Coffee, Date and Chocolate Muffins (SHF #11)

My first attempt at Sugar High Friday. This month’s theme was coffee, and as I don’t use a lot of coffee in baking, I had to do a bit of searching to find this recipe. It’s a Diana Linfoot recipe, as usual with muffins, and is from More Muffin Magic. She writes, “These muffins have a strong, robust flavour,” and so they do – a mixture of chocolate, orange, dates and coffee, which sounds like too much, but is instead just right. Coffee is not the dominant flavour, but as I’m not an enormous fan of coffee, that suits me perfectly. It’s a deliciously smoky backdrop to the more prominant orange and chocolate flavours. Despite the long list of ingredients, this muffins are an easy two bowl mixture. A perfect muffin for afternoon tea.

2 cups dates, finely chopped
1 cup orange juice
rind of 1 orange
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 chopped chocolate
2 mashed bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1 1/2 cups plain self-raising flour

Makes 12 large muffins

Preheat the oven to 190C, and grease the muffin pan.

Place the chopped dates in the orange juice, and either soak for a while, or microwave for a few minutes to warm and soften them.

Combine the coffee and the water, and add to the dates.

In another bowl, blend together the mashed bananas, eggs, sugar, oil, chocolate and vanilla. Pour in the date mixture, and combine well.

Gently fold in the flour, until the mixture is just combined, and spoon into a muffin tray. Bake for 25 minutes.

Variations I’d like to try – increasing the coffee, substituting sultanas for the chocolate, and brown sugar instead of white.

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