Saturday, February 13, 2010

Maiden Bake: Double Chocolate Chips Muffins

Since it's the Lunar New Year, I jumped at the chance to bake a few batches of muffins for guests coming to my home. After sieving through some youtube videos, I settled on making Nigella Lawson's Double Chocolate Chips Muffins. Muffins seems like the easiest to make as it's just mix and bake. Can't go terribly wrong....right?



Making the batter was actually very simple. Just make sure you weigh out the correct ingredients and do not over stir the batter. But my problem is...how do I know if the muffins have been fully cooked. Of course the temperature and baking time were given in the recipe, but I don't quite trust this old oven of mine. And since it's the first time I am using it to bake, it's better if I do a trial and error. I followed the recipe's temperature and baking time. After the baking time of 20 minutes was up, I pierced a toothpick into the muffin. The toothpick was stained with brown goo.
Hmmm...so what do I do now? Is it undercooked? Alright, I shall just increase for another 5 minutes. This happened for another 3 more times, before I realized that I could have pricked into a melted chocolate chip. Ok, so the lack of common sense caused my first batch of muffins to be burnt. But honestly, how can you tell brown batter from melted chocolate on a toothpick? And how can you tell if the top of the muffins were burnt when they were brown in the first place?


This was the first batch of muffins that came out burnt, although it didn't look half bad. Of course I learnt my lesson and baked the subsequent batches for 20 minutes.
Overall the muffins were edible, but I found them overly sweet, oily and chocolaty. And I daringly offered them to my guests and neighbours. I certainly hope they are not too picky on food.

Ingredients (makes 18 small muffins):
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 tbsp cocoa powder
175 g caster sugar
150 g chocolate chips (plus more for sprinkling later)
250 ml milk
90 ml vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.
  2. Weigh out the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  3. Mix all the liquid ingredients into another bowl.
  4. Mix both together until just moistened, then spoon into muffin cups.
  5. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top then bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are risen and springy.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Chip Muffins.

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