There has been a distinct lack of baking on my blog so far. The reason is I’m simply not an avid baker. Generally I’m all about the savoury and if I’m cooking then it’ll be a big fat meal rather than something sweet or a baked snack. There are a few notable exceptions. One being brownies, which I could happily whip up every day (if I wasn’t concerned about my waistline) and another being my signature dessert, raspberry meringue roulade, which is simply the most perfect dessert in the world. However, as this blog is supposed to encourage me to explore gastronomica in its entirety, I thought I would stretch my legs in the baking arena. First stop? Muffins.
I love muffins. Sweet or savoury, you can put pretty much put anything you like in them and they will be utterly delicious. As long as the ingredients are complementary, you can really play around with the flavour combinations. I love goat’s cheese, I love rosemary and I love sun-dried tomatoes, so I thought why not throw them all together in a muffin? Why not indeed.
- 10 oz (275 g) plain flour
- 2 large eggs
- 8 fl oz (225 ml) milk
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 oz (100 g) goat’s cheese, cut into 5mm cubes
- 4 oz (100 g) red onion, finely chopped
- 4 oz (100 g) sun-dried tomatoes
- A handful of chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish
- 1 oz (2o g) butter
Begin by melting the butter in a small saucepan and softening the onion in it for about 5 minutes. Then allow it to cool. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C) while you make the basic muffin mixture. First of all, sift the flour, baking powder and salt on to a large plate, then take a large mixing bowl and sift the mixture again, this time into the bowl, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. In a jug, beat one egg, then whisk it together with the milk. Next, fold all this into the flour, using as few folding movements as possible. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look very promising at this stage; it’s important that you don’t over-mix it.
Now return to the flavouring and gently mix the cooled cooked onions into the muffin mixture, along with the goats’ cheese, sundried tomatoes and chopped rosemary, folding in, as before, with as few strokes as possible.
After that, if you are using muffin cases, arrange them in the tins and spoon the mixture into them; alternatively, spoon the mixture straight into the greased tins (or if you’re using a silicone muffin mould like me, you don’t need to grease it).
You can pile the mixture quite high. Beat the second egg and brush the surfaces with it, then top the muffins with a sprig of rosemary. Then bake them for about 25-30 minutes, or until well risen and golden. Remove the muffins from the tins to a rack and eat as warm as possible.