i came across this recipe on a blog called italialicious and it just kinda caught my eye in that it had a whole cup of olive oil in it! i mean first of all, i have NEVER used olive oil when baking muffins so i was curious to see what the effect was. the blog itself is a delightful array of italian recipes from pasta to tiramisu. i have thoroughly enjoyed reading through the many recipes.
so anyway, i got everything together and was surprised at the texture of the batter. i mean it was pretty dense and kinda had a gelatinous quality to it...i had a moment of...'oh no' but pushed on because one of the many joys of baking (thank god) is that don't always be fooled by the batter.
i deviated from the original recipe a bit in that i don't trust essences here in indonesia. mostly because, most of them look like substances you might have used in chemistry lab experiments when you were at school...bright orange, yellow...thick, scary, flourescent...you get the idea...(i'll take a picture next time i'm in the supermarket just in case you don't!) so i didn't add any orange essence or zest. but everything else i kept to.
popped them in the oven and they rose really well. still need some fiddling with the oven though, because a couple were a tad too well done on top for my liking - someone mentioned i should go to the beach and get some sand and spread it on a tray and leave it at the bottom of the oven to distribute the heat more evenly, it could be time to do this as the muffins on the sides of the tray are baking faster than the ones in the middle.
then came the taste test...these were very cake-like, as opposed to fudgey (which some more american brownies can be, but often i find fudgey textures to be very heavy) and had a very good strong chocolate flavour (which probably had a lot to do with the one cup of ghirardelli cocoa that went in - carried with love from singapore as not available in indonesia!) i really enjoyed them and found them to be rich, without being heavy and moist without being fudgey. a nice combination both of flavour and texture.
in this case...i might just have to agree that italians definitely do it better :)