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Sunday, March 4, 2012

crunchy-top chocolate chip muffins.

Remember the last time I said that I wanted to try out this "to die for blueberry muffin" recipe on allrecipes? I finally got down to baking them yesterday- nothing like the possibility of finding the perfect muffin recipe to get my butt moving.

Now let's talk crust.

One of the most important criteria to me is a crunchy muffin top. Specifically not streusel-topped or brown sugar-topped. A good muffin does not need unnecessary adornments. This recipe produces crunchy golden brown crusts which are so frickin' delicious. I swear that this recipe is the most successful amongst all the muffin recipes I've tried in my life in terms of crusty tops.

Which is why I would like to kick myself for using these paper liners. I should have just used a regular, squatter but larger in terms of diameter muffin tin so I could get more crust out of these babies. I think this is the reason why my muffins didn't explode into mushroom like thingys I was hoping for too- majority of the batter went into creating the "stump".

I'm a little miffed that the muffins didn't rise higher, especially since I made some changes for an airier muffin, but it could be because I didn't fill them paper liners all the way to the top. Having said that, these muffins have attained my ideal standard of lightness and fluffiness! I am so excited! There is just a wee bit more tweaking to do before I can finally establish my go-to muffin recipe.

Here are some of the changes I made to the recipe: Omitting the streusel. Whisking the egg and sugar together until they reach the "ribbon stage" and multiplying the quantity of baking powder by 1.5. I also swapped out the regular milk for buttermilk, but that's only because I had some on hand. Obviously, I used chocolate chips instead of blueberries. And I replaced half of the oil with equal amounts of buttermilk.

By whisking the egg and sugar until pale and thick, I incorporated more air into the batter instead of just relying on baking powder. This is absolutely imperative for the lightness of the muffins. Unfortunately, in doing so, I might have reduced the viscosity of the batter, resulting in less domed muffins. I'm not very sure about this, so I will try this recipe again with my changes in a normal muffin tin to see if it really is the type of paper liner I used that caused a less mushroom-like muffin.

I must confess that swapping some of the oil out for buttermilk is a regrettable decision. The muffins were a tad dry but that is entirely my fault. I'm sure that this substitution is workable, I should have just kept an eye on the baking time more stringently.

The muffins have a sort of sponge-cake lightness to them because of the whisking of the eggs, which is unorthodox but I really like it! If heavy dense muffins have been dominating your life so far, I urge you to try this recipe. And this is something I feel very strongly about- muffins have no absolute need for vanilla. A bit of egginess is surprisingly welcomed.

Crunchy-Top Chocolate Chip Muffins
lightly adapted from here
makes 8

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup milk or buttermilk
chocolate chips, as much as you want

Preheat oven to 400F. Line your muffin tin with paper liners.

Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together.

Whisk the egg and sugar until pale and fluffy, a.k.a the "ribbon stage". Pour in the oil and milk/buttermilk and whisk to combine.

Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Throw in the chocolate chips. The batter will be thick and lumpy.

Divide the batter amongst the paper liners and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Bake for about 12 minutes. Once out of the oven, let them cool slightly before digging in.


  1. This recipe for chocolate chip muffins looks great. Muffins are one of the few things that I find everybody loves to eat. This recipe is a classic!

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  3. If I want to add cocca powder in the batch, how much should I add?

    1. It depends on how strong you want the chocolate flavour to be but you can start by trying 1/4 cup, subtracting the equivalent amount of flour.