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Author Notes: My friend C alerted me to this recipe for cheese muffins from a wonderful New Zealand book of traditional home baking compiled from old community cookbooks by Alexa Johnston, called Ladies, A Plate. I found great pleasure in reading the stories that hark back to “a gentler time” which are attached to many of the receipts. C sometimes makes these for her packed lunches and once I had a taste, I was smitten! I make these quite often as they come together very quickly. These are best, greedily devoured, warm of course but are delicious cold. They freeze well and are ideal to pop into a lunchbox where they will have thawed out by the time you are ready to eat. Lovely with soup or as a rustic nibble with drinks! —Selma | Selma's Table
Makes 24 mini muffins
- 180g flour (AP)
- 3.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bouillon power or salt
- 80g strong cheddar, coarsely grated
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 190 milliliters milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, coarsely grated to get nice long strands of cheese rather than the powdery output which is the norm
- Preheat oven to 375 F or 190C and thoroughly grease a 24 hole mini muffin tin.
- Measure out the flour into a medium size mixing bowl; whisk in the baking power, bouillon powder or salt and the cayenne. The salt either in the bouillon or itself is important as it activates the baking powder when the wet ingredients are added.
- Pour the milk into a measuring jug, crack the egg into it and whisk together.
- Gently add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix very lightly with the table knife until it has just about incorporated - don't overwork the batter otherwise the muffins will be tough. It's perfectly alright if there are some tiny pockets of flour visible.
- Spoon into 24 mini muffin cups as evenly as possible. Top with the reserved cheddar and then with the parmesan.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove to a wire rack to cool. They should pop out really easily.
- These are best, greedily devoured, warm of course but are delicious cold. They freeze well and are ideal to pop into a lunchbox where they will have thawed out by the time you are ready to eat. Lovely with soup or as a rustic nibble with drinks!
- SUBSTITUTIONS Replace the parsley with finely chopped spring onions (scallions) Replace parsley with a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped sundried tomatoes and/or olives and one tsp of very finely chopped rosemary or dried oregano. Replace the cheddar with crumbled feta or goat's cheese. Use smoked paprika instead of the cayenne