People assume that I love to bake because I love to cook.
Fun fact about me: until recently that wasn't true.
Soon after starting The Katamon Kitchen I became a private chef for a large family. There was so much cooking, shopping, menu planning and so many different palettes to please. I loved my job but at times it was very stressful to get all of the cooking done before Shabbat. There were a few different mains, so many side dishes and of course a few desserts. I used to leave the dessert until the very end of my work day and then scramble to get it done.
A few months after starting this job it was Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), it was actually a three day holiday that year starting on Wednesday night and only ending after Shabbat. The amount of cooking that had to be done was absolutely crazy with all the simanim (special foods to symbolize a good year), mains, sides and as always plenty of desserts. I kept looking at the menu and thinking, I'm never going to finish and then I kept counting the amount of baked goods I had to prepare, it was daunting. I then got this crazy idea to tackle all six cakes at once. It was then that I realized how simple baking can be.
When you're cooking there are usually a few different steps from dicing vegetables, sautéing them, seasoning, and so on. With baking many times it's just mix together some dry and wet ingredients, pour into a pan, pop it in the oven, and just let it bake. (I know this isn't the case with all baked goods because I have made my share of multi-step labor intensive recipes.) But sometimes it really is so simple that on that crazy cooking day I busted out all six cake batters in record time and then went back to standing over a hot stove and chopping onions while the kitchen filled with delicious aromas wafting from the cake packed ovens. By the time all the cakes were baked I had just about finished my cooking for the upcoming holiday and my opinion of baking had been changed for the better.
One thing that I love to bake are muffins and here's why:
- I don’t have such a big sweet tooth and muffins are not usually as sweet as their cupcake look alike.
- Recipes are often easy to tweak so it's simple to create different flavor combinations.
- They're a great on the go snack.
- You can bake them jumbo or mini and isn’t everything just so darn cute when it’s mini?
- Since they resemble cupcakes so you can pretend like you’re having cake for breakfastThe best reason is that the batters usually come together relatively quickly which means you can make them fresh for breakfast, giving you yummy reason to get you out of bed in the morning!
Over the next few weeks I'm going to be sharing some of my muffin recipes. Be sure to check back on #muffinmonday for a new recipe!This week is dedicated to all those chocoholics (myself included)
Double Chocolate Mocha Muffins
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups warm water
1 Tbs instant coffee
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 Tbs apple cider or red wine vinegar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
Confectioner’s sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C
Line 2 standard or one jumbo muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
In a 2 cup measuring cup add the warm water and stir in the instant coffee until dissolved.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the water coffee mixture, brown sugar, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and eggs.
Whisk until just combined and then fold in 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into the prepared muffin tins and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.
Bake standard size muffins for 15-17 minutes and jumbo muffins 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool for a few minutes on a wire rack and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Enjoy when muffins are slightly warm!