Muffins | Parsley, Sage and Sweet

Bread Baking Day #47 Round-Up! Bread With Chocolate!

March 5, 2012 at 12:00 am | Posted in BBD, Breads, Cakes, Dessert | 31 Comments
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 I’m thrilled to bring you the round-up of Bread Baking Day #47 –  Bread with Chocolate I was stunned at the number of submissions I received from all over the world (some even made two or three breads with chocolate!), but more importantly, I was amazed by the beauty and creativity of each submission,  I think I want to try every single one!  Take a moment or 10 to check out each and every blog to see more beautiful photos of these breads, plus, get the recipes.  I’m sure you see at least one you’d like to try!

I’d like to thank everyone who submitted to Bread Baking Day #47 – you guys are truly masters of baking. Thanks so much to Zorra, who founded Bread Baking Day,and has had it up and running since 2007, for giving me this opportunity to host.  I enjoyed every second of it.  Bread Baking Day #48 will be announced tomorrow, March 6th.  It will be hosted by Astrid a from Paulchens Foodblog.  Go check it out!

Now, take a scroll through these 23 lovely, yeasted creations with chocolate, posted in the order in which they were received.  Enjoy!

Schokoladen-Pflaumen-Brot – Chocolate Plum Bread From Sandra   at From-Snuggs-Kitchen – Germany -Seeheim – Jugenheim

 Chocolate, Cranberries and Walnut Norwich Sourdough from Connie at My Discovery of Bread - Thailand

Chocolate Mango Bread from Roxana at A Little Bit of Everything, Roxana’s Home Baking – Virginia, USA

 Pane al Cioccolate – Italian Chocolate Bread from Jenni at The Gingered Whisk – West Virginia, USA

Chocolate Swirl Brioche Buns from Shelley at C Mom Cook – Pennsylvania, USA

Chocolate Spiral Bread from Sandie at Crumbs of Love - Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Chocolate – Fruit Pizza (or Galette) from Judy at Judy’s Gross Eats -California, USA

Chocolate Wine Glazed Doughnuts from Lora at Diary of a Mad Hausfrau - NYC and Germany

Oven Baked Berliner Filled With Chocolate from Zorra at 1x umrühren bitte - Andalucia, Spain

Chocolate Chip Pecan Butter Horns from Jamie at Life’s A Feast - Nantes, France

Pain Au Chocolat from Lana at Bibberche – California, USA via Serbia

Chocolate and Polkagris Semlor from Ana at Anasbageri - Sweden

 Cheater’s Chocolate Challah from Margaret at Tea and Scones - Louisiana, USA

 Pain au Chocolat from Manuela at Cravo e Canela – Uma Cozinha no Brasil - Sao Paulo, Brazil

 No Knead Coconut-Chocolate Bread from Cathy at Bread Experience - Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Italian Chocolate Cornetti From Cinzia at Cindystar - Garda Lake, Italy

 Chocolate Swirl Bread from Roxana at A Little Bit of Everything, Roxana’s Home Baking – Virginia, USA

 Chocolate Buns from Lien at Notitie van Lien - The Netherlands

 Chocolate Yeast Muffins from Roxana at from Roxana at A Little Bit of Everything, Roxana’s Home Baking – Virginia, USA

 Chocolate Marbled Brioche from Lora at Cake Duchess - Florida, USA

Chocolate Chip Pecan Bread Scented With Cinnamon and Orange from Jamie at Life’s A Feast – Nantes, France

Chocolate & Marzipan Finnish Pulla Swirl Twist from Mary at Mary, Mary Culinary -Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

And finally, Me, with a Black Forest Chocolate Chunk Cherry Bread

Check back at noon today for my SRC post, and Bad Boy First Love Part 7. 

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Jumbo Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins with Toffee Streusel

December 9, 2011 at 8:49 am | Posted in Breads, Cakes, Candy, Dessert | 48 Comments
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Once again I come armed with pumpkin, cheesecake and a squeeze bottle of chocolate ganache, which is a combination you’ve seen on my blog twice in the past month, from pie to these muffins.  Not to mention pumpkin nutella snickerdoodle bars, pumpkin povitica, and pumpkin gnocchi. Five pumpkin recipes in a little over a month.

Pumpkin, Sage and Sweet?


Wellll…I told you I wasn’t done with pumpkin.  Actually, I made these back in October, but was going to make them again because I made a small mistake which led to an aesthetic issue with me.  This is the life of a food blogger, if it ain’t pretty, you hem and haw, and sometimes make it again, even if it’s absolutely perfect in the palate department and the last thing you need is another batch of whatever you made hanging around for you to consume.

People eat with their eyes when they look at food blogs, so it’s up to the food blogger to put out as pretty and mouth-watering a photo as he/she can get.


In my case, that’s not an easy task.  The cheaper artificial lighting is not kind to the details that make one’s mouth water.  BUT, I do my best..and I do have that small, patch of dim sunlight I just found,  As I mentioned above, these photos were shot weeks ago, before my mediocre ‘light patch’  discovery – which needs a lot of futzing with before I decide that either A) The small amount of light is not worth the blur since I can’t fit  a tripod in that area, and it needs a tripod even more than my artificial lighting! or B) I start to experience physical pain from twisting my body into unnatural positions just to get the shot in this small nook.

Having said all that, my mistake, which I will get to in a moment, led to messy muffin tops, except for one.

I finally decided not to make a new batch and post as is.  I just couldn’t have another few of these tempting me, all in the name of perfectly beautiful muffins for my blog.

