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Chocolate Persimmon Muffins

Adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce The original recipe said it made 8 muffins but I got a few more out of my one third cup-sized muffin tins. To be sure, keep a little softened butter on hand in case you need to butter a few extra spaces in your muffin tin. Fill the muffin tins so that the batter is heaped just above the top. These are denser than other kinds of muffins and don’t dome much due to the chocolate and the hardy buckwheat. Although I rarely call for specific brands of ingredients, Valrhona cocoa powder gives these muffins a deep-chocolate flavor and that’s what Kim recommends as well. If you don’t have it, use very good quality cocoa powder (and chocolate) for best results.

For the dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup (150g) buckwheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process (see headnote), 20g
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

For the wet ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into bits
  • 1/4 cup (50g) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) plain yogurt, whole or lowfat
  • 2 cups (500ml) Hachiya persimmon puree , (from about 2-pounds, 800g of persimmons)
  • 4 ounces (115) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch (1cm) chunks
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Butter eight of the inserts of a muffin tin (with a 1/3-cup capacity each).
  • Sift together all of the dry ingredients into a bowl, pressing through any lumps of leavening, then tilt any bits of grain left in the strainer back into the mixture.
  • In a stand mixer, or by hand, beat the butter with the brown and granulated sugars until light and creamy, for three to five minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure they’re incorporated.
  • Add the yogurt, then half of the persimmon puree.
  • Stir in half of the dry ingredients, then add the remaining persimmon puree.
  • Gently mix in the remaining dry ingredients until almost incorporated, then fold in the chocolate chunks and any chocolate dust.
  • Divide the batter into the muffin tins and if there are any bits of persimmon visible in the batter, lift them out with a spoon and distribute them over the top.
  • Bake the muffins for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the muffin pan midway during baking. The muffins are done when they still feel still soft in the center and spring back lightly when pressed.
  • Let the muffins cool for a few minutes, until you can handle them, then lift them out of the pan and set them on a cooling rack.


Storage: The muffins are best the day they’re made, although you can store them in an airtight container for up to two days. They’ll be a little denser the next day. The muffins can also be frozen for up to two months.
Note: Valrhona cocoa powder is available in well-stocked grocery and gourmet stores, as well as from Valrhona. In Paris, I buy mine at G. Detou.