Raspberry and Double Chocolate Muffins and Loaf Cake

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffin

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffin

You know it’s been a long time since you’ve made cake when work colleagues start asking for them! Around the same time last year (just after Christmas when everyone was trying to shift a few pounds!) it was the opposite, we were all sick of the sight of cakes and biscuits in the office…

So I dusted off the muffin tin and rummaged for the muffin cases to try out this Raspberry and Chocolate Muffin recipe. This recipe current has 239 positive reviews so I chose to go with this one without even bothering to look at others, why would I ignore such a highly recommended recipe?!

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffin

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffin

First thing to note is that the recipe uses ‘cups’ rather than weighing out each ingredient making it very simple to throw together. I usually have some frozen berries in the freezer for emergency baking or fruity sauce making (yes there are instances of such urgent issues in my life). I also have quite a few blocks of chocolate left over from Christmas baking. I’m not a huge fan of eating chocolate on its own so they have gone untouched in case of other dessert making adventures.

The recipe itself calls for white chocolate but I didn’t have enough so I ended up using both white and milk chocolates, hence the ‘double chocolate’ element of the muffin. As with most cake recipes, I reduced the amount of sugar from 1 cup to 2/3 cup. I figured that with all that chocolate in it, it would be sweet enough. On taste testing the muffins (I had to have 2 just to be sure) I would even go for half a cup of sugar depending on how sweet your chocolate is!

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffins and Loaf

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffins and Loaf

I was quite surprised that there is only 50g of butter and 1 egg in this recipe. Relatively low in fat compared to other muffin recipes, an excuse to eat double the amount maybe?

Due to the expanding number of people working in my office I made two batches. The first batch went into a loaf tin and the second batch in 12 muffin cases. I have to say that sticking the the muffins is much quicker. They took 20 minutes but the loaf tin took a good 45 minutes to bake. However, having a cake to cut up is always more enjoyable when with a group of friends with a round of tea and coffee… There are pros and cons to both, but pretty much any cake is always a good thing!

So you can imagine that after baking such lovely cake and muffins for my work mates, I was looking forward to seeing their reactions when they took the initial bite and tasted the tart raspberries with the sweet chocolatey nuggets of goodness. Well something terrible happened, and not for the first time! I FORGOT to take the cakes with me in the morning! Can you imagine the horror when I realised half way into my one hour commute to work? I just dreaded having to tell them all that the cakes I had made especially for them were abandoned on my coffee table 30 miles away… The worst of it was that I wasn’t even due in the office the next day so couldn’t even give them slightly stale cake. Oh well, more for me! 🙂

Their wish has been left unfulfilled…

Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cake

Marble Cake

Marble Cake

On my recent adventure to the Clandestine Cake Club I came across two ladies who made ‘marble cakes’ and I found myself wondering why I have never attempted to make one? I had made a fairly low maintenance Pistachio, Cardamom and Yoghurt Cake which is a fairly straight forward all in one method with a lime syrup to drizzle on top. I had a chat with a fellow baker who had made a delicious Chocolate and Orange Marble Cake and she reassured me that the secret to marbling is that ‘less is more’. So today I decided to give it a shot!

Marble Cake recipe

Marble Cake recipe from Dan Lepard’s ‘Short and Sweet’

I used a Dan Lepard recipe from his book ‘Short and Sweet’. The recipe is actually for a Marbled Chocolate Crumble Cake but I decided to skip on the crumble since to simplify things for myself. He has posted a similar recipe on his Guardian column which gives brilliant step by step photos to guide you along the way to a perfect marble cake!

Marble Loaf Cake

Marble Loaf Cake

So taking the cake out of the oven, I felt quietly confident that cake would be a success as the top was nicely marbled and you could see the contrasting colours. However one the cake had cooled though to cut through it was a very different story inside! I was obviously not thorough enough with the ‘swirling’ so have ended up with blocks of cake that are either ‘chocolate’ or ‘vanilla’. This may have something to do with my cutting the cake into squares instead of slices though…

Marbled Cake

Marbled Cake

The texture of the cake is a little crumbly on the chocolate bits where it started to fall away a little when I cut it. The vanilla parts were fine though. On tasting a few of the crumbs, I have to say it tastes lovely! Very deep chocolate flavour and not too sweet. I like Dan Lepard’s recipes and will definitely try more from his book!