To Keep "In Shape" – Double Chocolate Muffins with Flaked Sea Salt & Dried Flowers

Double Chocolate Muffins with Flaked Sea Salt & Dried Flowers | My Blue&White Kitchen

Quite often I get asked how I keep "in shape" while I cook, bake, and eat so much. Moderation is of course one thing which I've also talked about here on the blog. It's something I actually don't have to do very consciously as it comes quite naturally to me. The other thing I usually mention is that I hardly ever eat any processed food and don't buy sweets and baked stuff (except croissants and ice cream). I make them at home. Craving pizza? I make it from scratch. Chocolate? Homemade chocolate cake it is. Partly this has to do with the fact that I just freakin' love standing in the kitchen. At least most of the time. Furthermore, we haven't a takeout culture here in Finland and, hence, there aren't that many places that offer great takeout food. And what about processed food? Well, it's primarily a question of personal preference. It doesn't taste good. Not to me at least. And because I live to eat rather than eat to live and because I basically belong to that range of people who rather skip a meal than eat something that's crap (not entirely sure how good a thing that is), I very rarely buy or eat any convenience food.

So yes, I eat butter, sugar, and meat. And yes, I love a good loaf of bread. I'm not following a special diet. I don't have a list of forbidden food. I eat. A lot. Occasionally, such as last week, I go and get a burger. But still, I'm eating (to my standards) pretty healthy and consciously and, thus, manage to stay "in shape". I know that eating this way doesn't come naturally to all of us. Many of us struggle. I struggle sometimes too.

So how to find balance? I'm afraid I don't have an answer to this question. I only have a couple of thoughts. Listen to your body. Listen to your mind. What do they, and ultimately you, crave? What makes them, and ultimately you, feel good? Be interested in what you put in your mouth. Think seasonally. Think locally. Discover. How does a fresh tomato that has grown in soil taste like? How does a simple soup made from scratch differ from a canned one? Trial and error. Get connected. Share. Gather in the kitchen and around the table. Create memories around food. Get back to the roots. Think simpler.

So what has this all to do with chocolate muffins? Well, they too were created because I 1) craved chocolate (the ultimate way to beat winter blues) and 2) knew that a chocolate bar or a bought chocolate muffin wouldn't do. Originally, I didn't plan to sprinkle dried flowers on top. But as I pulled the muffins out of the oven and saw the sun shining through the windows, I felt like dried flower petals would be perfect. A layer of white snow is still covering the fields and hills, but spring lingers in the air. There's light. There's hope.

Double Chocolate Muffins with Flaked Sea Salt & Dried Flowers | My Blue&White Kitchen

Double Chocolate Muffins with Flaked Sea Salt & Dried Flowers

makes 16–18 medium-sized muffins

This recipe can easily be halved. You can use whatever dried flowers you have on hand. I used a mix of hibiscus, elderflower, cornflower, lavender, orange blossom, thyme flower, viola, erica, and yarrow. The recipe calls for buttermilk. Should buttermilk not be easy to come by where you live, you can make your own: stir 1 tbsp lemon juice into 1 cup milk and let the mixture sit in room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. The milk should now have thickened slightly and have small curdled bits in it. If you live in Scandinavia, you can use filmjölk.

2 tbsp cocoa powder
250 g (4 ½ dl; 2 cups minus 1 ½ tbsp) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp fine sea salt
2 eggs
175 g (2 dl; ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp) granulated sugar
½ dl (1 cup) buttermilk
180 g bittersweet chocolate (70 % cocoa), melted & cooled 
90 g bittersweet chocolate (70 % cocoa), roughly chopped
115 g (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted & cooled to room temperature

flaked sea salt, to sprinkle on top
optional: dried flowers, to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 175°C (350°C).

In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.  Line the inside of 16 to 18 muffin cups with muffin liners.

In a stand mixer at high speed, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Turn the speed to low, and gradually add buttermilk, melted butter, and melted chocolate. At this point, the batter may look curdled. Don't worry, it's normal. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide batter among muffin liners, filling each ¾ full. Top with coarsely chopped chocolate. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle with flaked sea salt and dried flowers of your choice.

Double Chocolate Muffins with Flaked Sea Salt & Dried Flowers | My Blue&White Kitchen

Related Posts

Chocolate, Almond & Fleur De Sel Pots de Crème


When I crave chocolate, a chocolate bar from the nearby grocery store won't do. When I crave chocolate, I need something homemade {and heavenly good}. Like a rich chocolate cake, chewy chocolate chip cookies, or, like last time, sophisticated pots de crème.


Aran Goyoaga's cookbook Small Plates & Sweet Treats, which was published in October 2012, is one of my most favorite cookbooks. It's full of delicious recipes arranged by season, lovely memories & stories, and gorgeous photography & food styling.

These pots de crème caught my attention immediately. The original recipe calls for hazelnuts and hazelnut butter but I used almonds and almond butter because that was what I had on hand. I also sprinkled some blueberries on top and liked the flavor combination a lot. Next time I may serve them with some vanilla-flavored sautéed apple cubes.

This is a wonderful, rich chocolate dessert for any occasion. I'm sure you too will fall in love with it.


Chocolate, Almond & Fleur de Sel Pots de Crème

recipe adapted from Small Plates & Sweet Treats by Aran Goyoaga, p. 62
recipe can also be found on her blog

30 g (¼ cup) almonds
500 ml (2 cups) unsweetened coconut milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise & seeds scraped out
1 egg (L)
2 egg yolks (L)
50 g (¼ cup) coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp almond butter
60 g (2 oz) milk chocolate, finely chopped
60 g (2 oz) bittersweet dark chocolate (70 % cocoa), finely chopped
½ tsp fleur de sel

whipped cream, to serve
optional: blueberries or other berries or fruit, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Roast the almonds on a baking sheet for 5 to 7 minutes, or until fragrant. Let them cool and chop coarsely. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F).

In a medium-sized pot, combine the coconut milk, vanilla bean, and seeds. Over moderate heat, bring to a low simmer.

In the meantime, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and almond butter until (at least almost) lump-free.

When the coconut milk has come to a simmer, remove the pan from the heat. Remove the vanilla bean pod. Add both chocolates to the warm coconut milk and stir until the chocolates have melted.

Pour a little bit of the hot coconut milk mixture over the eggs while whisking. Slowly add the rest of the milk mixture and whisk until homogenous. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot or bowl. Add the fleur the sel and stir.

Pour the custard into 6 (4-ounce) oven-safe ramekins. Place the ramekins in a deep baking pan and place it on the oven rack. To create a water bath, carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to come half-way up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake the custards for 30 to 40 minutes. The custards are ready when the cream is set. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature, allowing them to set completely.

The custards can be enjoyed at room temperature or chilled. Personally, I prefer mine chilled. To serve, top with whipped cream, roasted almonds, and blueberries.


Oh and I have approximately 30 kilos of apples on my balcony… Recipe suggestions, anyone?