One of my favorite scratch-made breakfast indulgences is an intense double chocolate muffin requiring a pound and a half of dark chocolate. Calling it a muffin justifies it as breakfast food. When my kids were young, I used the opposite logic by adding chocolate chips to my banana muffins and calling them dessert. Banana anything just seems healthier.
It never occurred to me to combine these two flavor ideas until I recently had a chocolate banana muffin at West Egg Café; a favorite Atlanta breakfast spot. I was inspired to make my version of this fairly perfect breakfast muffin….or dessert depending on the time of day.
A trifecta of chocolate may seem excessive, but the gentle hit from the Dutch process cocoa, the intense flavor of the bittersweet chocolate and the texture of the mild semi sweet chocolate chips give a layered chocolate flavor. Sour cream ensures a moister muffin since cocoa tends to dry out batter out. Brown sugar also contains more moisture and gives the muffins a slightly softer texture than just white sugar.
It was a bit tricky to find the right combination of baking soda and baking powder to add to my muffins. Baking soda is used in recipes with acidic ingredients and I added pureed banana, sour cream, bittersweet chocolate and brown sugar which are all acidic. Baking powder is used in recipes without acidic ingredients and the Dutch process cocoa I added is not acidic. Joy the Baker Blog has an in depth post explaining the difference between baking powder and baking soda when added to a recipe.
My freezer filled up with batches of almost perfect muffins. My final batch was a tender, not too dense chocolate muffin evoking the comfort of a homey (and healthy?) banana chocolate chip muffin.
Saturday Night Live had a spot-on skit last fall showing the power college students have over their parents when they return home. (Click here for a good laugh) My baby girl was out of the country for a gap year last year so I missed out on this experience. She is now in college in the US and my nurturing needs are distilled into sending her treat filled care packages. Since breakfast is not offered on the meal plan, she recently requested these muffins be sent. I baked them in small paper loaf pans to make it easier to ship and keep them moist as long as possible. She freezes them so she always has breakfast bread from home. My baby doesn’t even need to come home to be a “back home baller”!
Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins
Makes 18 muffins
1 ½ cup flour
¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup white sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 egg yolks
¼ cup sour cream
1 cup mashed banana from brown spotted bananas
1 tsp vanilla
3 oz melted and cooled bittersweet dark chocolate (~60%-65%))
1 ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place muffin pan liners in muffin pans.
In medium bowl double sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until well combined and lightened slightly in color
Add eggs and yolks one at a time; incorporating each before adding the next.
Add sour cream, banana, vanilla, and bittersweet chocolate to batter. Mix just until combined. If mixture separates for any reason it will be fine once dry ingredients are added.
Gently fold in flour mixture with spatula until combined.
Gently stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin pans; filling ¾ full. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips evenly over muffins.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean. This may be tricky to do since you will invariably hit a melted chocolate chip pool 🙂
The muffins cozy and melty when warm and more nuanced the next day. Muffins you will not eat within two days can be frozen for up to two weeks.