These unusual yeast-raised sweet muffins are unlike any other chocolate cake or bread you’ve ever eaten. Vaguely fluffy when warm, they settle down as they cool to become a bit denser and more decadent-feeling. Though not nearly as decadent as a flourless cake they’re definitely a chocolate kick-in-the-pants, as Mrs. Pastry likes to say, with little bombs of melty goodness throughout. Start by assembling your ingredients and preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Begin with the sponge. Whisk together the flour, sugar and yeast in a medium bowl.
Add the water.
Whisk it together until it resembles a pancake batter, then let it sit for about half an hour…
…until it looks like this:
While you’re waiting sift together the sugar, remaining flour, cocoa powder and salt.
Give it a whisk to make sure it’s all incorporated evenly.
When the sponge is ready, make well in the center of the mixture, then add the melted and cooled butter.
Also the eggs.
Also the sponge.
Whisk it in the middle, steadily bringing in more of the dry ingredients from the perimeter.
When it’s a fairly uniform mixture add in the chopped chocolate. Yes, there are some bigger pieces in there. I like for people to be surprised. Also I don’t want the finished crotins to be uniform in texture, I want crumb and pockets of chocolate.
This is Ghiradelli, Mrs. Pastry says she would have preferred a fruitier El Rey or Scharffer-Berger for more contrast. Everyone’s a critic!
Spoon or pipe this goopy batter into a muffin tin, filling the cups up almost to the very top. This batter won’t expand all that much, which makes it great for other types of molds like those little cork-like “bouchon” molds that you saw everywhere a few years ago. Get creative if you wish…but reduce the baking time as necessary to keep them from drying out.
But they will crack a bit. See? It’s all part of the aesthetic.
Dust on more cocoa powder while they’re still hot. Mrs. Pastry…who got really involved in these for some reason…suggested an alternative of a few grains of a high-end salt. That might be cool as well…though let them cool down some first so the grains don’t melt.
Allow them to sit for at least fifteen minutes or so before serving. They’re great hot or cold. One is enough for anyone, but don’t expect your guests to stop there.