Savoury muffins are so much quicker to make than bread. The texture is different, of course, but they are superb with soup, salads or for eating on the go. The cheese is lovely and oozy if you serve them warm. Eaten cold, they are still fragrant, with a nice saltiness from the cheese and olives. As with all muffins, this is a slightly moist and heavier bake, rather than a light and airy sponge.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 18-20 minutes
275g (10oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
50g (2oz) butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
250ml (9fl oz) milk
75g (3oz) gruyère, grated
leaves of 1 bunch of basil, chopped
75g (3oz) pitted black olives, chopped
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
1. You will need a 12-hole muffin tin. Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and line the tin with muffin cases (see note).
2. Measure the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Mix the butter, egg and milk together in a jug.
3. Add the cheese, basil and olives to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix well. Pour in the wet ingredients and gently stir everything together using a fork. Mix in the sun-dried tomato paste right at the end to give a rippled effect through the batter (see note).
4. Divide the mixture between the cases and bake in the oven for 18–20 minutes until well risen and lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
5. Serve warm or cold.
If you can’t find muffin cases you could use cupcake cases; they are larger than fairy-cake cases but not quite as deep as muffin cases, so the mixture may stretch to a few extra muffins.
Gently swirl in the sun-dried tomato paste without stirring it in completely as this gives a lovely hit of tomato when you eat the muffin, as well as a nice rippled effect.
Best made and eaten on the day but will keep for 2 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
The muffins freeze well for up to a month. Defrost and warm through at a low heat in the oven to refresh.
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