I have always loved corn muffins and corn bread. A baked bean supper would be nothing without some cornbread on the side, nor would a spicy bowl of chili con carne! Cornbread completes those meals like nothing else does. I think corn muffins are every bit as wonderful as corn bread. Maybe even better.
I remember an incident very early on in my young married life when I was visiting my in-laws for the first time. My sister in law was also there for the weekend and my Mother in law used to work in a shoe store. To make a long story short, she had prepared baked beans and ham for supper one night, which she asked me to pop into the oven and she also asked me to throw together her corn bread recipe and bake it as muffins to have along with the meal. (I think she was trying to help me to feel included and useful.) Then she went to work. As soon as she left my sister in law insisted that I made the muffins right away. I didn't think I should, but rather than argue or press the point, I did what she told me too. (I think she was trying to make me look incompetent!) Of course it was the wrong thing to do . . . but, c'est la vie! Once we warmed them up they were completely edible and no real harm was done.
I think cornbread is much better when eaten warm. Ditto the muffins. That way if you want to spread them with butter, it melts into all of those lovely little crevices and tunnels.
These particular muffins are extra moist and extra special. They are lightly sweetened and flavoured with honey . . . I like English Wildflower honey, myself. It tastes like a warm sunny day!
I like to tuck in a little surprise as well, that never fails to delight the eater. I hide a sweet little nugget of strawberry or raspberry jam in the middle . . .well . . . sometime, it does sort of sink to the bottom, but no mind . . . it's tasty nonetheless. It goes so very well with that little bit of crunch from the cornmeal and the moist butteriness of the whole muffin.
Cornbread muffins, filled with jam and baked until all scrummily toasty golden brown. They're a good thing. In fact . . .I think that they're the best!
*Honey Cornbread Surprise Muffins*
Makes 12 large muffins
If you like cornbread muffins, you will love these tasty little babies. Moist and delicious, with the hidden surprise of a nugget of jam in the centre.
170g of cornmeal (fine ground polenta will do) (1 cup)
100g of plain flour (1 cup)
1 TBS baking powder
95g of granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
250ml of milk (1 cup)
2 large free range eggs
4 TBS butter, melted
85g of runny honey
12 tsp of raspberry or strawberry jam
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and sugar together in a large bowl. Beat together the milk, eggs, melted butter, and honey. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Add the wet all at once and stir only to moisten the dry ingredients. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Drop a tsp of jam onto the top of each. (It will sink as the muffins bake.)
Bake for 15 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Serve warm, with or without butter. It's up to you!
Note: You can leave the jam out completely if you wish. We love that tasty nugget of fruity sweetness in ours though. It makes them special!