Chocolate for breakfast is my favorite! And it’s actually a better way for me to indulge than eating it at night. That naughty little chocolate has the power to keep me up at night. As tempting as it is to reach for the chocolate as an after-dinner treat, I resist. It takes a heck of a lot of will power, but I really prefer a good night’s sleep and to wake up feeling great.
Chocolate doesn’t affect everyone like that, but those of us who are sensitive to the caffeine-like substance in chocolate called theobromine, actually get a high from eating it.
These muffins offer some SERIOUS CHOCOLATE–inside and out. So I offer them at a time of day when more than half the world turns to coffee for that morning boost.
I’ve enhanced the muffins with chocolate chips and enriched them with plenty of pure cocoa powder, so these outrageous little babies offer heaven in every bite for those of us with a passion for chocolate.
Once you bite into these muffins, you might feel like you’re eating dessert, but consider the wheat bran and bananas a healthy dose of dietary fiber that justifies their presence at the morning meal. I like to include this recipe as part of the muffin party for its uniqueness. Served with seasonal fruit, either as a fruit salad, attractively sliced, or presented whole with knives and a cutting board, the muffin breakfast or brunch makes a festive gathering pure fun.
Yield: 1 baker’s dozen–yep, that’s 13 unless you overfill the muffin pan like I did.
1 1/4 cups plain or vanilla soymilk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, or distilled vinegar
1 1/4 cups wheat bran
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
1/3 cup organic sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa or raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mashed bananas
2 tablespoons organic canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon caramel extract
1/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
1/3 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line 2 six-section muffin tins with paper baking cups. Alternatively, use an ungreased silicone 12-section muffin pan. Put the muffin pans on a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Combine the soymilk and vinegar in a medium bowl, stir well, and set aside to thicken.
- In a large bowl combine the whole-wheat pastry flour, wheat bran, brown sugar, chocolate chips, organic sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Mix well to distribute all the dry ingredients evenly and set aside.
- Add the bananas to the bowl with the soured soymilk, along with the canola oil, and vanilla and caramel extracts. Mix well and add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring briefly just until the batter well moistened. .
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans, over-filling each section to use all the batter. For the baker’s dozen, reserve some of the batter to fill an oven-proof custard cup or ramekin.
- For the topping, sprinkle the chocolate chips into the center of each muffin, and the sliced almonds over the remaining exposed surface. Bake for 23 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of several muffins comes out clean. Cool 15 to 20 minutes before serving to allow easy release from the baking pans.
Espresso Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins
Grind 2 tablespoons of espresso coffee beans into a very fine powder in a mini blender. After spooning the muffin batter into the muffin pans, sprinkle the tops lightly with the espresso powder. Then, add the chocolate chips and toasted sliced almonds.
Turn your one-dozen muffins into four dozen of the cutest little mini muffins you’ve ever seen by baking them in mini muffin pans. For ease in moving the muffins in and out of the oven, have 2 large rimmed baking sheets ready with two mini muffin pans on each of the baking sheets. Spoon the batter into the mini muffin pans and bake for 20 to 24 minutes. Allow the minis to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pans.
To prepare well ahead of the holidays, put the baked mini muffins on metal or plastic dishes or trays and put them, uncovered, in the freezer. When completely frozen, transfer the muffins to a heavy-duty zipper-lock bag and seal tightly. Defrost the muffins before packaging them for gift giving.