Chocolate Mini Muffins with Toasted Hazelnuts - Unlive

These were invented specifically for children to make for the 1997 Comic Relief campaign with red cherries on top. This is a more adult version, but children can still make them using chocolate drops for melting and cherries instead of nuts.

Makes 24

Chocolate Mini Muffins with Toasted Hazelnuts  - Unlive
 2 oz (50 g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids), roughly chopped
 5 oz (150 g) plain flour
 2 level tablespoons cocoa powder
 1 level dessertspoon baking powder
 ¼ level 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
For the topping:
 2 oz (50 g) hazelnuts, roughly chopped
 3 oz (75 g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
You will also need 2 x 12-hole mini-muffin tins, well greased or lined with mini-muffin paper cases.


You need to begin this recipe by toasting the hazelnuts for the topping. To do this, place the chopped nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes; it's important to use a timer here.
Next, for the muffins, 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 chopped chocolate into the mixture – again with a minimum of stirring; just a quick folding in.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cups, about 1 heaped teaspoon in each, and bake on a high shelf of 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, make the topping. To do this, place the broken-up chocolate in a small heatproof bowl, which should be sitting over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Then, keeping the heat at its lowest, allow the chocolate to melt slowly – it should take about 3 minutes to melt and become smooth and glossy. Then remove it from the heat and give it a good stir, then let the chocolate cool for 2-3 minutes.
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 and scatter the hazelnuts over the top of each muffin.
_This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two and The Delia Collection: Chocolate._

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