Courgette and Cheese Savoury Muffins

It is a fact well known amongst my friends that I have a sweet tooth.  People keep telling me that it will diminish as I get older but at 48 I am beginning to wonder just how old I need to get!

However, sometimes – even for me – only savoury foods will do.  These savoury muffins make a yummy afternoon snack or a tasty accompaniment to soup or a little cheese and chutney for a lunch with a difference.

I like mine to have a really cheesy punch so I used a 50/50 mix of parmesan and a very mature cheddar with a sprinkling of parmesan on top but you could ring the changes with stilton or any other cheese of your choice.

Ingredients

10 oz / 300g Self Raising Flour

3 tsp Baking Powder

3 oz / 75g Grated Cheese

7 oz / 200g Courgette

5 fl oz / 150 ml Natural Yoghurt

3 tbsp Vegetable Oil (Groundnut oil works well)

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

5 or 6 Basil Leaves – shredded

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C / 425°F / Gas Mark 6

Grate the courgette into a clean tea towel and squeeze out the excess water before weighing.

Weigh the flour, baking powder and cheese into a bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients along with a good grinding of black pepper and mix until just combined.  The mixture may look slightly lumpy but that’s ok – just don’t over mix.

Place paper cases into a muffin tin and two thirds fill the cases with the muffin mix.

Sprinkle a little grated cheese onto the muffins and bake for approximately 15 minutes until cooked through and golden on top.  Test by inserting the tip of a knife into a muffin – it should come out clean.  If not return to the oven for a further minute or two.

Leave to cool in the tin for a minute or two before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Look here for more courgette recipes.

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Courgette Muffins

Courgettes are lovely to bake with.  They add moisture and natural sweetness to cakes allowing you to use less sugar and less fat, so whilst they are not exactly a health food, you can console yourself that they could be worse!

Don’t worry about the flavour, your cakes will not taste of courgette any more than carrot cake tastes excessively of carrot.

Courgettes, especially larger specimens, hold a lot of water which can adversely affect the bake so I prefer to grate them into a clean tea towel and then wring out some of the excess moisture before weighing them.  Don’t go overboard with this – you are, after all,  using the courgette in order to add moisture – but a very watery mix is unappetising and won’t rise properly.

The recipe calls for groundnut oil because this is my oil of choice for baking as it has a very mild and unobtrusive flavour but any vegetable oil will do.

If muffins are not your thing you can pour the mixture into a loaf tin and bake it as one larger cake

Ingredients

7 oz / 200g Grated Courgette (see note above)

5 oz / 150g Golden Caster Sugar

1 Egg

4 fluid oz / 125 ml Groundnut Oil

7 oz / 200g Self Raising flour

Grated Zest of 1 Lemon

1 tsp Cinnamon

½ tsp Baking Powder

½ tsp salt

Method

Pre-heat Oven to 170°C / 325 °F / Gas Mark 3

Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and add lemon zest and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl beat together eggs, oil and sugar and then stir in the grated courgette.  Mix well.

Stir the flour mixture into the courgette mix until just blended.

Spoon the batter into muffin cases and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or

Pour into a greased and lined loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Look here for more courgette recipes.

If you have enjoyed reading this blog and would like to receive updates please “like” the bun scuffle Facebook Page or follow bun scuffle on Twitter using the links below. If you don’t use social Media you can email me fiona@bunscuffle.co.uk and I will send you updates by email.

 

 

Crumpets Crumpets Crumpets

Last week I posted a picture of an empty plate on the bunscuffle Facebook page and asked what you would most like to see on it. There were lots of wonderful suggestions including cream teas, Swiss rolls, toast and butter and raspberry friands (which I will get around to) not to mention £50 notes, Euros and Daley Thompson! But the suggestion that made me stop and think was crumpets.

We like crumpets at bun scuffle despite years of the kind of jokes you have to expect when your last name is Crump. We like them for breakfast, as a mid afternoon snack or just when we get in from work tired and hungry and dinner seems a long way away.

The little holes in the top of a crumpet are perfectly designed to hold onto melted butter so a little goes a long way. They taste great topped with jam or honey or Marmite or even a little ripe brie which begins to melt over the hot … I’m getting carried away now but the crumpet is a lovely  vehicle for the sweet or savoury topping of your choice.

I have to confess that I have always just bought crumpets in the past but today, especially for all you lovely people who take the time to read my blog, I have made them from scratch. Have a go – it takes longer than just popping them, ready made, into the toaster but it is well worth the effort.

Ingredients

450g / 1lb strong white flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp / 1x7g sachet fast-action dried yeast

300ml / ½ pint milk

300ml / ½ pint water

vegetable oil

4 crumpet rings or 3in plain (not fluted) pastry cutters

Method

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.

Mix the milk and water and heat to blood temperature (when you dip your [clean] finger in it should feel neither hot nor cold). Stir the sugar and yeast into the milk / water mix and leave for a minute or two.

Pour the warm milk / water into the flour and beat well to give quite a thick, smooth batter. Cover with a tea towel or cling film.

Leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour until it has a light, spongy texture.

Very lightly oil a non-stick frying pan (use kitchen towel to remove any excess oil) and place over a very low heat. Grease the crumpet rings and place them in the pan then leave to heat up for a minute or two.

Pour in enough mixture to fill the rings about half to two thirds of the way up. Leave to cook until plenty of small holes appear on the surface and the batter has just dried out. This will take about 8-10 minutes.

Remove the rings and turn over the crumpets to cook for a further minute or two on the other side. Sit the first batch of crumpets on a wire rack while continuing to cook the remaining mixture.

These crumpets are best eaten at once but can be kept warm or re-heated in the oven without too many problems.

 

A Bit of Kitchen Labour

My youngest daughter, Lyssa Fêe is expecting our first grandchild and we are all incredibly excited and eager to meet her. Lys has just passed her due date and, if memory serves me well, at this stage, every day feels a week long. The bump is weighing heavily, the back aches and the waddle is really something to behold. When all else fails it’s time to draw on some age old advice (also known as old wives tales!):

Exercise is supposed to help so I have been accompanying her on daily walks on the beach – walks which require an uphill stomp back to her house. However, Lyssa has (wisely in my opinion) been studiously ignoring her dad’s suggestion that she gets on a trampoline.

There is another category of advice that should probably never be discussed by your mother and certainly not somewhere as public as a food blog so we’ll draw a discrete veil over that…

There are numerous food based suggestions – cod liver oil is currently being ignored and half a pineapple caused a sore mouth and “epic” heartburn – so goodness knows what would happen if she indulged in the 7 or 8 supposedly needed to have an effect.

Lyssa’s friends are all recommending a hot curry but she has a low tolerance for spicy food and I remain unconvinced that last night’s korma will do anything at all to help! Being my daughter, she has a decidedly sweet tooth so it occurred to me to help her by stealth by adding chilli to my favourite chocolate cookie recipe.

I don’t know if this will help (I’ll let you know) but I suspect it would stand a better chance if I gave Lyssa more cookies and ate less myself! My guess is that the baby will come when she is good and ready, and not a second sooner, but if there is a bit of a wait then a cup of tea and a cookie is as good a way to pass the time as any.

Chilli Chocolate Cookie Recipe