Muffins always remind me of “queques” a popular Portuguese small cake that I love. In Lisbon you can find many versions of the “queque”, some more dry and heavy and others soft, light and a bit moist, which I prefer. Like the muffin you can have different flavours and they are best eaten still warm from the oven.
If you are ever in Portugal then you should walk along the Cascais beach line and stop in the center of Parede, where there is a small coffee shop called “A casa dos Queques”, they have the best “queques” I have ever eaten and they are always coming out warm!
I wish I had that recipe, maybe one day I can ask them to give me at least an idea of the ingredients.
In the meantime, I was looking for a marble cake muffins recipe. My husband and I are big fans of marble cake and instead of doing the big version, I wanted to have the same taste in smaller bites. Among my many books, I found this recipe by Marc Grossman and adapted it. I did not have caster sugar and as I quite like Demerara sugar, I used it instead. The recipe asks for dark chocolate and it is up to you to use the percentage you prefer. I like very dark chocolate so I used 80% and for me and my family, it was just perfect. The flavour, slight bitterness and richness, combined perfectly with the other ingredients.
Chocolate Orange Marble Cake Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
- 90 g/3 oz butter, softened
- 90 g/3 0z demerara or caster sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 40 g/1 1/2 oz all purpose flour
- 75 g/2 1/2 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled
- 190 g/6 3/4 oz all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 170 g/6 oz butter, softened
- 150 g/5 1/4 oz demerara or caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, separated
- zest of two oranges
- Preheat the oven to 190º C/375º F. Line the muffin pan with paper moulds.
- Start with the chocolate batter: beat the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites in a clean bowl to stiff peaks. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water and let it cool a bit. Add to the butter and sugar mixture the egg yolks, flour, melted chocolate and last the egg whites. Mix gently only until the flour is fully incorporated.
- Prepare the orange batter : Add the baking powder to the flour and mix well. Beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites in a clean bowl to stiff peaks. To make the zest, grate the top layer of the peel of the two oranges, carefully not to grate the white part which is bitter. Add to the butter and sugar mixture, the egg yolks, flour, orange zest and last the egg whites. Mix gently only until the flour is fully incorporated.
- Pour the orange batter first, half way into the moulds. Then with your finger or a spoon make an opening in the middle, pour the chocolate batter in and fill it.
- Bake the muffins for 15 to 20 minutes. With my gas oven it took exactly 20 minutes. They are ready when a toothpick in the middle comes out clean. Let them cool a bit, I like to eat them warm and dusted with a bit of icing sugar. Enjoy!