December 15, 2011


choc muffins1It was my birthday last weekend and it is customary for any birthday girl to take cakes to work.  I fully intended to make my own but ran out of time so bought some cupcakes for Sainsbury’s. 

They were disappointing.  The sponge was uninteresting and there was a huge pile of glurpy icing on top which tasted too much of artificial flavouring.  Maybe I’m getting picky, eating so much home-made cake these days.  Luckily there were only three of us in that day to eat them so for the next day (and a different set of colleagues) I decided to make some muffins.

I had found a recipe for chocolate and orange muffins that I thought would do fine for this month’s “We Should Cocoa” challenge hosted by Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog.  Because of my birthday and lack of time I had the perfect reason for baking them.

(Excuse for baking number 24c!)

Muffins are quick and easy to make but usually best eaten on the day they are baked.  So I got all the ingredients measured out and put on one side before going to bed.  Then in the morning, in between taking Nick to the station for the 7.30am train and taking Lulu for her morning walk, I mixed them up and popped them in the oven.

choc muffins2 choc muffins3

As it’s Christmas time I decided to perk them up by sprinkling some crushed sugar pieces on top.  I found these in a French supermarket ages ago and brought them home – I don’t know if you can get them here in the UK – I haven’t looked.

choc muffins4 They were baked in 25  minutes and the kitchen smelled wonderful when I came back from the fields with the dog – in fact she wouldn’t eat her breakfast, nose twitching and hoping for something more interesting.

choc muffins5

She was unlucky this time !!  I packed some in a small box to drop off at my dad’s on the way to work and took the remaining ones with me for us to enjoy with morning coffee and afternoon tea……..well they’re never as good the next day !!

choc muffins6 They were a success, nice and chocolatey and not too sweet.  In fact next time I make them I would be tempted to add a little more sugar……..there’s always the possibility that I forgot to put any in at all…….but I don’t think so.  But if so - it’s my age !!


125g self raising flour

125g self raising wholemeal flour

25g ground almonds

55g soft brown sugar

rind and juice of 1 orange

175g cream cheese

2 eggs

55g plain chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 190°C/180°fan.  Put 10 muffin cases in a muffin tin.

Sift the flours into a large bowl.  Add the ground almonds and sugar and mix together.  Make a well in the centre.

In another bowl, beat together the orange rind, juice, cheese and eggs.

Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients.  Add the chocolate chips and mix together, avoiding over-mixing.  (I found the mixture very dry and stiff so I added a splash of milk here to loosen it.)

Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until well risen and brown.

Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack.

Makes 10 muffins.  (My mixture made 11.)  Best eaten the same day !!


  1. I LOVE those perles de sucre, and often buy them from Leclerc or SuperU! The muffins look delightful and orange and chocolate is such a great flavour combination. A great WSC entry and I am going to try these over the Festive period!
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

  2. these do look very wonderful!... I too find shop bought cakes always a let-down... happy birthday by the way x

  3. Happy Birthday! A really lovely entry to the challenge and I too find that the more I bake, the more fussy I become about non-homebaked items!

  4. These sound really good - I like the addition of the cream cheese. As for the sugar pieces - I wanted some of these back in the summer and I looked for them in all the major British supermarkets and finally found just a few in a mixed ice-cream decorating pack in Asda. Of course, as soon as I went to France I bought a big pack in SuperU. And a belated happy birthday.

  5. Oh yummy I may just get energetic and make some of those. Thanks Jean. Diane x

  6. I'm definitely going to stock up on the perles de sucre next time I'm in France. They look great and I'm so impressed by your organisational skills!

  7. Now these may only be termed muffins, but they are so much more than that what with the cream cheese and almonds. In fact they sound just the thing for a birthday and look very pretty too. Am highly impressed with your organisational skills and getting them baked before going to work.