Food, Recipes from the Heart

Fudgy Jumbo Chocolate Muffins

Since being married, there’s two things I miss a lot – the oven at my mom’s place and my cat Chad. I live for the oven. A decent oven placed strategically makes cooking and baking a lot easier. It’s the star of the show when you’re preparing a few dishes on the stove – make something wonderful and stash it in the oven, time it and come back when it’s ready and voila! A meal or dessert done.

I always had a stash of cafe-style muffins in the fridge back when I was living with my mum. My mum, being obsessed over bananas, used to have plenty of overripe bananas which I forbade her to throw out. Mash them up, save it in the fridge or freezer, then chuck in into your chocolate muffin or chocolate cake batter. Ahh life’s simple pleasures, me thinks.

If there’s one thing I’m navigating through married life is that I’ve had to restart the process of making myself comfortable. You see, I was set on living a life at my mum’s place till I can afford and am eligible to get my own place (that’s when I hit 35 years old as a single woman). Then one day cupid came and I got myself married to a lovely man, and hey, I’m not complaining!

It’s difficult sometimes, but what is marriage without troubles, am I right? I do miss the kitchen I built with my mum, but in the mean time, allow me to scroll through Pinterest and plan our new house way in advance.

I was looking through my Instagram one day and I realised it’s been a long time since I baked muffins (also, I miss having a stand mixer ready and waiting on the kitchen countertop to be used). I remember bringing them to class one day, and my classmates went crazy. I remember bringing them to work and my colleagues hating me for spoiling their diet. And now, I have a memory of feeding them to Faeez so he won’t want to spend $5 at a cafe for a muffin I make at home.

Anyhoos, the secret to delicious chocolate muffins is in the cocoa. I only have Valhorna cocoa powder stocked in my pantry, and if I do run low on them and can’t swing by my go to place to get them, Ghirardelli chocolate cocoa powder from NTUC works perfectly fine.

Fudgy Jumbo Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cocoa powder (Valhorna)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 125g unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160deg.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add butter and sugar. Beat until sugar granules have dissolved and mixture is a pale yellow.
  3. Add vanilla and yoghurt then beat using a wooden spoon until incorporated.
  4. Add in all the dry ingredients and fold in to make sure the batter is well combined.
  5. Add in chocolate chunks or chocolate chips, then fold in to evenly distribute the chocolate to the batter.
  6. Using a muffin tray, line tray with muffin liners. Spoon batter into liners.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a cake skewer comes out clean.
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Food, Recipes from the Heart

Chocolate Never Disapppoints

The thing about keeping up with social media is that you tend to go through everything you wrote or uploaded in the past decade or so. While things I’ve written in my adolescence have since been buried, I think I only grew up in the last three years or so.

I used to write a lot. I wrote my heart out. I wrote my mind out. Writing kept me sane and my mind vibrant. I was always on a verbal diarrhoea. Writing was my way of communicating, even as a child. I was always told to keep my mouth shut, so I turned to writing. As I grew older however, I learned to keep quiet – even in my writing.

You see, I discovered photography. I discovered that life will always be throwing rotten lemons and tomatoes at you. I realised that no one really gives a hoots ass about what you have to say. Whatever struggles or cause you’re fighting for, there will be others who say you’re in no position to say the things you write about. I just gave up with writing because I could not deal with the naysayers.

Photographs, on the other hand, are amazing. They say a picture says a thousand words, which means with all of my photos combined, I would have published 10 papers or perhaps 3 novels. In another life, I could be a children’s book author if I had not been told that my stories were too wild, imaginative and far fetched without a local context (this happened to me when I was eight). In another life I could have been a journalist, if I had not been told that I don’t fit the bill as one. In another life, I would not have been the me I am today.

Perhaps I will continue disappointing those around me, or maybe I was meant for the thug life. Nothing good ever comes easy, am I right? I’m far from the success I want for myself. It’s not fair for someone else to tell me that I’m done and or that I should slow down. I will walk even faster, run if I must (though I literally hate running), just to prove a point that nothing good ever comes easy, and that time truly heals all wounds.

Just when we think we’ve figured things out, the universe throws us a curveball. So we have to improvise. We find happiness in unexpected places. We find our way back to the things that matter the most. The universe is funny that way. Sometimes it just has a way of making sure we wind up exactly where we belong.

– Grey’s Anatomy

I do find happiness in unexpected places. Some places, morbid. Others, bright and cheery. Whatever curveball the universe sends to me, I’ll be ready in a heartbeat.

Very Fudgy Chocolate Muffins

Adapted from Bright Eyed Baker

fudgychocmuffins-2

Ingredients

2 cups plain flour

1 cup natural cocoa powder, sifted

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 1/4 cups caster sugar

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)

1 1/2 cups sour cream (I used 1 1/2 cups milk with 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

10 1/2 ounces chocolate chips and/or chopped chocolate (I didn’t measure the amount of chocolates I used!)

Method

  1. Beat oil, sugar and vanilla together till fluffy.
  2. Add in eggs and yolk, gradually.
  3. Add in all the dry ingredients except for the chocolates, and alternate with the sour cream.
  4. Beat until well combined.
  5. Add in chocolate chips and mix well.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  7. Serve with ice cream!
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