Monday, December 27, 2010

Chocolate Muffins and Pancakes

Chocolate Ricotta Muffin

I know that chocolate muffins may seem out of place on a healthy eating blog. But I truly believe that eating what you enjoy - in moderation - is an important part of healthy eating. I don't deprive myself of any of the foods I enjoy, and chocolate is high on the list. These cupcakes provide a hefty dose of chocolate, but they are made of all natural ingredients, so you can feel indulge without the guilt. 

These muffins are from one of my favorite cookbooks - Sunlight Cafe, by Mollie Katzen. Today, I made an amazing discovery. I added a bit of extra milk and flour to the extra muffin batter (I had about a cup left after I filled all twelve cups in my muffin tin) and made pancakes. Wow! They were amazing, and it felt great to put the extra batter to a good purpose. Plus the kids were delighted to oblige. There's nothing like chocolate to wake up your taste buds! 

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins (and pancakes)
The original recipe, from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe, is really just for muffins. But I discovered that the batter - with just a bit of extra milk and flour - makes KILLER pancakes. If you make the muffins the night before, you can leave the extra batter in the fridge overnight and whip up pancakes quickly in the morning. 

1 cup white flour
1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
7 tablespoons cocoa powder (please use Dutch unprocessed)
1 cup sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter, melted
(optional - an extra 1/4 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup milk if you're making pancakes)

Preheat the oven to 350*. Spray 12 standard muffin cups with non-stick spray. 

Combine the flours, salt,  baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, and chocolate chips in a large bowl. 

In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, milk, vanilla, and butter. 

Pour the ricotta mixture into the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix it  until it's well combined. DO NOT OVER-MIX. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Fill them to the top if you like them large, or a bit less if you like them smaller. (If you want to make pancakes, leave over about a cup of batter.) 

Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 1/2 hour before removing from the muffin tins. 

(If you have any extra batter and care to have a really decadent breakfast, add the extra flour and milk to the cup of batter. Heat a cast iron or nonstick pan and spray with nonstick spray. Spoon the batter in and cook for 2-3 minutes per side on medium low heat. Serve warm.)

The wet ingredients. 

Droste's cocoa,
my cocoa of choice

The dry ingredients

Chocolate pancakes. Mmmm....

This plate of pancakes was eaten up
before I could say "I can't believe
we're having chocolate for breakfast!"
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  1. Wow - this looks delicious! I found you through Mara and I'm such a pancake and muffin fiend, I had to come see the recipe. Do you think I could swap cottage cheese for the ricotta? Looking forward to making these!

  2. Hi Rachel, thanks for visiting! Please come again.
    I'm not sure about cottage cheese. If you do want to try it, I think you should whip it up in the food processor or blender first to get rid of the pieces. Then it might be okay. Please let me know if you try it and how it turns out.

  3. You can actually substitute friendship's whipped cottage cheese for ricotta. BTW, what's the diff between reg ww flour and ww pastry flour?

  4. Sima - thanks for the note about cottage cheese. The pastry flour is lighter and lower in protein. (It's actually made from white wheat instead of red.) It is better in pastries and baked goods because it has a lighter taste, but is still whole wheat. I use a lot of it.

  5. Chocolate muffins are my favorite. These look delicious.

  6. All I can say is that it really looks so delicious! I would love to make these right now!

  7. Those look absolutely fantastic! And you are right.. healthy eating is about moderation...but I think I would go over board on these muffins!! YUM!!!

  8. Thanks for stopping "around the plate"! I really appreciated your comment and was glad you enjoyed the recipe! Let me know if you would ever want to share a recipe of your own on my blog! That would be great! :) ~Kati

  9. Kati, I would be delighted to share a recipe on your blog. How do I sign up? Feel free to email me at rivkilocker at gmail dot com.

  10. Woah - decadent breakfast! I just made these as pancakes and they were out of this world awesome. All I needed was some freshly whipped cream to really top it off. I found them a little harder to flip than my regular pancake recipe, being a little more delicate, but the texture and flavor was awesome and a real breakfast treat! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Rachel, I'm so glad you tried them and enjoyed them. I also discovered that the batter freezes really well. You can make it ahead of time and freeze (or refrigerate it) till you're ready to use it. Thanks for letting me know!

  12. haha I am so obsessed with this recipe! It actually made a lot so I did freeze half of it and just used it yesterday. Better go out and buy some more ricotta in advance of my next craving! I just linked it in my comment on - let's do brunch edition.

  13. I bet this technique would work for any muffin and is a fantastic use of extra batter.


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