Saturday, 20 December 2014

It’s only mini! So I will eat thirty.

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Christmas Mini Muffins

Time Taken: An hour-ish

Ingredients: a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, 150g plain flour, a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of baking powder, an egg, 50g sugar, 50g butter, 120ml milk, and decoration :)

Evening readers!

Today issss… Well, it’s Saturday (The weekend! Dance around!) and it’s FIVE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS. YEAHHHHHHH. I am more than A LITTLE excited now about Christmas. It’s been building and, today, I can confirm that I’m definitely excited. Officially. I’m in the festive spirit. And nothing will stop the song in my heart. Literally, I have sung all day. A medley of Christmas tunes. And some dance anthems thrown in to remind me of Newcastle. The hobs on the oven have been my discs. KITCHEN RAVE.

Though before I got down with the appliances, readers, I should report that the Christmas food shop was tackled this morning. There was a war waged between Morrison’s and my dad’s wallet. We made it out with not one trolley-related injury, high five! And we got EVERYTHING ON THE LIST. Possibly for the first year ever. And we got so much more, readers. We bought the shop. And it’s a joke because the kitchen here is so small we can’t even fit a microwave. So our arrival home, readers, was sort of a lesson in ‘How best to stack ten tins’ and ‘What’s safe to keep by the bleach’ and so on. There was a lot of “Christ, I knew we already had the parsnips!” and such. But we did it! And it’s all safely in the kitchen. Just about. THOUGH NOT FOR LONG. Muahahahahaha :D

And, once more, through my haze of festive cheer… I was inspired to bake! Today, I really wanted to get my bake on again. PLUS, I had an actual excuse to justify some baking. For once, a real reason why there was probable cause to bake! Such a rarity! See, tomorrow is another big present-swap family-meet-up function affair. This time for all of my dad’s girlfriend’s family brood. And I’m invited! I’m not really central to this clan, but I enjoy going along to their do’s. They’re a lovely bunch. So I’m going along and attending as my dapper dad’s plus one. And as I have no presents to hand out, I’ve baked some goodies for me to give out instead, for his girlfriend’s lovely family. :)

*Drumroll*… I’ve baked chocolate orange mini muffins, readers! Yes I have! I to-tally invented this recipe earlier, while feeling a little crazy, and it’s been a hazardous bake… but successful! With its many pitfalls, this was definitely one to share on the blog. I have to remind you all OCCASIONALLY that I’m not perfect in the kitchen. :P 

So, my original logic for this revolutionary recipe was:

1)      Even though it’s samey to yesterday’s baking (see my ‘Cookies from Darkest Peru’ blog post) I love chocolate orange flavours and we’ve got loads of Terry’s and shit in, so I definitely wanted to do something to involve them.

Who could say no?

2)      We have very few other ingredients in the house (the baking cupboard is also the cereal cupboard in my dad’s ridiculous kitchen).

There's about this much room in there

3)      In the kitchen, I discovered little gold and red candy cups, bought when making fudge last Christmas. How could I involve these?? Hmmm… AND SO MY RECIPE WAS BORN.

Some might say...

So, to rustle up tour own real life chocolate orange mini muffins CHEFBEHERE STYLE, here’s what you do…

1.       Heat your oven to 200ᵒC.

2.       Line a baking try with 30 or so candy cup cases.

3.       Measure your flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

4.       Heat your butter and a quarter of your Terry’s Chocolate Orange together in a saucepan until both are melted and mixed into chocolatey goo. Leave to cool.

5.       Measure your sugar into a large mixing bowl and crack your egg into this bowl.

6.       Chop up another quarter of your Terry’s Chocolate Orange, into small pieces.

7.       Add your melted butter mix to your egg’n’sugar bowl and stir it up!

8.       Place a sieve over this bowl and sift your flour mix through your sieve, so that it lands gently onto the batter below. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

9.       Pour your milk into this bowl and use a wooden spoon to fold everything together.


10.   Add your chocolate chunks and stir in (I did forget, yes, and had to chuck the chunks over my mini muffins just before they went into the oven – DON’T BE A COTTON HEADED NINNY MUFFIN LIKE ME).

