This recipe is a marriage of two indulgences: my double chocolate muffins and Nutella. They are full of hazelnuts (or filberts, if you prefer) and chocolate in multiple forms.
Hazelnut/filbert flour is available in some specialty stores, but you can also make it at home in a blender or coffee grinder. To get what you need for this recipe, pulse a scant cup of hazelnuts for 10 to 20 seconds (depending on the speed of your device) until the hazelnuts are reduced to a coarse meal (powder) with some larger chunks. Do not overblend, or the mixture will turn into hazelnut butter: delicious, but not usable for this recipe.
Scoop out the larger chunks and set them aside; they are your ¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts. Sift the rest through a coarse sieve; that’s your ½ cup hazelnut flour.
I lightly rub the hazelnuts together before blending or chopping them to remove the reddish-brown skin, which has a somewhat bitter taste. I’m not too picky about this, though – Bob’s Red Mill skips this step when making its own hazelnut flour. If a skin is hard to remove, I leave it on.
Like my double chocolate muffins, these muffins aren’t super-sweet. That gives them a nice, dark chocolate flavor that beats Ferrero Rocher any day in my book. If you’re looking for something more cupcakey, you can double the sweetener – but why not try it this way first?
- measuring cups and spoons
- 2 mixing bowls
- mixing spoon or electric mixer
- muffin tin with 12 2 ½-inch cups
- cooling rack
- ½ cup hazelnut flour
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons white whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup sugar or xylitol
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cup plain yogurt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 Tablespoons oil
- ½ cup chopped bittersweet baking chocolate or chocolate chips
- ½ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts (optional)
- ¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts (optional)
Making the muffins
- Mix the hazelnut flour, wheat flour, cocoa, sugar or xylitol, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Batter should be somewhat lumpy.
- Stir in the chocolate chunks and ½ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts.
- Spoon batter into lined or greased muffin tin. Fill each cup about three-quarters full.
- Sprinkle the ¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts over the muffin tops.
- Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until the tops are firm and toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on racks before eating.