Chocolate Intensity Muffins

These muffins are incredible. And I don’t even really like chocolate.

Yes… I’m one of those people. The ones who would rather get flowers than chocolate. We’re few and far between, but we do exist out there. Normally, a recipe for something called “Chocolate Intensity Muffins” wouldn’t even catch my eye… except that I cook to please, and I know more than one person who really likes chocolate. One of these people happens to be Alex’s roommate, for whom I promised to bake a chocolate cake. Another is Alex. And today is Saturday… baking day. Perfect.

I found this recipe at my shrine for baked goods, Peabody’s site. I had tagged it forever ago, and it finally made it onto my weekly menu. Today, I headed over to check and make sure I had all the ingredients… and I was very surprised: the only chocolate involved in the whole recipe was chocolate powder. I’m not a chocoholic, but even I knew that for something called a “Chocolate Intensity Muffin,” that wasn’t enough. I decided to chop up half a bar of dark chocolate and throw it in for good measure. (Note: I realize now as I am writing this post that Peabody also threw in some semi-sweet chocolate chips. I knew there was a reason she was my baking guru…)

I also decided to back up the chocolate flavor with a couple more little touches… chocolate by itself can seem so plain and ordinary. But chocolate with coffee? And cayenne pepper? Well… now we have a muffin worthy of the adjective “intense.”

Chocolate Intensity Muffins (adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody who adapted it from the Canadian Baker)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups Sugar in the Raw
(Note: I was planning on using half Sugar in the Raw because I like the taste. Then once I had started the recipe, I realized I didn’t have any regular sugar and used all Sugar in the Raw. I’m a big fan of this mistake.)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup (4 oz) butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. strong coffee or espresso
100 g. dark chocolate, chopped
Confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and grease 12 muffin tins.

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine the butter, yogurt and vanilla. Add the eggs and whisk until well combined. Mix in the cayenne pepper.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold until just combined. (The batter will be very thick and tar-like.) Add the coffee, adding a bit more if the batter seems too dry. Fold in the chocolate.

Distribute the batter amongst the muffin tins. Place in the oven and bake 15-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking time. When a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean with a few crumbs attached, they are done.

Allow to cool two minutes in the pan before removing. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

Tomato Kumato