Baking / Free from / Fruit & veg / vegetarian

Tomato, Manchego cheese & basil savoury muffins

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Ode to the muffin:

My oh my, how tasty you are, and so
Unusually good at tempting me from bed.
Fit for breakfast, brunch (or even lunch), and
Far more interesting than plain old jam and bread.
Is it sweet or savoury? Anyone’s guess!
Naked un-iced little muffin, you always impress.

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These little muffins are packed with chunks of tangy cheese, juicy sun-dried tomatoes and shed loads of fresh basil. Bloody good.

If you don’t have any Manchego (a Spanish hard cheese made from ewe’s milk), you could use another hard, strong-flavoured cheese such as mature cheddar or a young-ish comté instead. A word of warning: If you decide to use something granular and salty such as a mature comté or parmesan, consider skipping adding any extra salt to the batter and using half comté / parmesan and half a milder cheese.

Tomato, Manchego cheese & basil savoury muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

– 300g plain flour
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
– seasoning
– 2 large eggs (free range please)
– 200ml milk
– 80ml passata (or leftover pizza tomato sauce)
– 70g unsalted butter, melted
– 150g Manchego (or other hard cheese), cubed
– 40g sundried tomatoes, chopped
– large bunch fresh basil (about 20g), finely chopped

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Method:

Preheat the oven to 190°C and pop your muffin cases into the tin. Tip: If you’re using a silicone muffin tray, you can do away with the paper cases if you like.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, a pinch of salt (if using) and a good few grinds of black pepper into a bowl.

Beat the eggs, milk and passata together in a jug. Add to the dry mixture, a little at a time, whilst mixing all the ingredients together (I use the paddle attachment on my food mixer on a low setting).

Add the melted butter and mix until smooth (I increase the speed of my mixer here), scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure nothing escapes. Stir in the cheese, sundried tomatoes and basil and stir briefly to combine.

Spoon into the muffin cases and bake for about 25 minutes until the muffins are set and golden on top. Tip: Only fill your cases to about 2/3 full otherwise you’ll end up with conjoined muffins…

Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

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Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.

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