Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy February! If you missed the last post, I am baking, photographing, eating, and posting each of the Food Network Magazine’s 12 Months of Muffins. February’s muffin does not disappoint: Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins. Yup, you read that correctly. Chocolate and caramel – life is so sweet.

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate muffins are basically cupcakes disguised as acceptable breakfast food so I was ecstatic to see some chocolate muffins in the monthly muffin list. Not that I don’t consider cupcakes acceptable breakfast food, but I need to keep up appearances. The cupcake, I mean muffin, batter is chocolate with chocolate chips in it, hence the “double chocolate.” The muffin is moist with little pockets of gooey melted chocolate chips.

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

What takes these muffins over the top is the dulce de leche in the center. The recipe name says “Salted Caramel” because I wanted to stay true to the original Food Network wording, but what we really have here is some smooth and heavenly dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is sweetened milk that has been slowly cooked until it caramelizes. In my opinion it tastes much creamier than regular caramel sauce because of the milk. You can buy or make your own for this recipe. I made my own because I didn’t want to go to the store and I already had a can of sweetened condensed milk, which is all you need to make some!

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

The dulce de leche is dolloped right in the center of the half baked muffins. My muffins developed a little air pocket in the center, which was from some of the dulce de leche getting absorbed into the muffin after it was done baking aka making it super moist and decadent. I hope you enjoy these muffins for breakfast, dessert, and everything in between!

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins
 
Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup thick dulce de leche
  • Flaked sea salt
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips (leaving 3 chips aside) and stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and vegetable oil then whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared paper liners. Each muffin cup should be filled ⅔ to the top. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins have started to set, but the center of each muffin is still liquidy. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and working quickly, dollop 1 heaping teaspoon of dulce de leche into the center of each muffin. Return the pan to the oven. Continue to bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Make sure to insert the toothpick into the muffin itself and not the dulce de leche.
  5. As soon as the muffins are out of the oven, use a grater or microplane to grate the chocolate chips you set aside over the tops of the muffins. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with the flaked sea salt. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move the muffins to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
Notes
The batter is supposed to rise and bake over the dulce de leche. Some of my dulce de leche stayed on the top of my muffins because I probably let them cook too long before dolloping on the dulce de leche. They taste delicious either way so don’t worry too much about it.

 

Recipe from January/February 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine.