Savory muffins have a fan-following of their own. Once you have mastered the art of preparing them, you can be adventurous with your fillings. Try courgette and Cheddar or black olive and sun-dried tomato. Best served warm from the oven or reheated the next day. Excellent with a wintry soup.
● 250g plain white flour
● 2 heaped tsp baking powder
● 1 tsp caster sugar
● ½ tsp sea salt
● 1 large egg, beaten
● 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
● 200ml semi-skimmed milk
● 250g cottage cheese
● 20g pumpkin seeds
For the filling
● 600g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
● 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
● 1 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
● Black pepper
● Sea salt with garlic (if possible), or regular sea salt
For the garnish
● 15g pumpkin seeds
● 30g Cheddar cheese, grated
Preparation time: 40 mins; Cooking time: 25-30 mins
● Preheat the oven to 190°C.
● Place the squash in a mixing bowl and combine with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and sea salt with garlic.
● Bake the seasoned squash for 25–30 minutes on a lightly oiled or parchment-lined baking tray. Toss after 10 minutes and check regularly to prevent it burning.
● When soft and a little caramelised, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
● Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl.
● Lightly beat the egg, then add the milk and olive oil.
● Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, and pour in the liquid ingredients.
● Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon then add the cooled squash.
● Lightly fold in the cottage cheese and 20g of pumpkin seeds.
● Spoon the mixture into a muffin tray lined with regular muffin cases or folded tulip muffin cases (available from baking specialists and various online suppliers).
● Sprinkle with the cheese and the remaining pumpkin seeds
● Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch.
● Cool on a wire rack.