Dark chocolate squares.
Chocolate muffins are a type of baked product built around one or several varieties of chocolate. These muffins, like other types of muffins, are essentially small cakes and are usually sweet rather than savory. These muffins can be flavored with just chocolate, but many also include other ingredients to complement the flavors of the specific type or types of chocolate used in the muffin.
A typical muffin recipe produces a soft, moist baked product. Muffins are typically baked in special muffin tins. Some are cooked in paper wrappers to prevent them from sticking together, while others rely on a light coating of oil to perform the same function.
One type of chocolate muffin relies on processed cocoa to add chocolate flavor. This processed cocoa is usually mixed with the dough used to bake muffins. Chocolate muffins made this way often use additional sugar or other sweeteners to counteract the somewhat bitter taste of cocoa powder. Baked muffins with chocolate powder in the batter will taste like chocolate and have a rich, chocolaty appearance.
A second variety of chocolate muffins are made with regular muffin batter, but employ chocolate, usually milk chocolate or dark chocolate, in the form of chips, zest, or chunks. This chocolate will melt during the baking process, and the chocolate will infuse the rest of the muffin to some degree. Some chocolate muffins combine the cocoa in the batter with chocolate chips or shavings to provide a double dose of chocolate.
Many flavors pair well with chocolate, and chocolate muffins often use other ingredients to add other flavor notes. Berries often mix well with chocolate, and raspberry or cranberry chocolate muffins are often particularly successful. Oranges and chocolate also tend to work well together and candied oranges can be added to chocolate dessert muffins to inject another flavor element.
Another option for adding other flavors to chocolate muffins involves using flavored liqueurs or syrups. Cream liqueurs, coffee liqueurs or orange liqueurs can be added to muffin batter to produce chocolate muffins that are infused with the flavor of chocolate and the flavor of the specific liqueur. Chocolate liqueur can also be used to provide the chocolate flavor in a muffin. In some cases, chocolate muffins may have liqueur added after baking, which allows the porous structure of the muffin to absorb some of the liqueur’s moisture and flavor.