> The Beesley Buzz: Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Muffins

Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Muffins

One of the positives to come out of being in isolation at home is having the time to cook and bake more than usual. And the other positive is having the time to blog about the recipes! So my little blog no longer feels as neglected as it has been over the past couple of years because I seem to be posting recipe after recipe to keep a record of bakes that have turned out well.

A few years back, we bought 6 raspberry canes to plant in the garden. I'm not sure what we did wrong but all but one of them died! The following year the one surviving one gave a handful of raspberries but certainly nothing to write home about. We also noticed a couple of new shoots growing where some of the original ones didn't survive. This year we finally started to get lots of raspberries. Mainly from that one cane.

We're going to have to look up when / how to prune it and hope that it does well again next summer.

Raspberries have always felt a bit of a luxury fruit to me as they are usually pricey to buy fresh and so it feels like a sacrifice to use them in baking rather than enjoying them fresh. But here I was with an abundance of raspberries for once and so I decided to make Raspberry and Chocolate muffins.

I turned to the internet to find a suitable recipe and most used white chocolate which I didn't have. But I found one recipe that looked good and so I simply used dark chocolate in place of the white chocolate and they turned out remarkably well! Soft, light, fluffy muffins. This particular recipe only used 1 egg which was another bonus because we've struggled to get hold of eggs at times during lockdown.

The muffins were soon polished off and enjoyed. So today, with another bowlful of fresh raspberries from the garden, I decided to make another batch. But could I find the recipe I had used? No.

I kept coming across recipes which called for more eggs, or to melt butter or to use yogurt or sour cream. I just wanted the nice simple successful recipe that I had used the other day!!!

Eventually I found it! It was the Quick & Easy White Chocolate & Raspberry muffins recipe from Bake, Play, Smile (Obviously I used dark chocolate in place of white because as I already mentioned I didn't have any white chocolate).

So now the link is recorded here on the blog, I hope I won't lose it again!

However, I tweaked the recipe the second time to reduce the sugar and increase the amount of raspberries (really just to use up the amount I had) and they turned out well once again even with the changes to the recipe.

So here is our version of the recipe - for full method please see the original recipe from Bake, Play, Smile.

265g self-raising flour
150g caster sugar
50g light/mild olive oil
1 egg
240ml milk
200g fresh raspberries
85g dark chocolate (chopped into pieces)

The method is basically to combine the dry ingredients (not the chocolate or raspberries), then mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Making a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour the wet into the dry and mix briefly. Finally adding the chocolate and raspberries and folding them in gently.

Don't forget to preheat your oven to 180C (fan) before you start and line a 12 hole muffin tray with muffin cases. These took 25 minutes in my oven but may need a little less time or more time depending on your oven.

I was so so pleased with how these turned out! I have no idea how long our raspberry season will go on for or whether we'll have another successful year next year but now I know exactly what to bake whenever I do have a surplus of raspberries.

Edit: I tried making these again once we had some white chocolate and tweaked the recipe as follows: 
265g self-raising flour
130g caster sugar
50g olive oil
1 egg
240ml milk
175g raspberries
100g white chocolate

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