Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dulce de Decadent

This is what happens when you let my mind carry itself away. I haven't eaten at a Tim Hortons for a good few years now, but being a good Canadian I still keep up with their host of promotions. Before this year's Roll Up the Rim, or their new smoothies, or even their new oatmeal bowls (which makes me think "Starbucks copycats"!) I think they had a caramel overload at their production plant - between a cookie, a mocha, two donuts and a muffin, we had a little bit of sugar saturation for a while.

But when I heard the ad for that "Caramel Chocolate Muffin", it lodged itself in my brain and refused to let go! I never saw what the muffins were like in person, or really heard a description beyond the marketing campaign, but I began to dream up a clone of the confection that would be a hundred times better than the original (to toot my own horn, ahem). I had images of a rich cocoa batter, ribboned through with gooey caramel and full of dark, slightly bitter sugar flavour. While I didn't actually make the dulce de leche for this batch (I know it's super-simple to do, but school's timing sucks up a lot of potential prep time!), I'm sure it would be just as awesome as the jarred version I bought - thick, rich and undeniably caramel.

I couldn't have been happier with the way these came out - super moist, extremely rich and even though they were stuffed with the dulce de leche they apparently weren't super-sweet, which I'm attributing to the unsweetened cocoa powder. Only a few days ago did I actually see a photo of the "official" muffins and found out there was no cocoa powder or chocolate (other than chips) in sight! You know what, though? Sometimes off-label is better... and muffins are never a bad thing!

Dulce de Leche Dark Chocolate Muffins
Makes 12
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup oat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp egg replacer powder
3 tbsp cold water
7 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 warm milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups dulce de leche or caramel ice cream topping, divided

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F, line muffin cups with paper liners and grease the top of the muffin tin.
  2. Whisk tgether flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the egg replacer powder and cold water, then add brown sugar, milk, oil, vanilla and 1/3 cup of the dulce de leche.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining dulce de leche into the batter and swirl through without mixing it in.
  6. Fill muffin tins almost full with the batter.
  7. Bake 20 minutes. Best eaten when still slightly warm, but freeze well and can be reheated in the microwave.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 263.2
Total Fat: 7.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 5.1 mg
Total Carbs: 47.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 3.4 g

3 comments :

David T. Macknet said...

They look awesome (even thought I don't like chocolate).

My dulce de leche must either be eaten 1) straight from the container, 2) on toast, or 3) over iced cream.

Mindy@whiskibusiness said...

I really enjoy your blog. It's beautifully done and informative too. I'll be back to visit. Drop in and say Hi at mine. I always love a visit!!

Eftychia said...

This dessert looks delicious. Thanks for sharing. Very nice Blog you have here!!!