A few weekends ago we spent an idyllic day at my parents’ house, overindulging in barbecued meats and almost every type of carbohydrate known to man before pointlessly deciding which of my mum’s three desserts to have, only to finally, inevitably, succumb to having some of each. Prior to staggering home, we took a look around my dad’s vigilante allotment to pick some blackberries, french beans and courgettes to take home, Jet having only inadvertently trampled on a few of Grandad’s carefully tended vegetables.
Once we had decided that we might one day be able to contemplate the notion of eating again, there was fresh produce to be consumed. And the courgettes have kept on coming ever since. We have been spiralising them to replace pasta, grating them and dressing with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and fresh chilli to make a delicious salad, and generally trying to convince Jet that they are worthy of eating.
He remained unconvinced.
Knowing the boy’s love of baking, whilst also knowing that his involvement in making the food has never in the past given any guarantee of his interest in eating it, I optimistically scoured Pinterest. The scouring of Pinterest can only be an optimistic pursuit, given that it doesn’t often bear the fruit of success for me, but scour I did nonetheless.
I found a cheeky little recipe for Savoury Muffins from My Daddy Cooks that looked promising and used it as a basis, adding a few things here and there. Here’s my recipe:
Carrot and Courgette cheesy muffins*
*I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether to disclose the presence of carrot and courgette. I chose to leave their identities a secret and used a stealthy yellow courgette.
Ingredients makes 6 large or 8 smaller muffins
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 175ml milk
- 55ml olive oil
- 100g grated mature cheddar cheese
- 25g grated parmesan
- 225g self raising flour
- 1 finely grated medium carrot
- 1 finely grated courgette
- 3 finely chopped spring onions
- 1tsp english mustard powder (if you want to use ready mixed mustard, add it into the wet mix instead)
Preheat your oven to gas mark 6/220º/200 fan/400ºF and oil a muffin tin
Grate your veg into an old clean tea towel or muslin, then squeeze out all the liquid you can into the sink.
Combine your wet ingredients in a jug.
Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl.
At this stage, stir each of the mixes until you are fully satisfied – it will take a bit of stirring to distribute the still slightly damp grated veg through the flour. As with any muffin mix, once the wet mix is introduced to dry, overmixing will lead to a tough finished result, so get your spoon in now!
Now to combine – pour the wet mix into the dry bowl and stir it together. It is better to undermix than overmix, so don’t let a few lumps bother you.
Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin, allowing room for the rise, and pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge of each muffin and removing them to cool on a wire rack.
The kids LOVED THEM. Whilst eagerly chomping up the muffin, Jet asked if we could have cheesy muffins again tomorrow 🙂 They were really nice – the cheese gave the top a shiny, golden crust which extended over the whole surface given the absence of a paper case. The high liquid content from the veg did make them quite moist and cakey, so they weren’t as fluffy as they might have been, but I think that was partly down to the fact I didn’t leave them to cool down for long enough.
We did indeed have them for lunch again the next day, by which time Jet had renamed them ‘cheese cakes’. I gave them five minutes in the oven to warm them through, and they were scrumptious, just as good as the day they were made. Given the chance to cool down properly, they were fluffier inside.
The original recipe suggests adding salt, but I would definitely advise you not to – they are quite salty as it is, I think adding more salt would make them quite unpleasant. (Maybe the parmesan I added made them saltier than if I had just using cheddar?) In fact, if you wanted to give these to babies it would probably be wise to add less cheese. But this is a nice versatile recipe and as the original states, I am sure you could replace the courgette and carrot with other veg if you fancied, perhaps add some ham or chicken… This is also exactly the kind of thing that would freeze beautifully, if you don’t manage to snaffle them all up in a day or two – go on, I challenge you not to!
Give them a try – let me know what you and yours make of them 🙂