Delia

Chocolate, Prune and Armagnac Mini Muffins - Unlive

Tiny little chocolate bites – soft, light, with melted chocolate swirled on the top and a light dusting of cocoa. These are lovely served with coffee at the end of a meal.


Makes 24

This recipe is taken from The Delia Collection: Baking, to be published on 8 September 2005.

Chocolate, Prune and Armagnac Mini Muffins  - Unlive
Ingredients
 2 oz (50 g) pitted ready-to-eat prunes, chopped small
 2 fl oz (55 ml) Armagnac
 5 oz (150 g) plain flour
 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
 1 dessertspoon baking powder
 ¼ teaspoon salt
 1 large egg, lightly beaten
 1½ oz (40 g) golden caster sugar
 4 fl oz (120 ml) milk
 2 oz (50 g) butter, melted and cooled slightly
 2 oz (50 g) plain chocolate drops
For the topping:
 3 oz (75 g) plain chocolate drops
 a little extra cocoa powder for dusting
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
Equipment
You will also need two 12 hole mini muffin tins, and 24 greaseproof mini muffin cases.

Method

The night before you are going to make the muffins, soak the chopped prunes in the Armagnac. The next day, start off by sifting the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.

Then, in a separate bowl, mix together the egg, sugar, milk and melted butter. Now return the dry ingredients to the sieve and sift them straight on to the egg mixture (this double sifting is essential because there won’t be much mixing going on). What you need to do now is take a large spoon and fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones – quickly, in about 15 seconds. Don’t be tempted to beat or stir, and don’t be alarmed by the rather unattractive, uneven appearance of the mixture: this, in fact, is what will ensure that the muffins stay light. Now fold the chocolate drops into the mixture, along with the prunes and Armagnac – again, with a minimum of stirring; just a quick folding in.

Put a muffin case into each hole in the tins and divide the mixture among them, about 1 heaped teaspoon in each, and bake on a high shelf in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, until well risen. Then remove the muffins from the oven and cool in the tins for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling tray. While they’re cooling, place the chocolate drops for the topping into a small bowl.

Then place this into a saucepan of barely simmering water without allowing the bottom of the bowl to touch the water, and leave the chocolate to melt. Then, when the muffins are cool enough to handle, spoon a little melted chocolate on to each one, then place it back on the cooling tray. Before serving, give them a dusting of sifted cocoa powder.

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