When I think of a muffin, I think of those giant muffins you only seem to get at cafés. Their domed top, bursting over the edge of the paper, muffin case, The texture of those muffins is entirely different to anything else I have tried. They are cake-like, yet somewhat ‘bready’. So, when my fiancé asked me to bake muffins one weekend, I just knew I had to come up with a café-style muffin. And so, my recipe for café-style chocolate muffins was created.
Cupcake-style American muffins are a relatively new thing, especially in the UK. When we think of muffins, we often think of the flat-style griddled English muffin. Muffins of the ‘English variety’, date back to around the 18th Century, taking their name for the Old French ‘mou-pain’ or soft bread. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the American-style muffin really gained popularity in the UK. The reason? Starbucks. As the American chain became popular in London and other major UK cities, so too did their muffins. Blueberry. Chocolate. Raspberry. You name it, Starbucks have probably made it into a muffin (trust me… I used to work there!)
These café-style chocolate muffins get their signature domed top from the high amount of baking powder used to make them. Being a ‘quickbread’, they require an extraordinary amount of rising agent to give them their shape and texture. There is always a risk with baking powder that the finished product will have a somewhat soapy taste but, I can assure you: my chocolate muffins taste super chocolatey!
Secret sourdough weapon!
To make them even more special, I have incorporated some sourdough starter into the recipe. You can leave it out if you wish, but I find the starter gives these muffins an extra depth of flavour that you just cannot get any other way. A real treat, and a great way to use up your ‘extra’ starter!
Perfect for a mid-morning treat, or as a weekend breakfast with freshly brewed coffee, my café-style chocolate muffins are bursting full of chocolate chunks. And, as an extra treat, you could swap out the vanilla extract for mint or orange extract for even more sublime indulgence!
Café-style Chocolate Muffins
- 40 g sourdough starter
- 220 ml milk (or dairy-free alternative)
- 120 g butter melted
- 2 eggs large
- 325 g plain flour
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp baking powder
- 200 g sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (or orange, or mint!)
- 100 g chocolate chips/chunks
- Mix together your sourdough starter and milk, and leave for at least one hour (the longer you leave it, the more depth in flavour the muffins will have.)
- Preheat the oven to 220°C and line a cupcake tin with large cupcake/muffin cases.
- After the sourdough starter and milk has had time to develop flavour, add the melted butter and eggs. Whisk for 2-3 minutes.
- Next, sift in the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
- Add the sugar, salt, vanilla extract and chocolate chips.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until the mixture is fully combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, filling them to about one centimetre below the rim.
- Bake at 220°C for 5 minutes, before reducing the oven to 190°C to bake for a further 20-25 minutes.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and leaving to fully cool on a wire rack.