The Monday Muffin: Chocolate Cherry Muffin

Last week, I mentioned that I was going to try and be better about the in-process photos. This weekend, I made two amazing things that I can’t wait to share and I definitely concentrated more on the process shots. Unfortunately, with the muffins, that’s kind of all I got. After they came out of the oven and I put them on the cooling rack, I forgot to take that last shot. It doesn’t really matter; you’ll easily understand that they’re muffins by the shot of them looking so perky in the pan.

Chocolate Cherry Muffins in Oven

If you follow my twitter account then you already know the muffin and where it hails from, via the weekly muffin sneak peek: Chocolate Cherry Muffins from Gourmet. They’re a cake-like muffin, rich in chocolate and riddled with chocolate chips and dried cherries. They’re very rich and best served warm, while the chocolate chips are oozing inside the cake. However, when they’re room temperature or chilled from the fridge and served with your hot beverage of choice, you’re not going to be disappointed. The addition of the tart, dried cherries is nice, as it offsets the richness of the chocolate. Without the cherries, the concentrated power of chocolate would be too much.

When melting the chocolate into the butter and milk, be sure to use a double-boiler, or a small pot and a heatproof bowl. Fill the pot with 1 – 2″ water, and set the bowl on top. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. This method of melting chocolate is best as it never scorches your chocolate.

After the chocolate is melted, the mixture will seem a little grainy, even after whisking. Don’t worry, because adding the two eggs will create a glossy texture. There are two ways to add the eggs. The first way is to do it as written, and wait for chocolate mixture to cool prior to adding the eggs. The second way is if you don’t have time to let the mixture cool completely. Don’t add the eggs to the hot mixture. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, then whisk the eggs. Take 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture and slowly add it to the eggs, whisking as you pour. Once the egg mixture is thoroughly combined, slowly add it to the chocolate mixture, whisking as you pour. This will keep your eggs from curdling.

Chocolate Cherry Muffin Batter

Chocolate Cherry Muffins
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried sour cherries (4 oz)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat butter and half of chocolate in milk in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until just melted. Remove from heat. Cool 15 minutes. Add eggs and whisk until smooth.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl until combined well. Add chocolate mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in remaining chocolate and cherries.

Divide among 12 greased (1/2-cup) muffin cups. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 14 to 18 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 to 10 minutes.

Muffin in tin

These muffins are definitely a guilty pleasure and I like them very much. Comparing them to my all-time favorite banana muffin is a little difficult because these are a completely different animal. They are delicious, and would be a really fun treat to serve in the coming holiday season. Thumbs up!

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