Monday, February 10, 2014

Dark Chocolate Cherry Muffins for #MuffinMonday #ValentinesDay

Dark chocolate and cherries make a sweet and tender muffin. These may be the perfect Valentine’s Day breakfast because they are easy and tasty and pretty. 

Happy Valentine’s Day! I say it early because first thing Wednesday morning I am headed off to Uganda to work as a volunteer in a local elementary school near Kampala called Masooli School. I do have muffins ready for the coming Mondays, of course, but other than those, this space will be pretty quiet for the next two weeks. I just wanted you all to know so you don’t worry. I hope to come back with some amazing stories and photos to share. I’ll be staying in a rondavel, which is a hut of sorts made out of local materials so I don't know about electricity but I definitely won't have internet. The plan is for me to teach basic sewing skills and handicrafts as extracurricular activities and pitch in wherever needed during the school day. As I’ve told my friends and family on Facebook, our family is sponsoring two of the students for the second year now but this is my first opportunity to go and be of help in person. To those of you who have added your monetary support to ours, thank you again from the bottom of my heart. I will send you photos, I promise!

So without further ado, I give you these Black Forest-inspired muffins. Except they are missing kirsch because I think it’s nasty. Want to defend it? That’s what the comment section is for!

Ingredients
3 1/2 oz or 100g cherry intense dark chocolate bar (Or sub regular dark chocolate.)
7 oz or 200g glacé or candied cherries
2 cups or 250g flour
3/4 cup or 150g white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup or just over 40g unsweetened cocoa powder (I used the special dark.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 egg
 Scant 2/3 cup or 140g plain yogurt
 1/2 cup or 120ml milk
 1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin tin by spraying with non-stick spray or lining with muffin papers.

Set aside 12 cherries for decoration and chop the rest. Chop up the chocolate into small chunks.



Combine your flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.



In another smaller bowl, whisk together your egg, yogurt, milk, oil and vanilla extract.



Add the chopped cherries into the wet ingredients and whisk again to separate the sticky pieces from each other.



Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stop when it’s still quite dry looking.



Add the chocolate chunks. Stir until just mixed.



Divide your batter between the 12 muffin cups.  Top each with one of the reserved cherries.



Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.



Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove to continue cooling on a wire rack.


Enjoy!


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16 comments:

  1. Good luck to you in Uganda! Can't wait to hear about it when you get back. Safe travels.

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  2. I know how blessed I am, Kelli! Really, I do. I am delighted to be able to give back even just a little bit by going there. And I consider your friendship one of my biggest blessings. Happy Valentine's Day to you too!

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  3. "Except they are missing kirsch because I think it’s nasty. Want to defend it? That’s what the comment section is for!" <-- lol, I LOVE how feisty you are, Stacy! I know that we'd be fabulous friends in real life. Especially since I'd be coming over weekly in order to eat your delicious muffins. This is a winning combo and they look fantastic. I'm in awe of you for going to Uganda and volunteering. You are truly an incredible, giving woman. I can't wait to hear all about your trip and see the stunning photographs you'll be taking. Safe travels, Stacy!

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  4. Only one word is needed here: YUM! I love everything you've put on that plate.

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  5. shrimp + tomatoes + lemon sauce + pasta = a very happy Susan! Substituting the lemon for meyer lemons makes this even better!

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  6. God bless you Stacy, have an amazing trip!! Can't wait to hear all about it when you're back. Love these muffins - cherries and chocolate always have me drooling xx

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  7. Please come and cook dinner for me!!! I absolutely adore the flavours you've combined and it looks so good!!!

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  8. Mmm I'd make this meal any day of the week!

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  9. I wondered whether it was worth forking out extra for these lemons - will try some now. Lovely recipe.

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  10. Wow, I'll be thinking of you during your Uganda trip Stace! Hope that it goes well and that both you and the locals are truly blessed! Love the look of these gorgeously decadent muffins. Definitely perfect for Valentines day, I didn't know that Lindt made cherry chocolate... I'll have to look out for it. Hope that you had a lovely day yesterday xx

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  11. This is a stunning recipe Stacy, love the combination of the seafood and that beautiful lemony sauce. I've never tried Meyer lemons (i don't think we can get them over here in Australia) but I definitely believe in their merit... I've read a lot about them. I definitely want to try this with regular Eureka lemons though (the common variety over here). Sounds wonderful! xx

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  12. I know we would be fabulous friends in real life too, Nancy, because I already consider you one! Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot to me!

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  13. Thank you, Jaime! I've added photos on the two more Monday Muffin posts for your viewing pleasure.

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  14. I just happened to come across the Lindt bars and those were my inspiration, Laura. They have all kinds of flavors that I'll be looking into shortly. :)

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  15. I love the little pop of red! So pretty!

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