Double Chocolate Almond Frangipane Muffins

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A few weeks ago, I had the full intention of making one of my favorite desserts – a pear frangipane tart from Smitten Kitchen. I made double the amount of frangipane because I love the creamy almond filling and I figured if I had some left over, I could do something else with it.

Well, a bad sinus infection and overall not sleeping well left me with all the frangipane filling because the tart never got made. I had been wondering the whole time if I could use frangipane filling in things like muffins much the way people use cream cheese filling. I had looked for a recipe like this online and found nothing, so I’d have to improvise.

So today, I finally got around to trying it. I started with a slightly revised version of KAF’s chocolate breakfast muffin, which tastes like a cupcake, but isn’t quite so delicate. I just added a little almond extract to the batter. I then used a teaspoon sized scoop to plop a scoop of my frangipane filling on top of each muffin. Baked for 25 minutes and voila… Moist, very rich and chocolatey muffins with delicate almond filling.

Chocolate Almond Frangipane Muffins
Slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Chocolate Breakfast Muffins
and Smitten Kitchen’s Pear and Almond Tart

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 ounces) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 cups (9 3/8 ounces) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon espresso powder or 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons almond extract or emulsion
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) vegetable oil
1/2 batch of almond filling (see below)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper cups or spray each cup with nonstick spray

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, espresso powder or instant coffee, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a large measuring cup or medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, almond extract, vinegar, and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend until dry ingredients are moistened.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling nearly to the top. Place a rounded teaspoon-sized amount of filling on top of each cup of batter.

Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean (test two or three muffins to make sure). Remove the muffins from the oven, and after 5 minutes remove them from the pan and allow to cool for 15 minutes before eating. Yield: 12 muffins.

Almond Filling

2/3 cup almond flour or ground almonds (NOT almond butter)
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
7 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Combine almonds and flour in processor. Mix in 7 tablespoons sugar, then butter and extract. Blend until smooth. Mix in egg. Transfer filling to medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)

*Leftover filling can be kept for a few weeks. I’d imagine you could use this for many things – even using it for a filling in morning buns or sweet rolls. Encase a tablespoon of filling in bread dough, let rise, and bake as you would buns. Or use in place of cinnamon roll filling. Maybe even on toast – spread a layer of filling on thick challah or brioche and bake for a few minutes until toasted slightly.

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