Usually, I hold desserts masquerading as real foods in the highest contempt. Nobody would consider a cupcake a healthy breakfast option, but call it a "muffin" and it's suddenly socially sanctioned. However, I am guilty of occasionally craving such "muffins" that are essentially junk--particularly of the blueberry or chocolate varieties.
During my recent patrol of Cooking Light, I bookmarked a recipe for a German chocolate cake. But cakes usually don't fare well in this apartment, because I'm the only one eating them, and they go dry after a few days. Cupcakes are a better option, because they can be frozen and thawed over several weeks while remaining moist and soft. But since I already had various desserts sitting around, I couldn't really justify a whole batch of cupcakes on top of it. Solution: cut down the sugar, use healthy fats and white whole wheat flour, skip the frosting and--just like despicable grocery store bakers everywhere--call it a muffin instead.
Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe for German Chocolate Cake
-1/4 cup cocoa
-1 tbsp chocolate chips
-1/4 cup boiling water
-2/3 cup sugar
-2.5 tbsp canola oil
-2 tbsp plain fat-free yogurt
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 cup + 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup light soy milk
-1/2 tbsp lemon juice
-1/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350° F. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa and chocolate. Pour in the boiling water and stir until the chips have melted. In a larger mixing bowl, stir the sugar and canola oil together, then mix in the yogurt, vanilla, and egg. Separately, combine the flour, leavenings, and salt. Measure out the soy milk and pour in the lemon juice to create a buttermilk substitute. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, alternating with the "buttermilk." Pour in the cocoa mixture and mix well.
Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon into sprayed muffin liners and bake for 20 minutes.
I <3 aluminum wrappers. They're pretty and come off so cleanly!
(Of course...you have to take them off before you put the muffins in the microwave!)
These are just sweet enough that they don't feel like a "healthy substitute" for real chocolate, but not so sweet that you feel like rinsing your mouth out afterwards. I'm sure the recipe would hold up well to other add-ins, like dried cranberries (soaked in hot water to plump before baking), chopped nuts, or anything else that goes well with chocolate.