“The beauty of the world, which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.” – Virginia Woolf
Be it for breakfast, lunch, tea or even dinner – I stand by the claim that everyone loves to enjoy a comforting, humble and unpretentious muffin. And with a recent craving for one, I could not resist baking and sharing just one of my favourite muffin recipes with you.
It seems impossible to have too many muffin recipes. I have a fairly substantial collection in my home recipe box, despite offering only one other muffin recipe on the blog (…hidden in the back archives from the early days of butter and brioche). I do believe that every-person should have at least a few recipes at their disposal – the classic, the every-day, the twist and the dessert in disguise. And it’s these muffins that definitely fall into the latter.
Cacao Nib Muffins with Espresso Dark Chocolate Glaze are rich, decadent and addictive – an unusual twist on the classic chocolate chip. The muffins are made with the usual suspects –flour, sugar, butter and vanilla but are creatively jazzed up by the addition of cacao nibs, honey, olive oil, white wine and cornmeal. Once baked, the muffins are then topped with an intense Espresso Dark Chocolate Glaze… and sprinkled with a generous pinch of cacao nibs – which elevates them into a devilishly good and dessert-like territory.
Though these ingredient additions may seem strange, they do provide much needed flavour balance and textural depth to an otherwise regular muffin recipe. Just a few little new things, which unveil a different muffin entirely – a muffin you will be guaranteed to love.
Cacao Nib Muffins with Espresso Dark Chocolate Glaze have a unique and compelling flavour. They are not very sweet, due to the addition of cacao nibs to the batter and tops… and the espresso powder and dark chocolate in the glaze. If you do have more of a sweet tooth, you can easily substitute the dark chocolate for a lighter, milkier blend. Oh, and please don’t overfill the muffin liners too. Half-way is sufficient enough… take it from someone with experience, they will rise, and almost double – but flat-top when cooled.
I am always on the look-out for the perfect muffin recipe to feature in my repertoire. And I do think I have stumbled upon it with these Cacao Nib Muffins with Espresso Dark Chocolate Glaze. They are everything that a good muffin should be – moist and dense, not-so-sweet but rich… and moorish-ly addictive.
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 4.6 oz. / 130 g caster sugar
- 3.6 oz. / 100 g unsalted butter, melted
- 2.5 oz. / 70 ml. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. white wine
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 3.6 oz. / 100 g all-purpose flour
- 1.4 oz. / 40 g corn-meal
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1.8 oz. / 50 g cacao nibs, plus extra for sprinkling
- 5.8 oz. / 165 ml heavy cream
- 4.2 oz. 120 g dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 tbsp. espresso powder
- To make the muffins, begin by first pre-heating an oven to 350 F/180 C. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with 12 paper liners and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer, beat the eggs, yolks and caster sugar on medium-high speed until thick, doubled and glossy – 3 to 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, olive oil, white wine, honey, vanilla and salt.
- In a steady stream, slowly pour the butter and oil mixture into the egg mixture with the mixer speed on low. Pause mixing and add in the flour, cornmeal and baking powder until just combined. Fold in the cacao nibs.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin liners, filling them no more than half-way. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the muffin tops have set, are golden and slightly spring back to the touch. Please don’t overbake! The muffins will continue to cook upon being removed from the oven. Allow the muffins to cool in the muffin tin for about 10 minutes, before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze. Bring the cream to a light boil in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and espresso powder set in a small bowl. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for 2 minutes, before beginning to gently stir until homogenous and glossy.
- Spoon the glaze over each muffin, allowing a little to drip down the sides, and sprinkle with extra cacao nibs. You can serve the muffins immediately, or wait a few hours for the glaze to slightly harden. The muffins will keep, tightly wrapped, at room temperature, for up to two days.