Dark Chocolate Toffee Crumble Muffins

Dark chocolate crumble muffins!! I’m a huge fan of this recipe – dark chocolate muffins studded with melty chocolate chips, and topped with a toffee streusel crumb topping that creates an interesting texture. The original recipe used crushed heath bars for an even crunchier caramel texture – I didn’t have any on hand but Daim chocolate bits might work well as well. I made do with melted Speculoos cookie butter that I drizzled on!

This recipe makes enough for 18 large muffins, or 48 mini muffins. I made a combination of 1 tray of large muffins, and 1 tray of mini muffins with this amount, and brought it for my Gen Med Respi team on my last day. This team and our boss seemed to go for chocolate stuff haha. I personally found this recipe too sweet and might cut down the sugar even more (perhaps 2/3?). I also made the mistake of baking it all at the same temperature and after reading more realized that it can be optimized even more.

To try next time, a baking temperature variation from The Kitchn suggested that the trick is to use two temperatures to produce tall, rounded muffins with a crisped top and good rise while maintaining a soft center. Start by baking muffins for about eight minutes at 425°F (218°C), then lower the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) for the remainder of the cook time. Apparently this initial hot oven temperature promotes a fast rise for these baked goods to allow batter to puff and extend upwards and set the outer surface to it becomes crusty. Then the second phase prevents the outside from overcooking, while maintaining a soft tender interior. Then, insert a wooden pick into the center of one of the center muffins before removing the pan from the oven. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to the pick, the muffin is done.

For the streusel topping, it is similar to the technique I used for my cinnamon coffee cake here. Use two forks to press / cut the butter into the brown sugar and flour. Using a cold metal fork (and not your hands) keeps the butter in individual particles so it crisps up nicely in the oven. Feel free to add spices as well! I decided to keep this simple as there were going to be toffee flavors from the speculoos.

And for tips to convert large muffins to mini muffins, you really don’t need to change any of the ingredients, however, make sure to shorten the baking time accordingly. The average baking time for mini muffins is 10-13 minutes at 170-180 degrees celsius, and check early.  And for an extra measure, you can remove muffins as soon as they’re out of the oven because they might continue to cook in the hot pan. I also like my mini muffins to have a crunchy top with a soft center, so a higher temperature might benefit these also.

My favorite part still is the chocolate chips studded within each cupcake hehe; use mini ones or larger ones, depending on your preference. It rescues any dry muffin also, heh. Enjoy the chocolate and the recipe!

 

Dark Chocolate Toffee Crumble Muffins
Makes 18 large muffins, or 48 mini muffins
Dark Chocolate Espresso Muffins adapted from Handle The Heat

2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (133 grams) packed brown sugar (cut to 100g)
1/2 cup (43 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or milk with 1.5 tbsp vinegar left to sit)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (170 grams) mini dark chocolate chips

For Toffee Crunch Topping

1/4 cup (32 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup melted Speculoos cookie butter (recipe here)

To make Dark Chocolate chip espresso muffins:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, sifted cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl combine the melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Do not overmix. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

To make toffee crunch topping

In a small bowl combine the flour  and sugar. Cut the butter into the mixture using the back of a fork until it is coarse and crumbly. Sprinkle abut a tablespoon of the mixture over each unbaked muffin.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing the muffins to the rack to cool completely.

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