Sourdough Chocolate Muffins

Recipe by Charlotte Pike
"These dark, intensely chocolatey muffins are very popular with grown-ups. The sourdough makes them slightly less sweet than commercial muffins, which, for me, is a good thing. I always buy bars of chocolate and chop them up with a sharp knife, rather than buying in chocolate chips, as the quality and flavour is so much better. You can use dark, milk or white chocolate here, whichever you prefer."
From Fermented, the tasty new book by Charlotte Pike
Photography by Tara Fisher, published by Kyle Books. Price: £16.99

INGREDIENTS

Makes 12-16, depending on the size of your cases. 

You will need 1 – 2 muffin trays, along with 12 – 16 muffin cases.

275g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

75g cocoa powder

275g soft light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

250ml whole milk

125g salted butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

100g Sourdough Levain ( see pg.108 of 'Fermented')

75g chocolate of your choice, broken into chunks

approx. 4 heaped tablespoons demerara sugar, for sprinkling

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C electric/gas mark 4 and line your muffin tray(s) with paper cases.

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and salt, and stir together until evenly combined.
  2. Measure out the milk into a jug and whisk in the melted butter, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients in the bowl and add the sourdough levain.
  4. Gently stir the ingredients together to form a smooth batter. You want to ensure that all of the dry ingredients are incorporated into the batter, but don’t over-mix or the muffins will be tough.
  5. Finally add the chocolate chunks and fold in carefully.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin cases and top with a sprinkling of demerara sugar, allowing approx. 1/2 teaspoon per muffin.
  7. Bake for 20–25 minutes, depending on size, or until the muffins are well risen and a deep golden brown.
  8. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.