As I have a bit of a thing for purple, cows and chocolate, it’s perhaps no surprise that my favourite chocolate brand is Milka. I rarely bake with it (as it’s milk chocolate rather than dark), but I do occasionally like to throw it into the odd chocolatey bake. I did this a few days ago when experimenting with a variation on my beloved BBC Good Food triple chocolate muffins.
I had quite a lot of caramel left over from last week’s caramel banana blondies, so I thought I’d attempt to bake some chocolate muffins with a gooey caramel centre. I’d never really done this before so it was a bit of a gamble!
I started off by making the wet and dry mixes for the muffins as per the recipe, swapping the white chocolate in the original recipe with extra milk(a) chocolate and reducing the amount of dark chocolate. I kept the amount of cocoa powder the same, however.
Dry and wet muffin mixes, before combining
Then I combined the two to create a wonderfully rich muffin mix:
Milka chocolate and caramel muffin mix
Next, I spooned two-thirds of the mix into the muffin cases and added a generous blob of caramel on top, before spooning over the rest of the muffin mix. I used Nestle Carnation caramel from a tin, but you can make your own if you’re good at it (I’m not!). I was careful to cover as much of the caramel as possible with the top layer of mix to avoid burning.
Muffin mix, pre-baking. The one in the top left corner is complete – two layers of mix with caramel in between.
Then the muffins went into the oven for 20 minutes. Some of the caramel bubbled up to the top of the muffins, but there weren’t any burning issues, thankfully! I left them to cool for a few minutes before attemping to break one open to see how successful I was with creating a gooey centre…
A Milka chocolate and caramel muffin, warm from the oven
Well, they were gooey alright, but not quite in the way I expected. The caramel dispersed throughout the muffins in little blobs, rather than staying in one big blob in the middle. I suspect this is because the muffin mix was pretty gooey itself to begin with! There was also some gooey melted chocolate, which is par for the course (and extremely welcome) in the original recipe.
Taste-wise, the muffins were very chocolatey. I couldn’t taste much of the caramel in the first muffin I had, but the next one was pretty spot on, so I think the first muffin just didn’t have enough caramel in it. Some of the chocolate chunks didn’t melt, resulting in a wonderful combination of textures – liquid caramel/melted chocolate, cakey muffin and hard chocolate bits.
Everyone who tried a muffin really enjoyed them, and I’m very pleased with how they turned out. I think if (when) I make them again I’ll add more caramel, but that’s probably the only change I’ll make.
Now to decide what to do with the rest of the leftover caramel…!
Based on the recipe for triple chocolate chunk muffins from BBC Good Food 101 Cakes & Bakes.
- 250g plain flour
- 25g cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 200g Milka Alpine Milk chocolate (or any other milk chocolate), broken into chunks
- 50g dark chocolate
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 284ml soured cream
- 85g light muscovado sugar
- 85g melted butter
- 12 generous tsp caramel (I used Nestle Carnation caramel)
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/180C fan oven. Place 12 paper cases in a muffin tin (or butter the holes themselves if you’re not using cases).
2. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and chocolate in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Mix the eggs, soured cream, sugar and butter in another bowl.
4. Add the wet mixture to the flour mix and stir until just combined and the mixture is fairly stiff, but don’t overmix.
5. Spoon two-thirds of the mixture into the paper cases/muffin tin holes, then top each one with a generous teaspoon of caramel (you can add more if you’re able to). Divide the remaining muffin mix among the 12 cases/holes by spooning a blob of mix on top of the caramel, making sure to cover as much of the caramel as possible to avoid burning/bubbling.
6. Bake for 20 minutes until well risen. Leave in the tins for 15 minutes as the mixture will be quite tender. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.