Sunday, April 4, 2010

Earl Grey White Chocolate Chunk Muffins

My foodie friend, Cindy, forwarded me this Earl Grey White Chocolate Chunk Muffins recipe from eat me, delicious about a month ago. She told me they were great and has already made them a few times. Convinced, I decided to try making these muffins as well, although I have to admit, I was weary about mixing chocolate and tea leaves together. What an awkward combo, right? Especially its chocolate chunks, not even chocolate chips. In hindsight, I think this worry of mine led to the downfall of my muffins.

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground Earl Grey tea (or more if you dare)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chunks


    Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground Earl Grey tea. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't worry about being thorough - a few lumps are better than over mixing the batter. Stir in the white chocolate chunks. Divide the batter evenly among the muffins cups.

    Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

    I bought these white chocolate from Bakers. There are 6 blocks in each box, and 3/4 cup is about 4 blocks.

    Hm, so the recipe asks for chunks. For some strange reason, I thought that bashing them in a ziploc bag would do the trick. Unfortunately, doing that gave me a ripped Ziploc bag with a pile of tiny chocolate specks. Looking back, what compelled me to think that hitting blocks of chocolate with a wooden roller would give me chunks of chocolate? I then resorted to the old fashion way of cutting the chocolate with a knife. This worked, but as you can see, I chopped them way to small. I think I couldn't get over the fact that I should put huge chunks of chocolate as ingredients in a muffin. This is my downfall #1.

    After pouring the liquid ingredients over the dry ones, I realized immediately that this batter was extremely thick; I had such a hard time mixing it with my spatula. I would have to say this was the heaviest muffin batter I've ever come across. Because the batter was so heavy, I was determined to mix it well, which took longer than I expected. My determination to mix everything together thoroughly broke the golden rule of making muffins: MIX QUICKLY, DO NOT OVER MIX. This is my downfall #2.

    I tested the muffins at 18 minutes and the wooden stick came out absolutely spotless. This led me to believe I've over-baked them as some of the tops were way too dark for my liking. This is my downfall #3. 

    My muffins are a far cry from looking like this or this. However, is it just me, but don't the muffins in those two pictures look a bit too gooey? Like they aren't thoroughly baked?

    Anyway, downfall #1 (cutting the chocolate too small) led to the muffins looking like chocolate was never an ingredient, probably because it probably all melted during the baking process. For the chocolate to still look so prominent in the above linked pictures make me think that they were probably pretty big chunks.

    I took a bite, and man, they were so dry. This is of course due to downfall #2 (over-mixing) and downfall #3 (over-baking). 

    I told my parents and my boyfriend out right that these muffins suck. I even suggested that they dip them in coffee/tea so that they are easier to swallow. They were all very nice and told me the muffins weren't that dry, and were actually pretty good. They are toooo sweet!

    I have 5 muffins left. Any takers? :D

    I really need to consult with Cindy about these muffins! Or maybe I should just sit back and let her make them for me!