Next Up: Crotins au Chocolat

Generally speaking I try to avoid recipes that aren’t classics since, well, there’s no end of classics to do. However these seem appropriate given the requests I had last week. First there was reader Ted who asked me to write a bit more in depth on the subject of yeast. Then there was reader Aliyah who asked me if I knew of any quick bread-type recipes that could be made with, you guessed it….yeast. It was at that point that I remembered a Nancy Silverton recipe from a decade or so ago called “Crotins au Chocolat”. Basically double chocolate yeast-raised muffins. They’re amazing and deserve more visibility. So I figure…why not? Plus, doing these allows me to postpone for at least a few more days a project I’m fearing: cannelés. More on those when I get up the courage.

22 thoughts on “Next Up: Crotins au Chocolat”

  1. I’d love to hear how you’d incorporate some fed wild yeast sourdough starter (for flavor) into a yeasted muffin dough. In any case, sounds like this might be another killer sourdough app (besides pizza dough and waffles a la King Arthur’s sourdough recipe resource). Looking forward to seeing what you’ve got up your sleeves.

    1. They’re good…though like a chocolate punch to the breadbasket. You’ve got to be ready for them. You’ll see.

      – J

  2. Hurry! Hurry! I’ve never heard of them before but if it involves yeast and chocolate AND turns into some kind of muffin I need to learn how to do it.

    Cronuts? Pfffft! I want to try a crotin au chocolat.

    1. See I don’t want to do the “white oil” thing. I really don’t. There must be a better way.

      – J

  3. I routinely use my sourdough starter as a replacement for milk in recipes where I want a bit of its tang: my version of English muffins, pizza crust–of course–and rye bread.

    The starter came from a family friend in about 1969 and the container was dated 1888. I don’t know how true that is, but it’s a remarkably durable starter! Refrigerated it will stand being ignored for several weeks. I keep a small back-up supply in the freezer.

      1. I alternate between two glass containers, the kind with rubber gaskets and bails to hold them closed. I specifically chose my stick blender on its ability to fit the tallest, skinniest jar! Backup supply in the freezer is in an 8 oz. plastic container, very like the one the starter arrived in. Not, I assume, the original 1888 crock.

        I’ve never substituted starter for milk in a cake, but it would certainly work on any quick bread or coffee cake. If your starter is thicker than milk (and most probably are) you’ll need to adjust the amount of flour.

        Our favorite white sandwich bread gets a cup of starter–along with milk, mashed potatoes, eggs, etc. It makes a huge amount out of its 7.5 cups of flour, enough for a big pullman loaf and 8 burger buns. It’s merely a sandwich bread, but so much better than store-bought.

    1. Please tell us more about substituting starter for milk. I keep a starter and it *pains* me to constantly be tossing some just so I can feed it. But I can only do bread and waffles so often.

      Are you making this substitution in cake batter? What else?

      BTW, I was just explaining today to a friend who’s often out of town that drying out some of your starter is good insurance. I ran across this site to help make the process clear to him. http://www.breadtopia.com/starter_instructions/

      Perhaps it would be useful for you. …tho it sounds like you are doing a *fine* job of keeping yours going for 40-some years! ;>

      1. Excellent, Rainey, thanks!

        I’m curious myself. It’s an ingenious idea. It’s wet, acidic and flavorful, very similar to milk. A fascinating technique.

        – Joe

        1. But remember the recipes for Amish Friendship Cake (my mom had it), and Hermann the German Friendship Cake? You got a portion of a starter (from someone or you started your own), fed it with flour, milk and sugar, and after several feedings, you’d portion it up. One part went into cake for you, one part was the starter for the next batch, and the others went to friends as a starter.

          Um….here:

          http://www.hermanthegermanfriendshipcake.com

  4. Looking forward to them! A Frenchwoman’s pedantic note: in theory it should be ‘crottin’ with two t.
    I suspect the word was used on the model of the small round goat cheeses called ‘crottins de Chavignol’ (lovely things!), but initially crottin means… animal (mostly horses’) manure.

        1. Ha! Just teasing you, Julie! I appreciate you chiming in, I truly do. I rely on you for your input, not to mention the occasional correction of my deeply flawed French! 😉

          – Joe

          1. Thanks, Julie! Please keep commenting when you have something to say!

            Your friend,

            – Joe

    1. hmmmm… chocolate turds… I think that’s a bit of vocabulaire français I will not soon forget. Funny that we never covered that in any of my classes. They always leave out the good stuff. ;>

  5. I’m back! I reached out to the King Arthur help desk and didn’t get a strong reply. I’m hoping your expertise, after reading about cocoa and yeast, might solve the challenge. In a nutshell, chocolate pretzels! I want to convert the current pretzel dough into a chocolate soft pretzel. I intend to top with sea salt (oohh, maybe pretzels!) and have a homemade caramel dipping sauce on the side. The total recipes calls for 2 1/2 cups AP flour how much of that Ap flour would I substitute with Dutch Cocoa and would the power of the yeast suffice or would an additional leavener need to be added? http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/hot-buttered-soft-pretzels-recipe

    Can’t wait to hear you reply. I’ve been thinking about this for months!

    ~ Christine

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