Mexican Hot Chocolate Corn Muffins

Mexican chocolate has a rich, full-bodied, complex flavor and contains sugar crystals, cinnamon and often times brown sugar, vanilla and chiles. It has a zingy flavor my Dad compares to cinnamon red hots. Even when melted, little specks of chocolate remain intact giving it a grainy texture that is unique for chocolate. We always have Mexican chocolate on hand for making hot chocolate, the inspiration behind these corn muffins.

Dutch-process cocoa powder forms the chocolate backdrop for the chopped-up pieces of Mexican chocolate floating around in the muffins. The best part of eating them is biting into those crunchy little pieces of spicy, chocolate goodness. They are harder than regular chocolate chunks with more heft to them and don’t melt as completely. Similar to what happens when you use chopped up candy bars for baking. In keeping with my resolution to use a wider variety of spices I picked allspice for these, a smart choice as it enhanced the cinnamon flavor.

This batch of muffins wasn’t entirely eaten yet before my Dad was inquiring over whether I had plans to make them again?! My first time baking with Mexican chocolate was so successful I can’t wait to produce more baked goods with it! The taste it brings is something extra special that I wish think everyone could should experience.

I used Nestle Abuelita chocolate which I found in the Goya food section of my market. The muffins aren’t very sweet made as is, if you’re looking for a sweeter muffin add more sugar. Also adding a teaspoon of instant coffee powder into the batter will kick up the chocolate flavor even further.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Corn Muffins

Mexican Hot Chocolate Corn Muffins
(by Reeni)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 + 1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Mexican chocolate, chopped (1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces) tossed with 1 teaspoon flour
1/3 cup Mexican chocolate, rough chopped
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and a pinch of salt. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together eggs, milk, butter, sugar, sour cream and vanilla extract. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined, add chopped chocolate and mix in.

3. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the cups 7/8 of the way full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center.

4. Remove pan to a wire rack to cool. After ten minutes remove muffins from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

5. For topping melt the chocolate with 1 tablespoon of milk or heavy cream, whisk together adding more heavy cream if needed to make a smooth frosting. Add the frosting to a small plastic bag, cut off the corner and pipe over top of each muffin.

Makes 10-11 muffins

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