Chocolate Muffins with Pink Peppercorns and Cinnamon

The idea of combining chocolate with pink peppercorns, cinnamon, and nutmeg came to me when I read the newspaper the other day, and found an interview with Senyor Marc Escudellers, a chocolate shop keeper from Barcelona. He stated that these are some of his favorite cocoa flavorings, and I absolutely agree – I’ve already baked these muffins twice.

The combination of bitter cocoa flavor paired with intense pink peppercorns and sweet cinnamon is quite complex, and probably not to everyone’s liking, but I could live off the fragrance alone! Muscovado sugar imparts a pleasant, subtle sweetness, which situates these muffins somewhere between a dessert and a snack.

This recipe makes 6 muffins, but can easily be doubled.

The Dry Mix:

  • 2 dl wheat flour
  • 1/2 dl dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pink peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

The Wet Mix:

  • 1/2 dl liquid margarine (or canola oil, or 50 g melted margarine)
  • 3/4 dl muscovado sugar
  • 1 dl plain soy milk
  • 1 dl plain soy yogurt
  • 50 g chocolate, melted

Garnish:

  • 6 chocolate squares
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pink peppercorns

First I preheated the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. The making of the batter was quite simple: I just mixed together the two mixes in separate bowls, and then combined the two with a fork until relatively smooth.

I greased 6 cups of my muffin tin with a little margarine, dusted them with cocoa powder, and spooned the batter in the cups. I pressed a little square of chocolate in the middle of each muffin, so that they peeked out a little bit, and then popped the muffins in the oven. They were done after 15 minutes in 175 degrees Celsius.

When the muffins had cooled down enough to handle, I placed them on a rack, and sprinkled ground pink peppercorns over the melted chocolate in the middle of each muffin.

16 Comments

  1. Posted May 19, 2008 at 21:45 | Permalink

    absolutely lovely!

  2. Posted May 19, 2008 at 21:48 | Permalink

    I absolutely love pink peppercorns and when I was a kid I’d put them on the hob after making boiled coffee for my mum. They burned and spread such a lovely smell in the kitchen. I far prefer that smell to incense.

  3. Posted May 19, 2008 at 22:36 | Permalink

    I was going to comment on your smoky sage spread and say how unique it was (and how consequently that means I MUST try it) and then I see these and I think I’m in love. :O
    Is liz going to the spice store for peppercorns… yes. Yes, I think so!

  4. Posted May 19, 2008 at 23:39 | Permalink

    Hi, just wanted to say your blog is gorgeous! Those muffins are so pretty! I love the contrast between the chocolate and the pink peppercorns!

  5. Posted May 20, 2008 at 10:38 | Permalink

    OMG, the perfect cupcakes. And the ingredients are so easy to find (well, besides the pink peppercorns, those I have to buy).

    PS: I’m going to prepare your mango pie for my mum today, wish me luck! I’ll post about it tonight or tomorrow!

  6. Anni
    Posted May 20, 2008 at 13:05 | Permalink

    Oh, thank you all! You made my day!

    Emmie – that’s such a sweet memory, I’ll have to do that when we make coffee the next time.

    DessertObsessed – thanks and welcome to our blog – I’m glad you like it!

    Alice – I’m sure pink peppercorns are easy to find, and they’re delicious in savory dishes as well. Good luck with the pie, I look forward to seeing how it turns out!

  7. Posted May 20, 2008 at 16:56 | Permalink

    Love the idea, and I’m sure my vegan friends will love it! But what is dl?

  8. Heikki
    Posted May 20, 2008 at 18:42 | Permalink

    Hi Jerry, dl stands for decilitre, which is approximately 0,4 (or two fifths, if you like) of a cup. We have a unit converter and some quick conversions under “Cooking Measurements” in the side panel of this blog, maybe that’ll be of help to you.

  9. Posted May 20, 2008 at 22:38 | Permalink

    wow, these go into my “to try” folder. I love pink pepper!

  10. Posted May 21, 2008 at 02:02 | Permalink

    Interesting! I’ve never had pink peppercorns, but they’re officially on my “to try” list. Thanks! And the muffins look gorgeous!

  11. Posted May 21, 2008 at 06:19 | Permalink

    This is my first visit to your blog and I love it! This recipe looks so nice that it’s inspiring me to dig out the little pink peppercorns out of my pepper mill one by one just to try it!

  12. Anna
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 00:06 | Permalink

    Hi! I’m following your blog for a while now and it’s my absolute favorite. Most of the things I make from here are absolutely delicious.
    I made those muffins and they are now one of mu absolute favorites. I love the texture, which is moist and crumbly and squigy and… yummy.
    Do you have any similar muffins but with citrus flavor? I’m very bad at adapting recipes…
    Thanks a lot for having such a nice blog!

  13. Anni
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 13:00 | Permalink

    Anna – I’m glad you liked the muffins! The texture is really nice indeed. I don’t think I have made citrus muffins, but this recipe should be pretty easy to modify.

    Let’s see, I guess you could just replace the cocoa powder with some more wheat flour, and add about a tablespoon of soy yogurt instead of the melted chocolate. I would then add my choice of citrus flavoring – a combination of grated zests (orange, lemon, even lime) and liqueurs (or extracts) would most likely make a delicious muffin! And you probably should up the amount of sugar too without the chocolate, I think 1 dl should be fine.

    I hope this helps – if you do make a variation of this recipe, let me know how it goes!

  14. Posted May 22, 2008 at 14:47 | Permalink

    It looks so rich and delicious! :9

  15. Anna
    Posted June 7, 2008 at 16:51 | Permalink

    hi again!
    I finally got to making the citrus variation. Aside from the fact that I poured oil into dry mix by mistake and it kind of sucked in some of the baking powder and flour before I I managed to pour it into another bowl. But anyhow, I used lemon and lime zests as flavorings and I wasn’t satisfied with the result. They kind of don’t taste that much that way.
    But I made the chocolate ones right afterwards and made a discovery. You can actually substitute soy yogurt for apple sauce and it doesn’t change neither taste, nor texture the leastest bit. I’m very happy it turned out to be that way, because I find yogurt a bit too expensive for my budget.

  16. Posted June 13, 2008 at 17:17 | Permalink

    Made these today, using applesauce in place of the soy yoghurt, because soy yoghurt is expensive and I can’t find any plain/vanilla in small single jars.

    The texture is superb, they turned out very soft and moist and you don’t notice the applesauce at all, even though it was quite grainy (my grandma’s). My boyfriend found them quite weird and I too think found the taste of the pink peppercorns quite weird (even though I’m definitely not averse to weird spices in chocolate). Very good nonetheless, but I probably wouldn’t attempt to serve them to anyone whom I know to be picky. Hopefully our today’s guest won’t be!

    I’ll definitely keep this recipe, but I think I’ll be making it with the applesauce and without the pink peppercorns.

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