Friday, 7 December 2012

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Muffins

I'm going to let you in on a little secret - there is  type of cake I really hate. I know. It's sacrilege! Completely and utterly against my religion! I should be banned from the bake-blogging world immediately!! But it's true, I really can't stand fruit cakes. That includes fruit puddings too, so Christmas cake and Christmas pudding are not my friends. You see, I have a passionate dislike for raisins, currants and sultanas, and as fruit cakes contain an abundance of those things, we've never seen eye to eye. Or cake to mouth. So when I wanted to make some mini Christmas pudding for a Christmas party a few years back, I had to come up with a suitable alternative. I went with chocolate chip muffins. It worked for me!!

These muffins pre-date my blogging days, but they got a lot of complements so I wrote the recipe down in a notebook. Flipping through that notebook made me quite nostalgic, and I found a couple of SWEET recipes to share in the near future! I think I'm going to make some mini - muffin versions of these this Christmas, I'll post the photos below when I do!


For the muffins:
100g soft brown sugar
150g self raising flour
3 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
100ml vegetable oil
50ml milk
2 medium eggs, beaten
100g chocolate chips

To decorate:
150g icing sugar
A few drops of water
50g green ready-to-roll icing
25g red ready-to-roll icing

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Makes 8 muffins

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark four and grease a muffin tin really well.
  2. Tip your sugar, flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl, then stir in the oil, milk, and beaten eggs until all the ingredients combined to form a smooth batter. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each hole 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm but springy to touch. Leave the muffins to cool completely in the tin.
  4. Whilst the muffins are cooling, make your holly leaves and berries with the fondant icing. For the leaves, I rolled out the green icing and used a sharp knife to cut out a holly leaf shape, which is why mine are all uneven! You could also use a cutter, if you have one! For the berries, I simply rolled up small pieces of the red icing in my hands.
  5. Once cool, remove the muffins from tin. You'll be serving the muffins bottom up, so you may need to cut a little away from the top of each muffin to make sure they are level.
  6. Eat the cut off bits (this step is very important!)
  7. Put a wire rack or cooling rack over a tray or sheet of greaseproof paper (it's could get messy during the next few steps!) then place your muffins, bottom up, on top of this.
  8. Now it's time to make the icing. I made mine ever so slightly too runny, which is ever so easy to do, so always best to err on the side of caution. Pour the icing sugar into a bowl, then stir in the water 1tsp at a time until you have a spreadable, but still thick icing. I know it's tempting to add the water more than 1tsp at a time, but trust me - this kind of icing goes from solid to runny in 2 seconds flat. Be patient!
  9. Once your icing is of the desired consistency, spread a little over the top of each upside-down muffin, letting it go over the edge and start to dribble down the sides. If, like me, you made your icing too runny, the icing will probably stream down the sides, rather than dribble, and you'll be pleased you placed that greaseproof paper underneath to catch all the icingy mess!
  10. Place your holly leaves and berries on top of the icing, then leave to set.
  11. Serve with a cup of tea and some Christmas cheer!
Happy Thoughts

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