I normally like to bake us something special to have with our breakfast at the weekend. Some weeks it may be a special breakfast cake, or cinnamon buns . . . and other's it will be muffins. We are quite fond of muffins actually . . . they are quick to throw together, they bake up likety split, and the leftovers freeze very well! (It's nice to have some muffins in the freezer to hand when unexpected company comes. They are very easily re-heated in the microwave in just seconds!)
Don't let the fact that I have combined cranberries with cheese throw you off here . . . cheese and fruit are a magic combination, and in fact there are many cheeses available over here that have fruit in them . . . Wensleydale or Stilton with cranberries, or apricots instantly come to mind. Fabulous on a cheese tray, especially when served with digestive biscuits. Delicious!
I am rather fond of cheese muffins you know . . . they're not quite savoury . . . not quite sweet . . . yet altogether scrummy . . . with little gooey flecks of cheese spread throughout . . . wonderful when served warm with soups or stews in a savoury way . . . or warm with jam as a sweet treat.
You can chop up bacon and add it to the mix when making cheese muffins, or onion, or chives. They are even more delicious that way . . . when you are looking for something savoury . . .
But when you want a sweet treat . . . try adding some dried fruit. Most will work well . . . dried apple, chopped for that quintessential combination that is notoriously loved. Apple pie and cheese, who doesn't love it. Dried cherries are nice as well . . . even sultanas, chopped figs, or apricots. All work splendidly . . . I think it's that sweet/savoury combination that is a the real winner here.
Our favourite combination though . . . is dried cranberries with the cheese. Oh my . . . the cranberries add just the right amount of sweet texture . . . that goes so very well with the sharp savouriness of the cheese. I use a mixture of white and dyed cheddar . . . for contrast and colour. You can use only white . . . if you prefer. It makes no difference.
These are moreishly scrummy no matter what. We rather love them a lot!
Especially with lashings of butter spread and melting into all those lovely little baked crevices. Oh, yes . . . I am a naughty girl at times!
*Cranberry and Cheddar Muffins*
Makes 12 medium muffins
Delicious flavour combination. Don't knock it til you try it!
150g of plain flour (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 TBS caster sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp fine seasalt
240g of grated strong cheddar (A mix of the white and the orange for colour purposes, 2 cups)
150g of dried cranberries (1 cup)
250ml of milk (1 cup)
1 large free range egg
60g of butter, melted (1/4 cup)
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Butter a 12 cup muffin tin and dust with flour, or line with paper liners. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and seasalt together in a bowl. Drop in the cheese and cranberries. Mix together again to evenly distribute both. In a separate measure, beat together the egg, milk and melted butter Tip this into the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon, just to combine. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups, dividing the mixture equally amongst them.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until well risen, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre of one comes out clean.