This was our pre-Valentine's day indulgence. The muffins are supremely chocolatey due to the cup of chocolate chips folded in. If you cannot tolerate so much chocolate, you can leave them out for some ordinary and moist cocoa muffins.
The recipe comes from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe. Unlike many of the baked goods I make, I have made this recipe twice. It is a great use for some leftover ricotta cheese. It can be made with oil or melted butter, some soy-protein mix can be substituted for the flour- all this making it so adaptable and versatile.
Chocolate-Ricotta muffins- I got 16 normal sized muffins
Nonstick spray for the pan
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 to 8 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose (can add about 1/2 cup of soy-protein mix for 1/2 cup flour, or you can use 50:50 whole-wheat and AP flour)
1 cup ricotta
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted or oil
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray 12 standard-sized (2 1/2-inch-diameter) muffin cups with nonstick spray. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl.
Place the ricotta in a second medium-sized bowl, and add the eggs one at a time, beating well with a medium-sized whisk after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla, and whisk until thoroughly blended.
Pour the ricotta mixture, along with the melted butter, into the dry ingredients. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, stir from the bottom of the bowl until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Don't overmix; a few lumps are okay.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Fill them even with the top of the pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for to 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, then remove the muffins from the pan and place them on a rack to cool. Wait at least 30 minutes before serving.
They are great warm but even better the next day!