Sunday, 8 September 2013

Shallot, Thyme and Garlic Cheese Muffins

I’ve been feeling pretty lousy for the last week, tired and achy with a cough that has now left me pretty much voiceless. So after a busy few days, including Pilton Party and a shopping trip to Camden Town, I wanted to spend the day relaxing, which means: baking. I think I got a bit carried away though, so I have a few recipes to share with you over the next week or so, starting with these amazing savoury muffins. They’re best warm from the oven, served with extra cream cheese and onion chutney, but we had these for dinner tonight with quiche and salad, and they were perfect for mopping up the salad dressing!
230g shallots, peeled
1tbsp olive oil
1tbsp unsalted butter
2tbsp fresh thyme
225g self raising flour
Pinch of baking powder
2tbsp golden caster sugar
Salt and pepper to season
120g garlic and herb cream cheese
175ml whole milk
2 eggs
75g butter, melted
Pre-heat your oven to 180c and grease a 12 hole muffin tin with a little butter.
Bring a small pan of water to the boil and add the shallots. Blanch for 2 minutes, drain and cut each shallot into quarters.
Melt the butter in a saucepan with the oil. Add the blanched, quartered shallots and sauté them until golden on all sides. Stir in the thyme, fry for a further 2 minutes and then turn off the heat and leave to cool while you make the batter.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, milk, eggs and melted butter until smooth.
Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Tip the contents of the frying pan, including any liquid, into the batter and fold in gently, taking care not to break up the quartered shallots.
Divide the mixture evenly between the holes and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch, golden in colour and a skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool (or eat straight away!).

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