choc caramel muffin

































Chocolate Caramel Muffins

My eldest son always asks ‘Mum, did you really invent these?’
Insofar as coming up with the idea for trying out gob-stoppersized
caramel chocolate chunks in a moist chocolate muffin
recipe, then the answer is ‘Yes’. It’s not really up there with the
first wheel though, I admit.
These mini Krakataus have little epicentres of molten caramel.
I rose at about 4am on a boat on the way from Sumatra to Java
to catch a glimpse of ‘big K’ – I saw lots of flying fish (very
Dr Seuss) but no Krakatau. It was on that trip that I had one
of the most surreal food experiences for breakfast, a legacy of
Dutch colonialism: white cardboard bread, butter and, for
sprinkling on top, a bowl of hundreds and thousands. Techno
meets Mother’s pride head on.
There are lots of online retailers who sell coloured bakingparchment
muffin cases. These ones, made by hand, may not be stylish but are wonderful by virtue of being beautifully translucent, and they also support the muffin as it rises during baking.

dry mix
260g plain flour
250g caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
60g cocoa
200g caramel chocolate (the
kind that has caramel
encased in milk chocolate),
chopped into large pieces
wet mix
250g ricotta
2 large eggs
320ml milk
60g butter, melted
makes about 18 medium-sized

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. In no particular order, put
all the dry-mix ingredients into a large bowl. In a measuring jug,
measure the milk first, then stir in the other wet ingredients.
Pour the wet mix from the jug onto the dry mix in the bowl and
stir together gently with a wooden spoon. The wet and the dry
mixtures need to be amalgamated, but overall do not need to be
supremely smooth. A few lumps tend to be good for the texture of
the finished muffin.
Spoon the thick mixture into the muffin cases (if you don’t make
your own, use standard-sized shop-bought cases) set in muffin
tins and bake for 20–25 minutes, until springy.