5 oz (150 g) plain flour
2 level tablespoons cocoa powder
1 level dessertspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
11/2 oz (40g) golden caster sugar
4 fl oz (120 ml) milk
2 oz (50 g) butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 oz (50 g) plain chocolate drops
For the topping
23/4 oz (65 g) plain chocolate drops
24 red glace cherries
icing sugar, sifted
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
You will also need 2 x 12 - hole mini-muffin tins, well greased
Start off by sifting the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Then in a separate bowl mix together the egg, sugar, milk and melted butter. Now return the dry ingredients to the sieve and sift them straight on to the egg mixture (this double sifting is essential because there won't be much mixing going on). What you need now is to take a large spoon and fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones - quickly, in about 15 seconds. Don't be tempted to beat or stir, and don't be alarmed by the rather unattractive, uneven appearance of the mixture: this, in fact, is what will ensure that the muffins stay light. Now fold the chocolate drops into the mixture - again with a minimum of stirring; just a quick folding in.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cups, about 1 heaped teaspoon in each, and bake on a high shelf in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, until well risen. Then remove the muffins from the oven and cool in the tins for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling tray.
While they're cooling, place the remaining chocolate drops into a small bowl. Then place this into a saucepan of barely simmering water without allowing the bowl to touch the water, and allow the chocolate to melt. Then, when the muffins are cool enough to handle, spoon a little melted chocolate on to each one, then place it back on the cooling tray and fix a cherry on top. If you like, before serving you can give them a dusting of sifted icing sugar.