Double Chocolate Chili Muffins

On the weekends, Jonty is my resident muffin-man. It’s his one baking luxury of the week – he loves to bake them, and I love to eat them, so it’s a win-win situation, really. Around mid-week, he asks if I have any requests; often, it’s a slight modification to the previous weeks muffins. For the past month or so, he’s been making tweaks to these double chocolate chili muffins, and I think he’s mastered them! They’ve got a sky-high muffin top, are studded with big chocolate chunks, and have the perfect warming heat at the end of your bite.

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Now, before we scare you off with the name, just know that these chocolate chili muffins can be made to tailor to your spice tolerance completely.

  1. If you really like chocolate and love a bit of kick to your food: Follow the recipe as stated.
  2. If you really like chocolate but have uber-sensitive taste buds: Leave out the chilis completely.
  3. If you really like chocolate, but you’re not sure how awesome the chocolate + chili combo is: Start with fewer chilies, one say.

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What I love about these muffins is that you just taste a simple chocolate muffin in your first bite. Maybe you’ve hit a jack-pot chocolate chunk, and you’re in chocolate heaven. Then you wonder what that other subtle flavour is? So you have another bite, then you get a lovely warmth on the back of your tongue – that’s the little chili kick at the end. It’s really a great combination of flavours!

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Jonty still follows his basic muffin ratio quantity and I think this is a great base for any chocolate chunk muffin:

1 part egg : 1 part sugar : 2 parts liquid : 2 parts flour : 1 part butter : 1 part add-ins

For anyone not aware of how these ratios work, we’ve talked about it before (here and here and here), but essentially it really makes for an easy way to bake and to scale recipes. The only caveat is, you need a kitchen scale. And if you don’t have one already, and love to bake, you really should invest in one! You can pick up a decent one for less than $25.

The ratio recipes will usually start with the weight of a large egg, which will be around 50 g. For this recipe, we’re using 2 eggs, which usually comes out to 100 g. All the other ingredients scale from there.

So for 100 g of eggs, you’ll need 100 g of sugar, 200 g of milk, 200 g of flour… You’re catching my drift? It’s math, but it’s easy math. Honest!

It doesn’t take long to figure out how awesome it is to bake from a recipe using weight measurements versus measuring cups. In most cases, you only need one bowl – and when you don’t have a dishwasher, less time in the sink is always a good thing. The other benefit to baking with ratios is that it makes for scaling recipes up or down, a breeze!

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So, if you don’t have one, go out and purchase your first kitchen scale, then make these muffins as a reward for being such a smart baker.

From taste-testing experience, these muffins are fantastic with your morning/afternoon coffee or tea and taste excellent on their or with a dollop of raspberry jam 🙂

Double Chocolate Chili Muffins
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 100 g (2 large) eggs
  • 200 g milk
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g cake and pastry flour
  • 50 g dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 100 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 100 g (1 medium) ripe banana
  • 2 - 3 red thai chilis, chopped (optional, depending on heat sensitivity)
  • 100 g dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 7 g baking powder
  • 7 g baking soda
  • chopped walnuts, for the topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Measure out all your ingredients before-hand. Melt the butter and leave it to cool slightly.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, or stand-mixer bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until frothy. Add in the sugar and vanilla and whisk on high speed, until the mixture is foamy, about 1 minute.
  4. While the mixer is running, slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until just combined. Scrape down the sides, as needed.
  5. Add the melted butter and whisk on high speed until completely incorporated. When fully incorporated, the mixture should look very fluffy and almost like a well-aerated cake batter. This should take about a minute on high speed.
  6. Add the ripe banana and whisk on high speed until combined. Finally, add the chilis and chocolate chunks and stir to incorporate.
  7. Place the batter in the fridge overnight to bake in the morning. If you want to bake these right away, still place the batter in the fridge while the oven is pre-heating.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and line a standard muffin tin with 6 muffin cups. Equally divide the batter into the 6 muffin cups. You want to aim to over-fill the cups. It's okay - they won't spill over too much! If desired, sprinkle the tops with chopped walnuts.
  9. Bake at 400 F for 5 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 F and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. The muffins are done when a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
  10. As soon as the muffins come out of the oven, run a knife between the top of the tray and the base of the muffin top, to prevent them from sticking when you remove them from the pan. Leave the muffins to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

 Enjoy these Double Chocolate Chili Muffins!

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Bakery-Style Chocolate Espresso Muffins

These bakery-style Chocolate Espresso Muffins are big and tall and full of chocolate flavour. It may have taken a few batches, but we think Jonty finally perfected these muffins 😉

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We have often envied the coffee-shop muffins, not necessarily for their taste (some places are better than others), but for their size. We love those big, domed muffin tops! I find it extremely satisfying to break the gigantic top away from its stem 🙂

After poking around online for other “bakery style” muffins, Jonty ultimately returned to the basics of baking ratios, using his favourite book as a guide.

