Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Tale of two Muffins: Savory Cheese Muffins and Chocolate Chip Muffins

It's been more than two weeks that I haven't been able to use my kitchen.  Renovation has not only taken toll on us (Bhogs and me) as we have only one carpenter to help us DIY our kitchen, it also made us eat less home-cooked food.  My kids have been telling me if we could bake something, just anything, just to bake.  I guess, baking have been second nature to them, specially to my youngest daughter as this is her play thing since she was 8 years. old.

We now have an open living area concept. where we had a huge wall that used to divide the kitchen to the living room taken down.  Until now, wall painting isn't finished yet and there are still cabinet doors needed to be painted.  I've been really itching to get the groove back and prepare something for the family, without even having the pantry filled up yet with ingredients.

In between helping out with the household chores and doing part-time painter, I get to attend food events where I savored really good dishes, and this somehow made me tad guilty.  So one time, after an event, I slipped on my mom-hat and went shopping for the ingredients I needed for my savory cheese muffin craving.  I just decided that I want a cheesy snack with my family and of course it have to be home-made.  Even at the event, I told myself I have to pass by the grocery and buy stuff not on my pantry's list as of the moment, which included two kinds of cheeses and cartons of milk. I realized I have a different recipe of cheese muffin, what I have is a sweeter and finer version so I Googled while on my way to the grocery isle.  What came up first was Nigella Lawson's recipe, and oh, one can not get wrong with her recipes, so I used it as a guide.

The recipe is so easy to follow and just took me less than an hour to prepare and bake.  This would make 16 muffins in all.

Sharing here that certain recipe.

Savory Cheese Muffins


2½ cups white whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup (4oz) extra sharp cheddar, cubed into ½-inch cubes
2 large eggs
¾ cup (6oz) reduced-fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup reduced-fat milk
½ cup (2oz) shredded Parmesan for sprinkling on top


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 16 muffin cups with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Mix cheddar in with a spatula.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, oil, and milk.

4. Add liquids to flour mixture. Mix with a spatula, just until incorporated.

5. Transfer batter to prepared muffin cups, filling each about ¾ full. Batter will be thick. You can smooth it out with a spatula, or allow it to stay uneven, as I do, and get interestingly shaped muffins.

6.  Sprinkle tops of muffins with Parmesan. Can be optional.
7.  Bake 17 minutes, or until top is golden-brown and a toothpick inserted in center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool 5 more minutes before serving.

Now, the story didn't end there...
My kids said "yukkk!," when I told them what I want to bake.  They, however, asked if I could also bake chocolate muffins since we do have ingredients for that.  This was supposed to be a great afternoon of bonding over a new muffin recipe but, no!, they almost ruined my vision and intention, but being a mom, I gave in and said yes to their idea, with one condition, they will bake it then clean up after.  Oh, is that two conditions I mentioned?  Haha, they didn't seem to realize.

So here is the recipe for Chocolate Chip Muffin.

Oh no wait!  I think I made a major blunder, I think I used a recipe for a cookie, also from Nigella Lawson's book.   So yep, it's a cookie recipe which I used as a muffin.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe Courtesy of Nigella Lawson


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons best quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup superfine sugar
semisweet chocolate chips.
   plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 cup milk
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, and 3/4 cup of chocolate chips into a large bowl.  Pour all the liquid ingredients into a measuring jug.  Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, remembering that a lumpy er makes the best muffins. Spoon into the prepared muffin cases.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top and en bake for 20 minutes or until muffins are dark, risen and springy.

Enjoy the two muffins!

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