Red onion, cheddar and bacon muffins
These strong flavours work well together, but you can always play around with the combinations. Try spring onions instead of red, pancetta instead of bacon, and any strong cheese in place of the cheddar. Makes 12.
~ 1 tsp oil
~ 100g streaky bacon, cut into 1cm pieces
~ 1 red onion, finely diced
~ 125g wholemeal flour
~ 125g plain flour
~ 2 tsp baking powder
~ ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
~¼ tsp salt
~ 2 eggs
~ 80g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
~ 200ml buttermilk
~ 1 tbsp finely chopped chives (optional)
~ 150g strong cheddar, grated
~ Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
~ Warm the oil over a medium heat and fry the bacon in it until just crisp. Lift the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. In the same fat, sauté the onion until just softened, about five minutes, then set aside to cool.
~ In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. In a jug, whisk the eggs, butter and buttermilk, stir them into the flour mixture with a spatula until just combined, then fold in the cooled bacon, onion, chives, if using, and two-thirds of the cheese until just evenly distributed.
~ Spoon or scoop the mixture into the muffin tin, sprinkle on the rest of the cheese, and bake for about 18 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.