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Savoury Mini Muffins

ingredients

makes 24
1 tbls (15 g) 1/2 oz butter
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
50 g smoked Cheddar cheese
15 g pack fresh basil
25 g sundried tomatoes, chopped
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium sized egg, lightly beaten, for glazing
3 cups (300 g) plain flour (All purpose)
1 level tbsp baking powder
1/2 level 1 tsp salt
250 ml milk
2 medium size eggs
125 g (4 1/2 oz) butter, melted
1 medium size egg, lightly beaten, for glazing

method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas Mark 6.

2. For the fillings, melt the butter in a heavy based frying pan and saute the onion over a moderate heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring all the time, until the onions are translucent and tinged slightly brown at the edges.

3. Place in a shallow dish to prevent them cooking further.

4. Dice the cheese into 5mm pieces, reserving 12 cubes. Stir into the red onion. Set to one side.

5. For the other filling, chop the basil leaves, reserving 12 small leaves if possible. Mix the tomatoes, basil and cayenne pepper together. Set to one side.

6. Next make the muffin mixture. First sift the flour, baking powder and salt on to a large plate, then take a large mixing bowl and sift the mixture once again, this time into the bowl, lifting the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing.

7. Place the milk in a jug and whisk in the eggs and melted butter.

8. Pour the liquid over the flour using the minimum amount of movement (it is very important to ignore the lumpy appearance of the mixture at this stage and not to over-mix).

9. Divide the mixture into two equal quantities and add the flavourings, which, again, should be lightly folded in with as few strokes as possible.

10. Spoon the mixture into 2 x 12 hole, lightly greased, mini muffin tins, or 1 x 12 hole standard muffin tin, preferably nonstick. Do not overfill them, they should just reach the top of the tin. Brush the surface with the lightly beaten egg.

11. Sprinkle the reserved cubed cheese over the onion and cheese muffins.

12. For the sundried tomatoes and basil muffins, place a small basil leaf on top of each and, using a small brush or cotton bud, lightly brush the leaf with the olive oil.

13. Place in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until well risen and golden.

14. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack. They should be eaten as fresh as possible and while still slightly warm.

15. Both varieties freeze well and should be gently reheated after defrosting.

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