CHOCOLATE SALTED CARAMEL MUFFINS

If you're a chocolate lover and want an easy recipe to indulge in, this is the one for you. It's a really versatile recipe so even if you can't make it to the shops there's a high chance you can still produce a mouth-watering version. Not only that but it can be dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan depending on who you have coming round or who you fancy treating.



Being a personal trainer and triathlete I have a HUGE appetite and absolutely nothing is off limits. There is no such thing as a bad or unhealthy treat in my book. Food is meant to be delicious, desired and enjoyed. Especially for me, it is vital fuel to enable me to do the things I love. It's equally terribly convenient that I love to cook and create recipes too!


So dive into this recipe and prepare yourself for a lot of bowls to lick during and afterwards! It's a killer recipe!



SALTED CARAMEL FILLING:


10 medjool dates pitted

2 tbsp date syrup or honey

100ml milk (any variety)

2 pinches of salt


MUFFIN MIX:


250g ground almonds or flour (ground almonds work best for the texture)

50g flour

80g cocoa or cacao powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

100ml coconut or vegetable oil

200ml milk (any variety)

80g honey

80g date syrup (available in health shops – if needed just use honey instead)

1 egg beaten/flax egg


TOPPING:

50g

1 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil

50g rice puffs, cornflakes or quinoa pops

1 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder

1 tbsp date syrup/honey

1 large pinch of salt




METHOD:


Preheat the oven to 180 fan/200C/gas mark 6.


Start by making the salted caramel filling. Place all the dates in a sauce pan with approx 100ml water. Simmer until the dates soften and start to goo together. Add the syrup/honey and stir for a few seconds then add the milk and salt. Stir to combine so it resembles a thick caramel. If too dry/thick add more milk as needed. Remove from the heat, place in a bowl and place in the freezer to cool down quickly.


Next make the muffin mix. Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet in another. Mix each well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.


Set out a muffin tin with muffin cases and add the muffin mix filling only halfway. Remove the caramel from the freezer once cold. Place a heaped teaspoon of the caramel into the centre of each muffin. Top up the cases with the remaining mix so they are full. Place in a preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until slightly crisp on top and when a knife is inserted into the centre no chocolate comes away but you are likely to get some gooey caramel stuck to the knife!


While the muffins are cooking make the topping. Melt the coconut oil if using or just add the vegetable oil to a saucepan. Add the cocoa powder and mix to combine until a runny chocolate sauce. Add the syrup/honey and mix. Next add the rice puffs/flakes and stir well until fully coated. Spread out on a baking sheet and place in the oven for just 5 minutes to crisp up slightly. Remove from the oven and place in the freezer to cool down quickly.


Once the muffins are ready brush over a small amount of syrup/honey over the top. Take the crispy topping out of the freezer and carefully stick it to the top of each muffin – be generous!

Eat them while they are still warm or warm them up each time you have them – it is when they are at their best!


Happy baking!

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