11.   Take a teaspoon and scoop a small amount of mix into each of the candy cups, so that they just aren’t quite full.

ChefBeHere Top Tip: I pretty much filled my candy cups with mix and then it went and rose a tremendous amount, overspilling some of them! So play it safe, and make more of them rather than exploding a smaller number. Put a little mix in and I GUARANTEE it will rise.

12.   Safely transport your mini muffins into the oven to bake for ten minutes. Get some dishes washed really quickly while they do. Go on.

13.   When your muffins have risen and turned golden brown, get those babies out of the oven!

14.   Rest them somewhere safe to cool (If any made muffin love in the oven and have become one, you should just be able to pull them apart using your hands while they’re warm).

15.   Melt the remaining half of your Terry’s chocolate orange, either in the microwave or in a bowl held over a saucepan of boiling water.

"I'm meltinggggggggggg!"

16.   Use a teaspoon to drizzle a little chocolate over each mini muffin.

17.   Before the chocolate has time to set again, sprinkle some kind of decoration on top!

ChefBeHere Top Tip: I deployed crumbled pieces of chocolate orange brownie for decoration today. If you aren’t lucky enough to have brownies in the kitchen to crumble, you could use those little sugared orange slices that come in tubs with lemon slices? Or you could whip out the chocolate sprinkles, perhaps? Or pop a chocolate button or a magic star on each mini muffin? You don’t need a lot as they’re so small, but it’s nice to do something to decorate. Especially if you’re giving these as gifts, like I am.

18.   You’re all done! If you’ve baked these for a Christmas party, arrange your mini muffins artistically on a platter and pop them out on the buffet or offer them around to guests. If you’re giving them as gifts (like me!), find some takeaway tubs out that will fit your mini muffins and design a bunch of playful tub labels, to remind people what it is you’ve baked for them when they’ve forgotten after a few drinks. If you’ve made these all for yourself, pick your most splendid-looking mini muffin to start with… and tuck in! Yolo.

Here’s my babies all ready in their boxes for tomorrow!

And here was the mini muffin saved just for me! I say 'was'...

And there you have it, readers. Another delightfully tempting and terribly indulgent bake. Straight from the ChefBeHere kitchen. This recipe was a little crazy along the way, and I know my mini muffins rose so much they didn’t come out looking tidy. And the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that I stuck my brownie chunks on using writing icing in the end, having burned my melting chocolate in its pan. Again. I KNOW. I was too distracted with my singing! What’s a girl to do. But, despite ALL THAT… I think they’ve come out good!

Readers, I ate one: it tasted gorgeous. They look crazy but not… offputting?? Have you been put off by the photo them? I don’t think so. No! I think people will still want to put these in their mouths. I hope they will. Come on, they’re not that bad! They’re nottttt! THEY’RE MADE WITH LOVE. There you have it. And tomorrow I will be handing them over with love, and not worrying what people think of them. Because they aren’t. That. Bad.

I think this bake demonstrates, readers, that one key to a successful bake in the kitchen is just confidence. Approach your recipe with confidence, be confident that your baking you’ve produced is top-notch (it probably is!), hand it over like you owned it in the kitchen, hold your head high and as long as you aren’t poisoning anyone then all will be fine. At least you tried.

And you should! You should go try this recipe, readers. Go have a shot at it! Because when you’re not overfilling candy cups and forgetting about your chunks, then BURNING the bloody chocolate, you could be crafting some upstanding mini muffins, I believe.  So please, please, go try this recipe out and let me know how you get on. Can anyone make this work?? Can you bake some gold standard mini muffins using this recipe? Is the recipe still decent, despite all my song-related shenanigans in the kitchen? Ready. Set. BAAAKE! 

Sing (don’t singe) my superstars

And always be safe,


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