Chocolate Ricotta Muffins:
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cup (320 ml) milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (60 grams) Dutch processed cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Ricotta Muffins: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Place rack in the middle of the oven. Line 16 muffin pans with paper liners or spray with a non stick vegetable spray.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk the ricotta cheese and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk, vanilla extract, and cooled and melted butter, mixing well. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Add the ricotta mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined and then fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix this batter or the muffins will be tough when baked.
Divide the batter amongst the 16 muffin cups using two spoons or an ice cream scoop.
Place in the oven and bake about 20 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Makes 16 regular-sized muffins.
Chocolate Ricotta Muffins is another recipe, the other being Cherry Ricotta Muffins, that uses ricotta in its batter. Ricotta is a sweet, moist and grainy soft textured cheese that gives these Chocolate Ricotta Muffins a cheesecake-like taste and texture. While these muffins may have the texture of the Cherry Ricotta Muffins their similarities end there as these muffins also contain chocolate. In fact, they provide a double dose of chocolate; one from cocoa powder and the other from chocolate chips.
Dutch-processed cocoa powder gives these muffins a mild chocolate flavor while, at the same time, coloring the batter a nice chocolate brown. There are two types of cocoa powder; Dutch processed and natural unsweetened cocoa powder. Of the two my preference in this recipe is Dutch-processed mainly because I like how its more delicate flavor pairs with the mild sweet flavor of the ricotta.
Ricotta (pronounced "rih-KAHT-tuh") means "recooked", and is a rich Italian cheese made from the whey (watery residue from making other cheeses, like mozzarella) that is cooked to produce a mild, nutty flavored white cheese. It is very similar to our cottage cheese only it is very perishable. Keep this in mind when buying ricotta, as once you open the container it needs to be used within a few days. (To solve the problem of what to do with leftover ricotta, I suggest the Cherry Ricotta Muffin recipe on the site or the Breakfast Tiramisu.) Ricotta comes in whole milk, low fat, or part skim and in this recipe I suggest using the whole milk ricotta.