Comforting Chocolate Muffins

I woke up yesterday and remembered I hadn’t made anything for Maison Cupcake’s ‘Seduced by Chocolate’ Forever Nigella challenge. I fretted about what to make for about five minutes, then Hana the Super Nanny rang and said she was too sick to look after the Small Girl and suddenly my day became a lot more complicated.

As it turned out, my lovely boss was understanding and the Small Girl and I had a really fun morning. Then the Boy Wonder rang, sounding panicked. “It’s Christchurch. There’s been another earthquake. I don’t know when I’ll be home tonight.”

The news from Christchurch is just horrible. The September 4 earthquake was bad enough, but then it was just about buildings. Now it’s about mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, colleagues and friends, who have lost their lives due to an incredible dose of bad luck.

It’s pathetic, but the only thing I felt I could do last night was make a batch of Nigella’s chocolate chip muffins for the Boy Wonder and his workmates, who have put aside their own personal attachments and worked through the night to deliver news that nobody wants to hear.

Comforting Chocolate Muffins
I couldn’t find the recipe for this on, so here’s my slightly tweaked version. I hope you won’t mind me suggesting this, but maybe you’d like to consider making a batch of these for your colleagues and asking them to donate to the Christchurch earthquake relief fund at Thank you.

250g flour
3Tbsp cocoa
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
160g caster sugar
150g dark chocolate, smashed into little bits
250ml milk
6Tbsp melted butter, cooled (about 100g)
1 egg
1tsp brandy

Preheat oven to 200C. Put paper cases in 10 holes of a standard muffin tin.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then stir through most of the chopped chocolate. Mix the wet ingredients together in a jug, then pour into the dry mix and fold together until just combined. Add a little more milk if it seems a bit dry. Sprinkle the rest of the chopped chocolate over the top. Bake for 20 minutes, until they are springy and pass the skewer test. Cool for five minutes before taking them out of the tins and setting on a rack to cool completely.



  1. February 22, 2011 / 6:02 pm

    What a lovely post Lucy.. comforting muffins ..perfect. Poor Christchurch.

  2. February 22, 2011 / 6:07 pm

    Sad! so many people..65…moms dads kids and friends, may God give strength to their families. One in Sep and now again…hope there is no more.

    Your choclate muffins look absolutely yumicious….wish i cld have a bite…!!

  3. February 22, 2011 / 6:14 pm

    Horrible news. I always feel helpless when I hear about disasters like this. Good idea for raising money, though. It's the least we can do.

  4. February 22, 2011 / 10:25 pm

    Horrible news in Christchurch. My prayers are with all the victims.
    The muffins look absolutely wonderful. Comforting indeed.

  5. February 22, 2011 / 10:48 pm

    I think many of us bake during periods of stress. The news is terrible and my heart goes out to all who are affected by these quakes. I'm sure your husband and his co-workers were really appreciative of your efforts and loved your cookies. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings…Mary

  6. February 23, 2011 / 2:33 am

    Horrid news Lucy. I wasn't sure what part of NZ you lived in so thought of you immediately. I'm glad you're safe. There are no doubt some dark days aheadso my thoughts are with you and all New Zealanders.

  7. February 23, 2011 / 11:22 am

    I agree with Caz as soon as I woke up to the news yesterday my thoughts were with you and Joan and my other blogger friends in that part of the world and of course everyone one else too. So it was great to see that you'd blogged…so must be ok…but still sad to think how many other peoples lives have been affected. I hope things can get back to normality as soon as possible.

    I think at time like this things like happy films and comfort food can help to heal and this recipe sounds perfect for that.

  8. February 23, 2011 / 5:51 pm

    very sad news from Christchurch… very sad…
    lovely muffins though, they would work to comfort me…

  9. February 23, 2011 / 7:07 pm

    I lost my baking mojo when I heard the news too – my brother, sis-in-law and soon-to-be 3 year old niece live in NZ, Auckland to be exact but it took a long time to get the news through that it was Christchurch that had been hit. Scary stuff but I reckon people would be thanful for these muffins right about now :0)

  10. February 23, 2011 / 7:36 pm

    I do hope the comforting chocolate muffins are getting boy wonder and his colleagues through this. They're providing our lifeline here – thank him very much xox

  11. February 24, 2011 / 6:15 pm

    Thanks everyone for your kind comments. The news just keeps getting worse, reinforcing just how lucky we are that everyone we know is safe.

  12. March 6, 2011 / 4:18 pm

    It can sound trite to say when things are bad we turn to food – but actually cooking speaks to our deepest needs to nurture our loved ones and keep them safe and also to knit the world together again..

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