the top if you ‘overfill’ it.
Then you stick them in your 500 degree (you heard me.) oven for one and a half minutes. This will crisp up the outside and kind of ‘keep it there’ as it rises upward. Giving you a nice high crown!
Not bad, not bad at all :). They aren’t dry like other chocolate muffins I have tasted. They are moist and oh-so-chocolatey. Fun process too! I live to be slightly afraid in my kitchen. 500 degree oven? Fun times.
Double Chocolate Muffins
7 tablespoons unsalted salted butter
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Morton Kosher salt (omit if using salted butter)**
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
1 generous tablespoon honey
1 large egg
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup extra dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 500 degree F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
Melt the butter in a medium size microwave-safe bowl and set it aside to cool for a few minutes.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl.
Whisk the milk, honey, egg, yogurt and vanilla into the bowl with the melted butter. Scrape the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wide spatula scraper until mixed – it should be lumpy. Stir in the chocolate chips. At this point, the batter should be thick enough to kind of pile into the muffin cups. It should not be soupy or runny at all.
Divide the muffins evenly among the muffin cups filling the muffin cups as high as you can. Put the muffin cups on the center rack, close the oven and bake at 500 for about 1 ½ minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. and cook for another 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees F until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool.
**I put the brand of salt since Diamond brand is a coarser grain. If you happen to use a really coarse Kosher salt, use a pinch more.