Tuesday, 26 January 2010
When you are looking for a quick to make, portable and totally tasty bread you just cannot beat a good muffin. Similar in looks to a cupcake, but much heartier in texture and flavour, these have to be one of the most popular quick breads around.
Indeed many a business empire as begun with the baking of this incredibly tasty little creation . . . and I am quite sure many world problems have been discussed, if not solved whilst partaking of their multitudenal delights.
They come in many sweet forms . . . double chocolate, fruit filled, nutty, spicy . . . carrot, pumpkin or courgette . . . chocolate chip, and even doughnut muffins, which are very, very close to the real thing. (Doughnut that is) The varieties of sweet ones available are truly endless . . . each one delightfully scrummy. I could not pick a favourite if I tried!
Sure . . .we like to kid ourselves that we are eating something pretty healthy aren't we. It's a muffin right? Not cake . . . ahem . . .
The reality is that the imbibing of too many muffins always causes muffin tops . . . that little pudgy bit of flesh that overhangs the waist of your jeans . . . like it as not . . . tis a sad but true reality.
They don't always have to be sweet though. There are probably just as many variations of savoury ones as well. We love corn muffins in this house. They go so very well with baked beans, lentils and chilies, unless you pop a dab of jam in the centre before baking, then they're just totally addictively scrummy yummy. My onion and garlic dinner muffins are quite popular as well. Those are wonderful with soups and stews, or packed with some sliced cheese and ham and popped into a picnic hamper . . .
Cheese and onion, ploughmans, smoked salmon and cream cheese . . . if you can think it, you can bake it . . . seriously. They're all good. This version made with Parmesan Cheese and toasty pine nuts are particularly good. Salty and savoury from the cheese, and that wonderful rich crunch from the pinenuts. Sadly . . . too many of these can create a muffin top as well . . .
but . . . what a way to go . . .
*Parmesan and Pine Kernel Muffins*
Savoury and chock full of cheese and crunch. These go fabulously with soup or salad. Delicious!
melted butter for greasing the pan,
or paper muffin cases
10 ounces plain flour
1 TBS baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
60g pinenut kernels
2 large eggs
9 fluid ounces of buttermilk
6 TBS sunflower oil
1/4 ounce freshly grated parmesan cheese
35g of pinenut kernels
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Butter 12 muffin cups or line with 12 paper liners. Set aside.
Make the topping by mixing together the pinenuts and the parmesan. Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper to taste together into a bowl. Whisk in the grated cheese and nuts. Lightly beat the eggs together and then beat in the buttermilk and oil. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten ingredients. Stir together just to combine. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin cups. Scatter the topping over top and then bake in the heated oven for 20 mnutes, until well risen, golden brown and firm to the touch.
Leave in the tin for five minutes before turning out. Serve warm.