Now that’s a bit of a mouthful!
Last weekend, I found myself going through my baking cupboards, taking stock of what was in there and (as usual) finding things I bought months and months ago and had forgotten about!
You see the problem is I’m a bit of a hoarder/buyer and I often buy bits and pieces when I see them, not necessarily for a specific reason but in case I may need them some day. I won’t bore you with all the things that I have now brought to the front of the cupboard, into the ‘use soon’ section, but what I will tell you is that I found a kilo slab (2.2lbs) of Valrhona Ivoire – white chocolate – that needs using a.s.a.p.
As some of you might remember, back in October last year I made some beautiful wedding cupcakes that I topped with white chocolate ganache and a fresh carnation. Although the bride and groom were thrilled with the cakes, as were I, by the end of October, numerous test batches and trials, 150 actual wedding cupcakes and 5 kgs (11lbs) of white chocolate later, I was so sick of the stuff I never wanted to see it again! I wrapped it up, shoved it in the back of the cupboard and here we now are.
But I was torn – to me white chocolate always adorns and enhances quite decadent treats, like topping a champagne raspberry coulis filled cupcake or snuggling with macadamia nuts in an incredible cookie! But it was a rainy Sunday afternoon, I wasn’t meeting anyone or going anywhere fancy and so felt a bit stuck for ideas. That was until I stopped thinking spectacular and started thinking sensible and decided that the only real option was muffins. Muffins are wonderful for times like those because they are no fuss, (usually) one bowl and don’t require any primping or preening once out of the oven. So muffins it was.
But first, my chunks. I had to cut; slice and chop the 200g section in all sorts of directions and ways and managed to whittle the block down into some impressive hunks. I love rough chunks like this and more often then not use them in my baking. This particular recipe called for 1 ½ cups of white chocolate and as luck would have it 200g chops up to just about 1 ½ cups. Result!
Valrhona White Chocolate Chunk Buttermilk Chocolate Muffins
(adapted from taste of home)Makes approximately 18 standard muffins
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup baking cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (you know what I used!)
Preheat oven to 190°C/400°F – Line at least 18 muffin tin cups
Mix the flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl using a whisk.
Mix the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract in another bowl. Use the same whisk to whisk them together.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until just mixed.
Fold in the white chocolate chunks.
Fill the muffin cups until almost full (if you want them to achieve a proper muffin top)
Bake in oven for 14-18 minutes until cake tester inserted into the muffin comes out clean.
Cool for 5-10 minutes in pans before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
I’ve made these a couple of times now and I have to confess that I kept the first batch in for 18 or 19 minutes and they were slightly dry. Another minute or two more and they would have been scorched. So keep your eye on them. Aside from that slight mishap, the muffins turned out nicely. My favourite element is the fact they rise beautifully into a great muffin top dome, essential I believe in a decent muffin (how many times have I been disappointed by a halfhearted muffin that barely rose above the wrapper!). The buttermilk provided a nice soft crumb although next time I make them I may up the butter to 2/3 of a cup as I think they could go a bit richer. At the end of the day I was happy that I made good use of the white chocolate in a nice, simple and straightforward recipe.
Now only 800g (1¾ lbs) to go!