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The ratio, by weight, we use for a standard muffin recipe is:

1 part egg : 2 parts flour : 2 parts liquid : 1 part sugar : 1 part butter

The wonderful thing about using ratios when baking by weight is that scaling any recipe becomes so easy!

You only want to make 6 muffins, because you know your willpower is not strong enough to save the rest for later? No problem, use 2 eggs in your recipe and scale the remaining ingredients.

You want to double the recipe? Measure out the weight of 4 eggs, and adjust everything else from there.

Once you start baking by weight, I guarantee you will never want to return to using measuring cups. And, even better, you will often need only one or two bowls, making the washing-up much easier 🙂

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Once you get the basic ratios working, you can very easily tweak your recipe and start to make additions or substitutions. For these Chocolate Espresso Muffins, we used a milky-coffee as the liquid and added big chocolate chunks. Maybe you like the idea of chocolate and orange together? Use freshly squeezed orange juice as part of the liquid, and you’re done. How about fruit instead of chocolate? It’s super easy to do, when you’re baking by weight and ratios.

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How to get Bakery-Style Muffins:

After some trial and error, Jonty found a few key steps that resulted in the perfect big-top muffin we were looking for.

  1. Use a heavy-hand with the baking powder – 5% of the weight of the flour, e.g. for 200g of flour use 10g of baking powder.
  2. Let the muffin batter rest in the fridge overnight. This ensures the liquid fully hydrates the flour, giving you a very thick batter which won’t collapse on itself as the muffins bake.
  3. Fill the muffin tins right to the top. This is key!
  4. Start with a high heat (400°F) for 5 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375°F for 15 minutes. The initial burst of heat really gets the muffins started on the right track.

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To get a nice mocha flavour, we added a few teaspoons of our homemade espresso powder in addition to the milky-coffee, and chopped up a block of Callebaut chocolate, to ensure we had big chunks dotted throughout the muffin.

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And when those big bakery-style muffins come out of the oven, so light and fluffy and chocolatey, I can guarantee you will have a hard time eating only one 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Giant chocolate-espresso muffins

Bakery-Style Chocolate Espresso Muffins
 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 100 g (2 large) eggs
  • 200 g milk / coffee
  • 100 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 200 g flour, sifted
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 100 g chocolate chunks
  • 10 g espresso powder, optional
  • 10 g baking powder
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, measure out the weight of the eggs, then adjust the weight of the remaining ingredients accordingly.
  2. Whisk together the egg and milk / coffee. Add in the melted butter and whisk extremely well, to fully incorporate the ingredients.
  3. Add in the sifted flour, brown sugar and espresso powder (if using), and whisk to combine. Add the chocolate chunks and whisk until just distributed.
  4. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight (or at least a few hours) to allow the flour to hydrate. Once hydrated, the batter should be very thick at this point.
  5. When you are ready to bake the muffins, pre-heat the oven to 400 F and line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  6. Add the baking powder to the muffin mix and stir until the baking powder is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  7. Fill the muffin tins right to the top and sprinkle with additional chocolate chunks, if you desire.
  8. Bake the muffins on the centre rack of the oven, at 400 F for 5 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the muffin tin and allow to cool on a baking rack.
Notes
Measure out the weight of the eggs, then adjust the weight of all other ingredients according to the ratio of
1 part egg : 2 flour : 2 liquid: 1 butter : 1 sugar : 1 additions

Enjoy!

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Grilled Turkey Burgers with Balsamic-Fig Chutney

Last week a friend emailed, asking if we wanted any fresh figs. Her neighbour’s tree was producing more than they could eat, and they wanted to give them away before they started to spoil.

Umm… YES! When offered fresh food straight from a garden, you always say yes!

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A few were eaten for breakfast along-side Greek yogurt and blueberries, and a few more were added to a pizza with a sprinkle of goat cheese and basil. The remainder went into making a balsamic chutney for turkey burgers.

This is a super flavourful topping that would be a great addition to chicken or a meaty fish, too! We did a variation of this meal while we were traveling, but we used dried figs instead of fresh. The dried variation was good, but if you can find them, definitely use fresh!

Our go-to turkey burger recipe is a simple one: ground turkey meat, onion, fresh ginger and garlic, a bunch of fresh herbs and spices, and a squeeze of lemon juice. We broil them under the grill, 8 minutes per side, which keeps them crisp on the outside, but nice and juicy inside. A full batch makes 8 burgers and they freeze well, making them great for those nights when you don’t have time to cook!

