Hello, my little love muffins.
No, not you.
Well, I mean, unless you like being called that sort of thing…
Um, do you?
(This isn’t awkward at all.)
To clarify: I was, in fact, saying hello to two batches of mini savoury muffins that I thought I might share with you.
I may or may not have been looking for an excuse to break out my silicone mini muffin tray. Not that that’s the point.
The point is, I went ahead and took a bit of artistic license with a Delia Smith recipe – with great success. All I would do differently would be to go a bit more heavy on the flavourings, as the muffin to cheese etc. ratio seemed a bit off. More cheese can only be a good thing.
To be honest, the only changes I made were the flavourings: Though I’m a bona fide fiend for both halloumi and feta, I have a childish aversion to bog standard goat’s cheese, and I wanted to add bacony niceness to one batch, which might have been perfectly fine with gruyere, but I thought a smackdown between salty, smokey bacon and sharp, extra mature Cheddar might be quite fun.
I was so right.
Muffin alchemy is where it’s at.
So is bacon alchemy. (Vegetarians, you didn’t read that bit.)
Muffin alchemy is especially where it’s at when you have a bunch of taste testers on hand to make enthusiastic ‘yummy’ noises at you – and it’s especially-escially where it’s at when there’s a bottle of Żubrówka making the rounds and your taste testers are throwing shapes to a bit of A-ha (which they do between enthusiastic ‘yummy’ noises, obviously).
Er, not that I’ve been to any parties where either the Polish vodka or the Norwegian pop group were involved.
Fine, once, but the vodka and music were not my fault.
Oh, quit looking at me like that and go make some tiny muffins, okay?
Two Types of Savoury Mini Muffins
Adapted from Delia Smith
- 275g Plain flour
- 1 tbsp Baking powder
- 2 Large eggs
- 225ml milk
- A small knob of butter for greasing (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Feta, red onion, and rosemary flavouring:
- 50g red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 50g Feta, crumbled
- 2 tsps Chopped fresh rosemary, plus 12 small sprigs for garnishing
- 10g Butter
- 2 tsps Parmesan, grated
Cheddar, bacon, and sage flavouring:
- 50g Cheddar, grated
- 50g Bacon, roughly chopped
- 2 tsps chopped fresh sage, plus 12 small leaves for garnishing
- 2 tsps Parmesan, grated
First things first, prepare the two muffin flavourings. Once the wet ingredients meet the dry ones for the batter, you’ll want to get the muffins mixed and in the oven relatively sharpish.
Start by softening the red onions for the feta batch. Melt the 10g butter and gently stir in the onions for about 5 minutes, until they are translucent, then allow to cool.
Finely chop the rosemary and crumble the feta – don’t go too nuts crumbling, you don’t want the cheese to get lost in the batter, you do want the occasional zing of tangy feta, so keep it chunky. Set all three ingredients aside.
Next, prepare the ingredients for the Cheddar, bacon, and sage muffins. I made my bacon the night before so it would be completely cool and crispy and ready to be crumbled for muffining. (Yes, muffin is now a verb.)
Grate the cheddar, crumble the bacon, and finely chop the sage leaves. I decided to garnish with a few chopped bits as none of my sage leaves were small enough.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C while you make the muffin mixture.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt well, holding the sieve relatively high up to give the mix a good airing.
In a measuring jug, beat one egg and whisk it together with the milk. Fold the wet mix into the flour mix, using the minimum number of folds. The mixture will be very sticky, but be careful not to over mix.
Divide the mixture equally between two bowls and add one of the flavourings to each – again, using as few folds as possible to distribute the ingredients evenly.
If using muffin cases, arrange them in the mini muffin tins and spoon the mixture in. If not using liners and/or using a silicone ‘tin’, spoon the mixture straight into the greased cups. You can pile the mixture quite high, bearing in mind that it will rise during the baking process.
Beat the second egg and brush the surfaces of each muffin with it, topping the feta muffins with a sprig or rosemary and the cheddar with a small leaf or a few cuttings of sage. Sprinkle both batches with a bit of grated Parmesan.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden on top.
Transfer the muffins from the tin to a rack to cool slightly – they are best consumed warm.
Um, ignore that bottle of wine if you were thinking of these as a breakfasty thing.
Unless you’re into wine with your breakfast.
(Anyone who kind of thought ‘yes’ about that one – even for a second: Let’s do brunch. I like you.)
As ever, feel free to play about with the flavourings yourself, and if you come up with anything excellent (which, of course, you will) let me know!
There’s a bit of alchemist in all of us, y’see.
Now, this little alchemist could use a cup of tea. Or cocoa.
With a biscuit. Or three.
We should definitely discuss biscuits soon, yes?
After my cup of tea. Or cocoa.
(Ha. Um, no, really.)