Since my last visit to Australia, I've picked up a rather serious savoury muffin habit. It seems I'm not alone in this, as I encountered many savoury muffin admirers in my homeland - in fact, the woman behind me in a queue in a Melbourne bakery huffed and stomped out when I ordered the last one (hashtag, issues). But it was a bloody good muffin so perhaps she had a point.
SMs aren't really a thing in the UK, I've found. At least, if Miranda Hart's reaction is anything to go by:
But, Miranda, savoury muffins are anything but disappointing!
This is my foolproof recipe, and I tried a lot of them in my quest to recreate the one I tried in that Melbourne bakery (and inadvertently ruined someone's day over. I hope she recovered).
I highly recommend procuring a kingsize muffin tin and those cute little brown wrappers. They make the job much easier and also you get a giant muffin! But a normal 12 muffin tin will do just as well, they'll just be gone in two bites.
Phil's savoury muffins
Makes 6 Texas-sized muffins, or 12 normal
300ml buttermilk OR 200g natural yoghurt plus 100ml milk (you can also sub creme fraiche for yoghurt)
60ml olive oil (I have used normal and extra virgin, both are good)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon dried herbs of choice (I like basil, oregano or thyme)
200g savoury ingredients (my favourite combination is finely chopped fresh parsley, finely chopped red pepper, cubes of feta and cubes of roasted squash or sweet potato but you could use anything really)
Optional: 6 (or 12) cubes mature cheddar, for a surprise middle
Preheat your oven to 200 C/fan 180 C/Gas Mark 6. Line your muffin tray with paper cases.
Place the buttermilk/yoghurt and milk in a bowl with the oil and egg. Combine together with a fork.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, stirring well to ensure no dry pockets. Have a light touch and try not to overwork the mixture. It will be a bit lumpy but don't despair, everything's going to be wonderful.
Fold your savoury ingredients in.
Spoon a small smount of mixture into each case, place a cube of cheddar on top of each one, and then cover with remaining mixture. If you're missing out the cheesy middle, just distribute the entire mixture evenly between the cases.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the muffins are golden brown.
Marvel at your willpower to let them cool in the tin briefly once you remove them from the oven. Then transfer to a wire rack or board to cool. They are lovely eaten warm but I also like them as a portable snack the next day, as the melted cheese will have re-solidified and it's a bit like eating cold pizza, which we all know is one of life's most delectable treats.
I like them with a little butter when warm, but find butter is unnecessary when they're cold. But each to their own.
They freeze well and last up to a week in a tin....so I'm told.