Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Chocolate Almond Muffins with Marzipan Streusel Topping

I intended this to be my entry for this month's 'We Should Cocoa' challenge, but I'm not entirely happy with the results, so I'll hold it as a reserve for the moment. I was quite happy with the general idea, but the muffin wasn't chocolatey enough - it needed either some plain chocolate chips or some melted chocolate added to the muffin batter. A chopped up dark Toblerone bar might have added an extra nuance to the flavour, without overpowering the almond flavour. The streusel topping, containing grated marzipan, worked very well and gave a really crisp crumble topping to the muffins.

I used Nigella Lawson's recipe for chocolate chip muffins as a guideline, as it uses vegetable oil rather than butter. Here's one online version of the recipe. Foolishly, I left out the chocolate chips, and lived to regret it. I also used SR flour instead of plain flour + baking powder, and used 200g flour and 50g ground almonds. The only other change was to add a few drops of almond extract to the liquid ingredients.

For the streusel topping, I mixed 70g plain flour, 50g demerara sugar and 75g grated white marzipan, then stirred in 55g melted butter.

When cool this was crumbled evenly over the muffin batter before baking.

The recipe worked quite well, considering muffins aren't one of my strong points, although my efforts not to overmix left a few floury patches in the muffins. I just can't get it completely right!

Because of the butter in the streusel topping, I can't really claim these are low in saturated fat, but they're not as bad as if I'd used butter in the muffin batter too! The mildness of the chocolate flavour allowed the almond flavour to come through too.


Choclette said...

These look really good Suelle and I so like the sound of your marzipan streusal topping - you have such good ideas. I shall wait with baited breath to see if you come up with anything better than this.

Rachel said...

Those sound really good! I definitely think you are on the right track about adding chocolate chips. You can never have enough chocolate!

In my opinion, it's really difficult to overmix muffin batter if you are mixing by hand. I've actually tried to purposely overmix the batter and the muffins still turned out good. Just don't use a stand mixer.. that was my biggest mistake! Can you say hockey pucks?

C said...

They look really tasty and like Choclette I love the idea of using the marzipan in a streusal topping - very clever!

I have to admit that this month's challenge really isn't inspiring me!

snowy said...

The marzipan in the streusel topping is a great idea.
Like Nigella's choc.chip muffins recipe - I always use oil in muffins. My original recipe was a Jane Asher one.

Joanna said...

I like the sound of these, though I haven't tried this choc chip muffin recipe. Have you got one of those Danish dough whisks? they are really good for mixing muffin batter together for some reason.

Suelle said...

Hi Joanna - I've had to Google Danish dough whisks to confirm that I don't have one. But I want one now! LOL!

Chele said...

You can never have too much chocolate in a muffin ;0)

celia said...

Suelle, I always regret when I leave out chocolate chips, even when the recipe doesn't call for it! :) Second Jo's dough whisk comment - I loooove mine! Streusel topping looks yummy! :)