I love the mixture of chocolate and orange. It reminds me of the chocolate covered orange cremes that are made by one of the better known chocolate manufacturers. I wanted a combination that would liven up All Bran muffins so this recipe is a result of that. As a starting point, I visited the Kellogg's All Bran cereal site, then modified their basic recipe heavily, cutting back on the amount of sugar and adding a couple other ingredients. I retained some things in the original, but it is certainly not as boring, and it definitely has the taste of chocolate covered orange cremes!
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Brown sugar (I use Coconut sugar for the caramel taste)
1 tablespoon molasses
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups half and half
1 cup All-Bran® cereal (I used Kellogg's because the ingredient list did not have a lot of additives)
1/2 cup Scottish oatmeal
¼ cup flax meal
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup orange puree prepared as below (and in my previous recipes)
1/3 cup crunchy almond butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
1 cup dark chocolate chunks
1. Wash the whole orange carefully. Trim about 1⁄2" from the tops and bottoms of oranges. Cover with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Drain. Repeat boiling process twice more with fresh water. Again, cover the orange with cold water. Bring the water to a rolling boil, lower the heat, and simmer with the cover on for about 1- 1 1/2 hours. Don’t try to rush this part as the prolonged boiling minimizes the bitterness of the skin and pith. Tip: I used a pressure cooker to do this in 30 minutes. Remove from heat but don’t flash cool, let it cool naturally until the pressure has dropped, and it is safe to open. Allow the orange to cool. The orange is “cooked” when the rind gives easily when pierced with a fork. This step can be done the day before and the puree kept in the fridge until ready to use. Remove the center, and seeds if any. Puree in a small blender. Set aside to cool. I freeze any leftover puree (if any) for future recipes.
2. In medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, oatmeal, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
3. In large bowl combine half and half, molasses, and the brown sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add to this, the all-bran cereal, and flax meal. Let stand about 2 minutes or more until the bran gets soft and soggy.
4. Beat the egg, and almond butter well. Add the boiled orange puree. Mix well. Add in the half and half mixture.
5. Mix in the flour mixture quickly. Be careful not to over mix, stirring until just combined. Portion out mixture into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on rack.