We went through all the nuts and fruit combinations, all the chocolate combinations and chocolate/fruit combinations - and then began to think savoury.
The very first combination that struck us, was Bacon & Cheese. Now that seemed to be a workable combination for a breakfast or elevenses muffin, provided enough cheese was involved. So often, in recipes, cheese is on the ingredients list but in insufficient quantities to make the kind of flavour impact that cheese lovers like us are looking for. To our way of thinking, if you're going to have cheese in something, then we want to taste it - not just imagine that it's there, somewhere, under the rest of the flavours.
So, what we have here is a very cheesy, very bacony, Bacon & Cheese Muffin.
|Sprinkled with cheese and ready for the oven|
However, as a breakfast treat - or a school break time treat - you'd have to go a long way to beat them.
|Mmmmn ... bacon & cheese goodness!|
I thoroughly recommend a good strong cup of coffee along with these muffins - and a drop of warm sunshine and a comfortable patio would be good, but we can't have everything!
BACON & CHEESE MUFFINS (makes 6 large)
340g smoked back bacon
110g strong mature cheddar, grated (10g separated out for sprinkling)
360g self raising flour
2 tsp English Mustard powder
half a tsp paprika
1 tbsp sugar (I used a rounded tsp of Splenda)
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
50ml semi skimmed milk (or plain yoghurt).
1. Pre-heat your oven to 180degF/350degC/gas4.
2. Cook the rashers of bacon - whole - under the grill until the fat has rendered out but before they become crispy. Put them on a plate and allow to cool completely.
3. While the bacon is cooling, grate the cheddar.
4. Take each rasher of bacon and with scissors, cut into small dice.
5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, mustard, paprika) until thoroughly mixed.
6. In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients (oil, eggs, buttermilk, milk) and give them a whisk with a balloon whisk until thoroughly mixed.
7. Combine the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients in the large bowl plus add the bacon and cheese. Give everything a good few stirs - but don't over-mix. It is good with muffins to retain a certain lumpiness to the mixture, so don't worry if there are small clumps of un-mixed in flour. Too much mixing makes a tough muffin!
8. Decant the mixture into a silicone muffin tray which has been placed upon a baking tray (otherwise they're hell to handle!). Sprinkle over the remaining 10g of cheese.
9. Put into the oven to bake for some 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
10. Place onto a wire cooling rack and fight off all comers until ready to be eaten!