I cobbled these muffins together using a recipe for Jumbo Pumpkin Pecan Streusel muffins from Taste of Home that I like – minus the pecans in the muffin batter, but doubled the streusel and added chopped chocolate covered toffee to it.  I used some homemade toffee in the freezer, from this recipe, but you can use chopped Skor or Heath bars if you like.


We all love muffin tops
It’s the stumps that get the raw end of the deal.  If there’s nothing in the stumps (chocolate chips, nuts..fillings), they’re usually kind of boring and, I’m sure there’s been times your stumps have ended up in the trash.  The big, fluffy muffin tops are always the star, and usually pretty filling..so the stumps are a 50/50 deal.  Eat or chuck – unless you can wrangle up a ‘Cleaner’.

Here’s the part I really love. I filled my stumps, but not only filled them, REALLY filled them.  You don’t just get that usual one bite circle of filling in these – every bite of the stump contains creamy cheesecake.   There’s one full-proof, fantastic way to do this, that doesn’t involve a spoon, which leads to a messy batter ‘plop and splatter’, and not that much filling once baked.  OR – you don’t bake them first, then cut a  gaping hole in the bottom, basically emptying out the stump, piping in a cooked or eggless cheesecake whip, and plugging with the jagged, crumbly part you cut out. Annoying.

Kind of looks like bacon streusel, doesn’t it?  Although I think that’s an idea waiting to happen, it’s the chocolate toffee melted on the streusel crumb.

This is what you do, and I got this brilliant idea from Chef Dennis from A Culinary Journey via his exquisite Black and White Muffins.  You fill a pastry bag with the infamous 1 bar of cream cheese ‘cheesecake recipe’ of no known or definitive origin.  Next, you fill your jumbo muffin cups half way with the pumpkin batter and then, stick that cheesecake batter filled pastry bag with a plain tip, or ziplock bag with an end snipped off, smack dab in the middle of the pumpkin muffin batter and squeeeeeze…

…squeeeeze until that pumpkin batter rises in the muffin well until it’s about 2/3 to 3/4′s full.

Here’s where I messed up, but didn’t really mess up because it’s a question of…

To dome or not to dome?


Do you see that little white circle of cheesecake in the middle of the pumpkin batter in the demo photos?  If you do not cover it with more pumpkin batter, the toffee streusel will sink into it, as you see in most of my photos.  BUT, this is not a bad thing.  What you lose aesthetically as far as a big, fat, fluffy, streusel topped domes go, you make up for with extra gooey melted toffee streusel in part of the cheesecake filling.

On the flip side, you cover up that little hole with pumpkin batter, and the streusel topping remains on top, along with a beautiful dome, like you see in the first photo with the black background.

I did not cover the cheesecake batter circles on 7 out of 8 of my muffins.  The last one I did because there was only enough cheesecake batter to rise it to a little less than 2/3′s full – so I scraped out every last bit of pumpkin batter, and filled it the rest of the way.

SO, your choice, big, beautiful ‘impress your guests/recipients’ domed jumbo muffins with a crumbly, crunchy toffee streusel, or a flatter topped muffin with melted, gooey streusel inside-out.  You can’t lose either way..unless it’s a beauty contest.

Muffins and Tiaras.


If you find gooey, muddled, flat top muffins ‘too ugly’ to present to guests or for gifting, just drizzle melted chocolate on top of them.  I think that hikes the beauty quotient up quite a bit.  Melted, chocolate drizzle is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

Hmm..but then the same can be done to hotty dome queen and it’ll look even more gorgeous.  Who said the life of a muffin was fair?

Finally, I think my giant, rough and tumble looking muffins would have a mad crush on these beauties. So delicate and tea party with white gloves, ready – the antithesis of my scruffy, muscled blue-collar workers with calloused hands.  The Muffin Notebook.

Jumbo Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins with Toffee Streusel
Adapted from Taste of Home, with my revisions
YieldL About 8 – 10 jumbo muffins – 18-20 standard size muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup roasted pumpkin puree (If using canned, strain puree overnight in a colander)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cheesecake Filling
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg

Toffee Streusel
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
2/3 cup finely chopped chocolate covered toffee
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients.

2. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened – do not overdo it, you’ll get tough muffins.  Just a few folds until no flour remains.

3.  Make the filling. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg, salt and vanilla beat until smooth.  Do not over beat.  Spoon the cream cheese filling into a pastry bag with a medium plain tip or a zip-lock bag with one end snipped off.  Set Aside.

4. Make the streusel topping. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, pecans, chopped toffee and flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Place in fridge, covered, until ready to use.

5. Grease the top of the jumbo muffin tins lightly, making sure the  area around each muffin well is greased.  These babies rise a lot and spread a bit. If you don’t use jumbo muffin liners,  grease each well too.

6. Fill the 8 to 10 greased or paper-lined jumbo muffin cups half way with pumpkin batter.  Place cheesecake batter filled pastry bag in the middle of each half filled muffin well, and squeeze in the filling until the batter rises and fills the lined muffin wells 2/3 to 3/4ths full.  Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release air bubbles, which I forgot to do, hence some of the holes in my cheesecake filling.

7. Cover white circles of cheesecake on top with any extra pumpkin batter, or just scoop from the sides or underneath.  If you don’t care about a big, muffin dome, skip this step.

8. Dump large handfuls of toffee streusel over muffin batter.  Make sure to keep it contained in the muffin well -mounding it like little mountains.  Any that spills onto muffin pan, wipe off or brush into one of the wells. Ignore my raw streusel photos…I wiped all that extra crumb off ;D

9. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes (about 15-18 minutes for standard sized muffins) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

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