Cherry chocolate muffins with a sweet surprise

cherry chocolate marzipan muffinsI didn’t really plan to be posting another “sweet” recipe so soon, but then my fellow PhD-students and me had a day-long meeting where we presented our projects to each other and our professor (because why suffer alone when you can also suffer in a group), and I figured that we might need a little sugar rush in between to get us trough the day. While going through my pantry to search for inspiration, I found a jar of cherries and a packet of marzipan – and what is a better combination than chocolate, cherries and marzipan? I also used almond milk to enhance the marzipan flavour, but you can use whatever (plant) milk you have in your pantry. These muffins turned out perfectly moist and fluffy, with a strong though not overpowering dark chocolate flavour that works perfectly with the sweet cherry and marzipan flavours. Truly delicious – and a perfect sweet and energizing snack!

I decided to use the marzipan as a filling instead of mixing it with the batter, though you could also chop the marzipan into much smaller pieces and just stir it in with the cherries – whatever you prefer! Since I was a little worried (as it turned out, completely unnecessary) that the marzipan filling might sink to the bottom of the muffins while in the oven, I didn’t shape the marzipan into balls but into coins, which is why you see a flat line of marzipan if you cut the muffin in half. For the more adventurous of you (or the more crafty ones), you could also make little hearts or other shapes from the marzipan.

You need:

  • 300 g plain wheat flour
  • 200 g wholemeal flour
  • 200 g sugar
  • 150 g margarine (at room temperature)
  • 100 g dark chocolate, grated
  • 440 ml almond milk
  • 6 teaspoons egg replacer, beaten with 150 ml water
  • 5 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 jar of cherries
  • 200 g marzipan

Place the margarine in a big bowl and beat with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg replacer, and beat again until well combined. Now add almond milk, flour, grated chocolate cocoa powder, baking powder and soda and mix well. Drain the cherries and add to the batter. Stir carefully until the cherries are evenly distributed. Start preheating the oven to 180° C.

Divide the marzipan into 18 pieces and form them into desired shape. Lightly grease a muffin tin (or use paper muffin cases) and fill about half with the muffin batter. Place marzipan on top and press down a little, then add another tablespoon of batter until the marzipan is completely covered. Place in the oven and bake at 180° C for about 20 minutes. Remove from the muffin tin and place on a rack to cool. Enjoy!

Note: This makes about 18 regular sized muffins.

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