Chocolate Zucchini Muffins – I mean Cupcakes
Chocolate … sticky, hot, messy, awful chocolate. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Chocolate – what a beautiful idea.**
Continuing with our muffin/cupcake theme, here a completely unhealthy (don’t let the zucchini fool you) but wonderfully decadent muffin (or is it a cupcake?), filled with chocolate (1 cup of cocoa plus chocolate chips!), made deliciously moist with zucchini with a hint of spice with cinnamon and allspice. I used half mint chocolate chip which added another interesting layer of complexity.
But what makes something a muffin and something a cupcake? I always figured cupcakes were more cake-like, more airy, less substantial, more dessert, whereas muffins were a bit more heartier. Basically, I had a general idea but not entirely sure… so I did a bit of research.
According to Cupcakes Take the Cake:
“The quick-and-dirty answer on this is that cupcakes have frosting, whereas muffins do not. However, in researching, I found an excellent formulaic definition of the difference courtesy of Diana’s Desserts: “A basic formula for muffins is 2 cups flour, 2-4 tablespoons sugar, 2½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 egg, ¼ cup oil, shortening or butter and 1 cup milk. When the fat, sugar and egg ratio in a recipe reaches double or more than this, you have reached the cake level.”
This recipe is from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterburg & Wanda Urbanowicz and also found at 101 cookbooks. It is my submission for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Cinzia at Cindystar.
**Completely spoofed from Dexter.
Chocolate Zucchini Cupcake Recipe
1 1/2 cups (360 mL) brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) melted butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) vegetable oil (I tracked down coconut oil for this but I could barely taste the difference)
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1/2 cup (120 mL) buttermilk*
2 cups (480 mL) grated zucchini (I used 1 large zucchini)
1 cup (240 mL) chocolate chips (I used half chocolate; half mint chocolate chips)
2 cups (480 mL) unbleached flour
1 cup (240 mL) cocoa, sifted
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
2 tsp (10 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) allspice
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) cinnamon
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease large muffin pans and line with muffin cups.
2. In a medium bowl mix together the sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well Incorporated. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini and chocolate chips.
3. In a separate bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and mix until well combined. Spoon batter into muffin pans. Bake in the center of the oven for about 30-35 minutes (they should be taken when almost done). Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 20 muffins.
*For buttermilk, I substituted it by combining 1/2 tbsp vinegar (or lemon juice) with enough milk to make a total volume of 1/2 cup. I let it sit for at least 5 minutes before incorporating it into the recipe. This is a good substitute when baking with buttermilk, but certainly not for anything using fresh buttermilk.