Berry Chocolate Valentines Day Muffins

Have you ever had one of those weeks, turned months where you get so consumed that you forget, or rather put on the back-burner doing the things that you really enjoy? 2018 came in the midst of a cold taking down our house for over a month, me getting injured, starting a new job, traveling, having visitors, and just a lot of being busy.

I know that change is often a good thing, but I think I forget how much time and energy it takes to settle into change. Some parts of all of these changes good, other parts not so good- that’s just life. And when I stop to take a moment and breathe a little, I noticed that the thing that brings me a lot of calm (baking) has not been on my “to-do” list. I blame the lack of prioritisation in large part this month on the fact that our upstairs neighbours have decided to renovate… and by renovate, I mean completely gut out the apartment directly above us and re-do EVERYTHING- including the tile floors. My little home is my sanctuary, the place I love to spend time. It’s full of what I think is positive energy and calm, but not lately. You see, in Hong Kong as an apartment dweller you have No right to complain about any form of noise from 7am to 7pm Monday through Saturday. I know this because the last time our neighbours below us did the same thing, whilst I was 9 months pregnant, I phoned HK noise control and the man on the other end of the line gave me some great advice. He said, “Maybe Hong Kong too noisy. You should move”. Interesting… times like these make me wish I had taken his advice. And so the jack-hammers directly above my head for hours a day (yes including nap time!) has been enough to drive me out of my mind. We are currently on week 4 of renovations and I’m gaining some level of a more quiet sanity.

So this afternoon while my little guy was at the park, I put in my earphones to some sort of Spotify chilled out acoustic playlist (because I’m 36 going on 63) and got into the kitchen. Inspired by tomorrow’s day of love, Valentine’s Day, I thought I would whip up some delicious little treats for… nope not my husband but my co-workers. The husband is out of town for the week so my stand in gym-junkie co-workers will have to do. I’m sure they won’t protest being my forced Valentine’s Day treat recipients.

Time to prepare: 40 min

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup Yeo Valley Raspberry Yogurt

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 5 tbs Cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas

  • 1 cup dark choc chips
  • 3 sliced strawberries (for topping)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180 Celsius
  • Line muffin tins with baking paper (or you can lightly grease)
  • In small bowl combine dry ingredients (flour, cacao powder, baking soda)
  • In large bowl mash two ripe bananas with a fork.
  • Add in remaining wet ingredients- vanilla, eggs, buttermilk, yogurt.
  • Place dry ingredients into large bowl with wet ingredients. Mix well

  • Fold in 3/4 cup of dark choc chips
  • Scoop mixture into muffin tins

  • Top muffins with sliced strawberry and choc chips
  • Bake for approx 20 minutes or until you can poke with a toothpick and it comes out clean.

There you have it, healthy and delicious, very low sugar treats for your Valentines- whomever they might be. Hope tomorrow is filled with chocolate, but mostly love and a little gratitude for doing the things you love and spending time with those that love you.

All of the cuddles all day for these two This little chocolate monster lights up my day

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