A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about high-fibre muffins as a counter to drug-induced constipation, and very successful they were too. The only problem was that they were extremely friable, and there’d be crumbs everywhere.
So, I set out to find a way around that problem, and the answer arrived on my TV screen in the form of M&S mini cheese and onion muffins – I reasoned that as melted cheese is glutinous, when they cooled it would bind the muffins nicely.
I’ve reduced the oat bran, as they were a tad too effective, deleted the egg, as there’d be enough fat with the cheese and added more milk to compensate, and a splash of olive oil, just to perk up the flavour and loosen the mix a tad. The dried fruit from the previous version was, of course, superfluous.
Onions were problematic. Raw, they’d be unlikely to cook properly, and fried off first would add more fat. And in either form they’d simply loosen the mix, contributing to the friability I was trying to get away from. So I used onion powder instead, one teaspoon allegedly being the equivalent of half a medium onion, so I put in two.
I was temped to add some tomato powder too (from the same source, see below), but forgot. Oh well, maybe next time.
The cheese is McLelland’s Seriously Strong Cheddar, and I’m not sure about the Maldon Sea Salt flakes as a topping – should have gone with my original idea – Parmesan.
Likewise, I have doubts that there’s any real point adding baking soda and baking powder to the mix, as high-fibre muffins rise about as enthusiastically as a ruptured dirigible, so I might leave them out next time. Ditto the self-raising flour – next time I’ll go with the wholemeal I use for my bread – it tastes a whole lot better too (currently using Allinson’s).
Next time, too, I might reduce the onion powder by half (it’s a bit strident), and grate a small onion, reducing the milk a little to compensate.
By the way, I got the onion powder here. And a word of caution – a little sage goes a long way. Don’t overdo it. If you don’t have sage, try dried basil or marjoram. Not thyme – too spiky.
Haven’t tasted them yet, since they’re cooling as I write,** but if they taste as good as they smell, and don’t fill my keyboard with crumbs, I’ll be a happy bunny. This is the recipe:-
**Actually, I have one in front of me now, split and buttered, and they are rather nice. They hold together very well too – no mess at all. The paper cases, though, stick to them, so I’ve amended the recipe to fix that. The salt topping is actually pretty damn good.
Next time, though, I might go with 200g of cheese (hey, I like cheese!).
Cheese and onion high-fibre muffins.
200g wholemeal self-raising flour
50g ground linseeds
25g oat bran
130g strong cheese, coarsely grated
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
Splash of olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp onion powder
230ml milk or enough to mix to a soft dropping consistency
Very generous pinch of dried sage, rubbed fine
Top with Maldon sea salt flakes or Parmesan
Makes six muffins, slightly overfilled but, as they won’t rise perceptibly, it won’t matter.
Mix well – I use a tablespoon, as I think wooden spoons are vastly overrated (in cooking, I use rice paddles for stirring – a much better shape), and lightly oil the paper muffin cases before filling or they will stick.
Bake on the middle shelf at 180C for 30-35 minutes, depending on your oven.
Allow to cool slightly in the tin before putting on a wire rack to finish cooling.
Note: If you don’t want high-fibre, omit the linseeds and oat bran, and replace with the same amount of flour. In that case, they probably will rise, so the mix will probably make 7 – put 4 or 5 paper muffin cases together, put the surplus mix in that, and sit on top of the muffin tray (4 or 5 cases to that they don’t collapse).