During the first lockdowns of 2020, I was trying out even more recipes than before, because the demand was really high. So I turned to my book ‘The Practical Encyclopaedia Of Baking’, by Marth Day (Lorenz Books, 1999). Savoury bakes were in high demand, especially ones that could play the roll of bread or dinner rolls but be quick and easy and not need yeast or the time involved in making regular breads.
So these cheese muffins sounded like a nice idea, and a possible breakfast treat. It really is a super simple recipe where I actually whipped up these and some sweet muffins in about 1 hour one night. The recipe calls for melted butter, (so no creaming of the butter and sugar). This melted butter is added to the other wet ingredients (the eggs & milk), and then added into the sieved dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, & sugar – which is technically considered a ‘wet’ ingredient). This mixture is then partially added to the paper cases before a square of cheese is added, and topped off with more muffin batter before baking. These were to be baked for about 25 minutes, but I made 9 regular muffin sized ones, as opposed to the recipe’s deep muffins. And they cooked much quicker after around the 15 minute mark.
So how were they? They tasted nice, (I did add in a tsp of mustard powder that goes great in cheese bakes) and I could taste that but more would have been better. The block of not completely melted cheese in the middle was nice. I would be tempted to add a bit more salt too and a little pepper. Also, the 2 tbsp of sugar was a bit much as I could taste it and didn’t care for it. So something to reduce. The only problem I had was that the paper cases were completely stuck on the bottom. (See Photo). So it was hard to get all the muffin off. And these weren’t new cases either. However, and strangely enough, next day, the muffins were much easier to remove from the cases. So maybe we were too eager to eat them out of the oven, or it maybe had something to do with using melting butter and the muffins taking a little longer to firm up? I don’t know.
So how was the recipe itself? Well as mentioned in previous reviews on this book, it has UK measurements, but some American terminology in it. Not consistently one way or the other. So there are no cup measurements, or oven temperature for fan ovens. I couldn’t find the recipe on-line so I have copied it below for you and included all the missing information. Apart from that, there are 5 photos in the recipe so it get’s an extra point for that. It is a very straight forward recipe even beginners could follow it. And as mentioned, not so sure on the timings of the bake, so check your muffins after about 15 minutes (being careful not to do the toothpick test right through the square of cheese!) Taking everything into consideration, I would rate this recipe a 6.5/10. A few things are missing as noted, but the flavour is lacking too and I could feel it could have been so much better. So if you want to try them, please take these points into account and check out the recipe below, with my additions in parenthesis.
***UPDATE – I have developed a better version based on this recipe – CHEDDAR & MOZZARELLA MUFFINS
From: ‘The Practical Encyclopaedia Of Baking’, by Marth Day (Lorenz Books, 1999).
- 55g/2 oz Butter (1/4 cup)
- 200g /7oz Plain Flour
- (1 2/3 cups, All Purpose)
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Tbsp Sugar (I would try 1 tbsp)
- 1/4 tsp Salt (Needs a bit more)
- 1 tsp Paprika (I used Smoked Paprika, could take more)
- 2 Eggs
- 125ml /4 fl oz Milk (1/2 cup)
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme (I didn’t use)
- 55g /2 oz Mature Cheddar Cheese, (1/2″ or 1cm cubes of Extra Sharp Cheddar)
- (1 tsp Mustard Powder – try more next time)
1.Preheat the oven to 375f/190c/Gas mark 5 (170c Fan oven). Thickly grease 9 deep muffin tins or use paper cases. (I used 12 regular cupcake sized cases)
2. Melt the butter and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt & paprika. (I used smoked paprika and 1 tsp mustard powder – more next time). See Photo.
4. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, melted butter and thyme and whisk to blend. See Photo.
5. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened, do not mix until smooth. See Photo.
6. Place a heaped spoonful of the batter into the prepared cups. Drop a few pieces of cheese over each, then top with another spoonful of batter. (See Photo nearer top of the review). For even baking, half-fill any empty muffin cups with water (I did not do this).
7. Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before unmoulding onto a rack. Serve warm or a t room temperature. (My smaller muffins baked quicker).
***Go to my tweaked version***
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