In the midst of a grey, dreich January, the zesty freshness and heady aroma of seasonal blood orange is enough to brighten even the darkest of Winter days. These blood orange and double chocolate rye muffins – via Anna Jones’ fantastic collection, ‘A Modern Way to Cook’ – are like a grown-up, healthier riff on Terry’s Chocolate Orange. You could quite justifiably eat these for breakfast as they have no refined sugar, dairy and just a little spelt flour. The milk and oil make for a really moist sponge, and if you wanted to make them even more of a treat you could add more chopped chocolate sprinkled at the end for some more gooey goodness. To make 12 muffins, you will need:
150ml olive oil or coconut oil
150g good white spelt flour
50g wholegrain rye flour
5 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
3 free-range organic eggs
250ml milk of your choice
150ml maple syrup
2 unwaxed blood oranges (or normal orange)
100g good quality chocolate.
Preheat the oven to 220C/ 200C fan/ Gas 7. Line a muffin tin with paper liners (I have a smaller bun tin, so mine made more, smaller cakes) and get all your ingredients together. If you are using coconut oil, melt it and let it cool.
Sift together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Crack the eggs in a separate bowl and whisk together, then add the milk, maple syrup and oil while constantly stirring. Grate in the zest of one of the oranges.
Use a knife to cut the peel from both oranges and remove any pithy bits, then chop the oranges into small pieces, removing the pith from the centre too.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, folding carefully.
Roughly chop the chocolate and add half of it to the batter, along with half the orange pieces.
Use a spatula to carefully fold everything together until combined.
Divide the batter between the muffin cases (fill until about two thirds full) and top with the rest of the chocolate and orange pieces.
Bake for 16 – 18 minutes in the preheated oven, then serve with a cup of something caffeinated.
These muffins are best warm from the oven – I’m not sure it’s possible not to try one straight after baking, as the scent of chocolate and orange is too much to resist. Normal oranges work just as well when blood orange is out of season.
What are you baking this weekend? Are you a fan of blood orange?