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The fig chutney is a perfect combination of sweet and spicy and is highly addictive.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Grilled turkey burgers with balsamic-fig chutney

Top a burger with a crumble of goat cheese and greens and a hefty spoonful of this chutney, and you have one very tasty meal!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Grilled turkey burgers with balsamic-fig chutney

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Balsamic-Fig Chutney
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8 burgers
  • Serving size: 1 burger
  • Calories: 183
  • Fat: 4.3 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.7 g
  • Sugar: 4.4 g
  • Sodium: 378.8 mg
  • Fiber: 1.2 g
  • Protein: 28.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 83.8 mg
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The fig chutney was adapted from the Vibrant Foods cookbook.
Ingredients
For the Fig Chutney:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes
  • 3 medium figs, sliced lengthwise into 5-mm slices
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
For the Turkey Burgers:
  • 1 kg ground organic turkey meat
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • ½ lemon, juice and zest
Instructions
  1. To make the chutney, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt and chili flakes. Add the figs and fresh basil, and toss gently to combine. Set aside until ready to eat.
  2. To make the turkey burgers, combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions, flattening each into a patty.
  3. Pre-heat the broiler to high. Place the patties onto a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Place the patties under the broiler and grill for 8 minutes. Flip and grill for another 8 minutes. If you have BBQ, these would be great done on the grill!
  4. We often use a portobello mushroom instead of a bread bun, as we like the taste. Top the turkey burger with a bit of goat cheese, some greens, and a hefty spoonful of the chutney.
Notes
The chutney recipe makes about 1 cup. Leftover turkey burgers hold up well in the freezer for up to one month.

Enjoy!

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Sky-High Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Remember the uber-tasty cottage cheese I made last week? Well, there was almost a litre of leftover buttermilk that I saved from that recipe and it only seemed fitting to put it to good use, preferably in the form of a baked good.

These muffins were based off of a recipe I found here, and the result was one of the tallest muffins ever to have come out of our oven!

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I reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe, as I was hoping the sweetness from the bananas would be enough, and sprinkled the top with chopped walnuts. We thought they were perfect!

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I think the key to sky-high muffins is to fill the muffin cups right to the top, and to use a higher heat (400°F).

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sky-high blueberry buttermilk muffins

These muffins freeze well, which is great, as the recipe made 15 standard-sized muffins, and are perfect with a mid-morning coffee 🙂

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Sky-High Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 15 standard-sized muffins
  • Serving size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 228
  • Fat: 8.4 g
  • Saturated fat: 4.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Sugar: 8.8 g
  • Sodium: 192.2 mg
  • Fiber: 2.6 g
  • Protein: 5.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 55 mg
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
Dry ingredients
  • 1¼ cup (160 g) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2¼ cup (295 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (75 g) loosely packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
Wet ingredients
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 240 mL buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, just melted
Additions
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (or any berry!)
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, optional
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and paper-line 15 standard-sized muffin tins.
  2. In a medium bowl: Thoroughly mix the wet ingredients together (bananas, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, butter).
  3. In a large bowl: Thoroughly sift the dry ingredients together (flours, brown sugar, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder).
  4. Add the frozen blueberries to the flour mixture and toss gently to fully coat the berries. Add the wet ingredients to the flour - blueberry mixture and mix gently, until just combined (it's okay if you still have a few streaks of flour).
  5. Spoon the mixture into the paper-lined muffin tins, filling them right to the top. Sprinkle with walnuts, if desired.
  6. Bake on the centre rack for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown

Enjoy!

Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins

Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins

It’s the most …. wonderful time… of the year… BC strawberries are here! This officially marks the beginning of our three-month all-consuming love-affair with summer fruit. Ah, the fruit…. 🙂

I picked up a few punnets of these beauties at the local market earlier this week and nothing beats fresh, local fruit!

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Also, we had several bananas that were starting to turn the perfect shade of brown for baking so, as usual, I turned to the humble muffin for inspiration. I found a recipe that used strawberries and quinoa as well as the bananas. I felt the baking gods were urging me on!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Strawberrry-banana quinoa muffins

The muffins are nice and moist, thanks to the cup of mashed bananas and some Greek yogurt. They didn’t rise as much as I thought they might; next time I will add some baking soda as well, to see if that gives them a bit more “oomph”.

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The cooked quinoa gives an added boost of protein, and whole wheat pastry flour keeps a tender crumb, which is always a nice bonus in a breakfast dessert 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Strawberrry-banana quinoa muffins

As with most muffins, these freeze quite well, and taste especially good as a post-climbing snack with our favourite Howe Sound coffee!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Strawberrry-banana quinoa muffins

Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 12
  • Serving size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 157
  • Fat: 5.5 g
  • Saturated fat: 4.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Sugar: 12.5 g
  • Sodium: 253.3 mg
  • Fiber: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 3.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 16.1 mg
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup quinoa (any colour works)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon (original called for 1 tsp)
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar (original called for ¾ cup, but next time I would reduce even more, to ⅓ cup)
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium bananas)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries diced
Instructions
  1. To cook the quinoa: Place the quinoa plus water in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Keep the quinoa covered, turn off the heat and leave the pan on the burner for another 15 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork and leave to cool.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the cooked (cooled) quinoa to the flour mixture and blend well.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and oil. Add in the yogurt, egg, vanilla and banana purée and mix well.
  5. Stir the frozen strawberries into the flour mixture, then gently combine the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined, taking care to not over-mix. Divide the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups. Bake on the centre oven rack for 28 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Notes
The muffins can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container, or can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Enjoy!