I think I've mentioned before that I much prefer muffins to cupcakes - I find the icing on cupcakes just too much.
We have a lovely shop in town which sells a great range of herbs and spices, particularly difficult to find ones. In France I did a day's cookery course in a local restaurant, and one of the ingredients we used was Tonka beans. If you want to find out more about them:
I'd never heard of them, so was interested to taste their flavour. It's hard to describe - a bit similar to vanilla, but with fruity and spicy elements! You only use a little, as they can be harmful in large quantities, so it's claimed. I bought 3 beans from my local shop.
I'm explaining all this, because my lovely friend who owns the tea shop, gave me her recipe for chocolate muffins with Tonka bean.
200g sr flour, 1 tspn baking powder, 150g white chocolate, 12 small squares of dark chocolate, 1 Tonka bean, 100g caster sugar, 1 tspn vanilla extract, 2 eggs and 50ml milk. Icing sugar to dust tops [opt]
Preheat oven 180C grease a 12 hole muffin tin or use muffin paper cases
Break the white chocolate into pieces and melt over pan of simmering water. I usually use my microwave for melting chocolate, but have had a few disasters in it when melting white chocolate!
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl then add the sugar and mix.
Add the beaten eggs, vanilla extract, milk and melted chocolate. Grate half of the Tonka bean into the batter using a small grater. Beat together.
Fill the holes in the muffin tin or the paper cases 3/4 full then press a square of dark chocolate down into the middle.
Bake for 20 and cool on a wire rack. Dust tops with icing sugar.
These were delicious. Lovely soft texture, melted chocolate in the middle, hint of the exotic bean. Very different flavour from my usual muffins. Will definitely make them again. Now I have to work out what to do with the half of the bean I didn't grate! More muffins?
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