Pancetta, spring onion & cheddar muffins
How to make it...
4 x spring onions
250g self-raising flour
2tsp baking powder
Half a tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt
80g butter, melted and cooled
200ml buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, add some lemon juice to whole milk and leave it to sit for 10/15 minutes)
150g strong cheddar, grated
Preheat the oven to 200C/190C fan and line a muffin tray with 12 muffin cases.
Fry off the pancetta until cooked, then set aside on a piece of kitchen towel so that some of the excess oil drains.
Chop the sping onions and sautee for a minute or two until softened.
In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt.
In a jug, beat the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter together.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry and ingredients and fold until just combined. Be careful not to overfold here. The more you stir, the denser the muffins will be.
Add the spring onions, pancetta and two thirds of the grated cheese and mix evenly into the batter.
Evenly spoon the mix into the 12 muffin cases. I find that using a lightly greased ice cream scoop works well for this and ensures each case is evenly loaded.
Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top of the muffins.
Bake for around 18-20 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.
As Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall alludes to in this Guardian article, American muffins are sickly sweet, loaded with sugar, chocolate, or fruit and are pretty much just heavy stodge.
I’ve had shop bought muffins that have have been as dense as a memory foam mattress and not much more tasty.
That’s not to say they’re not delicious of course – I’ve made my fair share of blueberry and peach muffins in my time.
But sometimes it’s easy to forget they don’t always have to be sweet.
They’re far from being a healthy cousin of the (probably) ‘factory-made, frozen and heated-up as fresh’ muffins you find in your average High Street coffee store.
But the savoury variety is jam-packed with flavour and can be deliciously light, airy and spongy.
They’re painfully easy to whip up and extremely versatile – I used pancetta, spring onion and cheddar in mine because I had those ingredients to hand, but you can bung pretty much whatever takes your fancy in these bad boys.
Above all, they just make a welcome change.
And while you’d probably be judged for chowing down on a triple chocolate muffin on the bus on the way to work, these are an acceptable (if not terribly healthy) breakfast, brunch, lunchbox filler or snack.