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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Friday, March 11, 2005

"Chocolate & Kahlua Orgasm Muffins"

That's a quote, not necessarily a description of the effect they had on us, although it's a pretty good way of describing these!
There's an Australian author calle Kerry Greenwood who writes most of her books set in Melbourne. She's most famous for the Phryne Fisher mystery books, which are set in the Melbourne of the 1920s. I love reading these - it's such fun to recognise places she describes and know what those buildings you see every day on the way to work were actually used for 80 years ago. The heroine, Phryne, is an incredibly accomplished woman of the 20s - always immaculately dressed in the latest Parisian fashions, fluent in many languages, swift with a pistol, a lightening quick mind and generous spirit. I really recommend them!

However, Greenwood has recently begun another series, also set in Melbourne, but Melbourne of today. The heroine, Corinna Chapman is a 'baker and reluctant investigator', which to me sounds a great drawcard! Corinna runs a bakery in the very centre of the city, in one of Melbourne's famous little city laneways, in a spectacular-sounding building from the 1920s. It's very enjoyable reading her descriptions of a city she (and I) evidently loves so much. Corinna enjoys quite an exciting life in these novels, dealing with murderers, drug addicts, fraud and modern-day messiahs, in amongst getting up every morning at 4am to make her breads and muffins, which sounds delicious.

Each book ends with a few recipes mentioned in the novel, and this particular recipe is one that is mentioned often throughout her second book, 'Heavenly Pleasures" ('somebody has been poisoning the chocolates from the very expensive chocolatier next door of the same name!'). They are muffins filled with a spoonful of warm chocolate sauce in the centre; she charges $5 rather than her usual $2 in the book, so they must be good! Her apprentice, the young ex-druggie Jason, discovers himself to be a brilliant muffin maker, and this is a recipe he invents and perfects throughout the book.
The kahlua is an addition my friend and I made when we were making these for dessert at 11.30 at night. It seemed like such a good idea! We added a few spoons to the chocolate sauce, and drizzled some over the tops of the muffins when they came out of the oven. Surprisngly, considering how profligate we were with the alcohol, we couldn't taste it much at all! I think the chocolate sauce could have all kinds of things added to it - nuts, peppermint, Cointreau - but simple is sometimes the best too.
Read on for the recipe

Chocolate Kahlua Orgasm Muffins
from 'Heavenly Pleasures' Kerry Greenwood

Be careful eating these. Straight out of the oven the melted chocolate can burn your tongue, like the hot jam in a doughnut. Refresh them when cold with 20 seconds in the microwave.

For the muffins:
2 cups self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup brown sugar
125g melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup milk

For the filling:
200g bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup thickened cream

Preheat the oven to 200C and grease 12 muffin cups.
Make the filling by melting the chocolate and cream together, either 2 minutes in a microwave or just stir it in a saucepan over the stove until it melts and combines. Set it aside.
For the muffins, mix the flour, cocoa and brown sugar together in a large bowl.
Using a separate bowl, mix together the butter, eggs and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the flour and slap it about a bit (do this quickly).
Using a metal spoon, put a glob of muffin mix into the tins, filling them less than halfway. Then put a glob of filling into each tin, then top with the rest of the muffin mix. You now have muffins with a spoonful of chocolate sauce in the middle of each one. Do this quickly, or they will still taste nice but they won't rise.
Shove into the oven and bake for about 12 minutes (you should know how your oven works). They are cooked when they spring back when poked.


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