Chocolate muffins are a type of baked good built around one or several varieties of chocolate. These muffins, like other types of muffin, are essentially small cakes, and are usually sweet rather than savory. Such muffins may be flavored with chocolate alone, but many also include other ingredients to compliment the flavors of the particular type or types of chocolate used in the muffin.
A typical muffin recipe produces a soft and moist baked good. Muffins are typically baked in special muffin pans. Some are baked using paper wrappers to prevent sticking, while others rely on a light coating of oil to perform the same function.
One type of chocolate muffin relies on processed cocoa to add chocolate flavor. This processed cocoa is generally mixed in with the batter used to bake muffins. Chocolate muffins made in this fashion often use additional sugar or other sweeteners to counteract the somewhat bitter taste of cocoa powder. Muffins baked with chocolate powder in the batter will have a chocolate flavor throughout, and will have a rich and chocolaty appearance.
A second variety of chocolate muffin is made with ordinary muffin batter, but employs chocolate, usually milk chocolate or dark chocolate, in the form of chips, shavings, or chunks. This chocolate will melt during the baking process, and the chocolate will infuse the rest of the muffin to some extent. Some chocolate muffins combine cocoa in the batter with chocolate chunks or chips to provide a double dose of chocolate.
Many flavors blend well with chocolate, and chocolate muffins often employ other ingredients to add other flavor notes. Berries often blend well with chocolate and raspberry or cranberry chocolate muffins are often particularly successful. Oranges and chocolate also tend to work well together and candied oranges can be added to chocolate dessert muffins to inject another taste element.
Another option for adding other flavors to chocolate muffins involves the use of liqueurs or flavor syrups. Cream liqueurs, coffee liqueurs, or orange liqueurs can be added to muffin batter in order to produce chocolate muffins that are infused with the flavor of chocolate and the flavor of the particular liqueur. Chocolate liqueur can be used to provide the chocolate flavor in a muffin as well. In some cases, chocolate muffins may have liqueur added after they are baked, which allows the porous structure of the muffin to absorb some of the moisture and flavor of the liqueur.