Friday, September 14, 2012

Chocolate, caramel & meringue muffins

So Autumn is most definitely here. Cooler temperatures, leaves turning brown, temptation of turning on the heating and school starting all signals the end of summer. I use the word "summer" in very loose terms this year, the wettest one for 26 years in Ireland apparently! In our local boy's school Friday is treat day and I know there would be crestfallen faces if there wasn't a tempting morsel in the boy's lunch boxes. Today is Isaac's first long Friday in school so I thought I would make a variation of one of his favourites, the chocolate muffin!

For 12 muffins you will need;

4oz butter
4oz caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3oz self raising flour
1oz cocoa powder
1tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and place muffin cases into your muffin tin.
Cream the butter and sugar together until creamy.
Add half of the beaten eggs and incorporate.
Add a tablespoon of flour if the mixture starts to curdle.
Add remaining eggs.
Sieve in the flour and cocoa powder and gently mix.
Add the milk and stir gently for a final time.
Spoon equal amounts into muffin cases, I find using an ice cream scoop very handy.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until fully cooked.
Leave on a wire rack to cool.

For the meringue;

I always use Nigella's meringue recipe as it has yet to fail me. Meringue is possibly one of my favourite things to both make and eat and this one is foolproof!

2 egg whites
150g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

Whisk the egg whites in a spotlessly clean bowl until soft peaks form.
Add in the sugar a spoonful at a time and whisk till glossy.
Add in the cornflour and vinegar and give it one final whisk.
Spoon into piping bag.

To finish;

6tsp caramel (you can also use strawberry sauce, raspberries, banana or anything else that takes your fancy!)

Using a melon baller scoop a little of the chocolate muffin out of the centre and fill the hole with caramel.
Pipe on the meringue in large swirls before placing under a preheated grill.
Watch carefully as they literally take seconds to brown.
So hey presto, delicious little treats for your little darlings and you to indulge in!

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