Sometimes when I am at the grocery store, I browse the candy/sweetie aisle for muffin inspiration. There are such a lot of great combinations of flavors on every shelf, some classic like chocolate-covered cherries, others a little more “out there” like chocolate and lime or chili peppers. At first I was just planning to bake chocolate hazelnut muffins and then I thought to myself, “I wonder what would happen if I stuffed an entire Ferrero Rocher chocolate-covered hazelnut candy in the batter” and then I had to try it. There was always the possibility that the chocolate surrounding the hazelnut would get molten and cause 12 mini explosions in the oven, sending muffin batter everywhere. Some part of me was hoping for that result, but the better part of me was counting on the candy staying intact and creating a lovely surprise at the center of each muffin. I’m pleased to tell you that, as you can see from the photos, my better part won! The other part was just slightly disappointed but these great muffins are sweet consolation. Clearly I need to get out more.
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour (or an equivalent amount Dove Farm’s gluten-free flour mix)
1 cup or 110g coarse hazelnut meal or ground hazelnuts (I did mine in the food processor.)
3/4 cup or 170g golden caster sugar (Normal white sugar can be substituted.)
1/4 cup or 25g extra dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
1/2 cup or 125g sour cream
1/2 cup or 115g unsalted butter, melted then cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 Ferrero Rocher chocolate-covered hazelnut candies
Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C. Put liners in muffin cups or grease well with butter or non-stick spray.
Whisk together your flour, ground hazelnuts, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk together milk, butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla in another bowl until combined well.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and, if using normal flour, fold until just combined. If you are using the gluten-free mix, stir well until no flour is showing.
Divide the batter among muffin cups. Decorate each with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate and push it down gently into the batter.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin alongside the chocolate candy center comes out clean.
Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.