Saturday, 6 September 2008

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins

What do you do with a tub full of ricotta? I made a visit to Pennisi's at Woolloongabba to buy ingredients for my tiramisu and I couldn't resist buying a big hunk of soft ricotta but I didn't end up using it because we were in the middle of moving and excuses excuses...

Anyway, I had quite a large amount of ricotta in the fridge threatening to be part of the great moving fridge cleanout and I really didn't want it to go to waste, so I went looking for recipes. I didn't really want anything savoury, but something portable and light which could be easily moved if necessary. Portable? Light? Muffins!!

I found this recipe for Chocolate Ricotta Muffins on Recipezaar. They are apparently low in fat too, which is always a bonus. They were really good. They were moist and chocolatey and I felt very indulgent eating them. These are another muffin/cupcake that is really easy to chain eat, because they are so light. They are quite dangerous, actually.

I haven't made muffins in a while as cupcakes have been my flavour of the month. I had found with my cupcakes I had the process well ingrained in my head - cream butter, add sugar, beat well. Add eggs (one at a time) ... etc. It was quite fun to mix it up (not literally, this is a muffin mix) and make a muffin for a change. Is it wrong to get excited about that kind of thing?

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins
from 1Steve on Recipezaar

2 1/3 cups plain flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
6-8 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbs unsalted butter, melted (canola oil can be substituted for all or part of the butter - I did half and half)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Lightly spray a standard muffin tray with non stick spray or line it with muffin liners.

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa and sugar in a medium sized bowl.

Place the ricotta in a second medium-sized bowl. Add eggs one at at time, beating well with a medium sized whisk after each addition. (My note: my ricotta wasn't that soft, so I put mine in the stand mixer and let it go for quite a while to try and get out the lumps. I wasn't entirely successful, but you couldn't tell in the finished muffin. I couldn't use a whisk for this part).

Add the milk and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly blended.

Pour the ricotta mixture, along with the melted butter, into the dry ingredients.

Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, stir from the bottom of the bowl until the dry ingredients are all moistened.

Fold in the chocolate chips, making sure not to overmix.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Turn muffins out onto a cooling rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Muffins packed for transit in my cupcake courier.

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