- Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
- Sift dry ingredients together into a bowl, then mix in cheese.
- Combine milk, melted butter and egg yolks.
- Beat egg whites until soft peaks form when you lift the whisk.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing lightly together. Lastly fold in beaten egg white.
- Spoon into 12 well-greased or paper-lined muffin tins. Bake for 15–20 minutes until risen and golden brown.
For variation, sometimes I add lots of chopped fresh herbs – parsley, chives, oregano – whatever I have, or add a good sprinkle of piri piri seasoning which will clear everyone’s sinuses at morning coffee. For a gentler spice, try 1 tsp of Moroccan seasoning.
This savoury mixture also marries well with chopped sun-dried tomato, or add a few chopped Kalamata olives to the mix and then press a small cube of feta cheese into the centre of each muffin just before you cook them.
Also, muffins do not necessarily have to be baked in muffin tins – try using small flower pots which have been washed, well dried and seasoned in an oven for 30 minutes at 150°C. Put a small piece of aluminium foil or non-stick paper on the base of each pot to cover the hole. Alternatively, put the mix into a lined, shallow 23 cm cake tin. Mark into wedges before cooking, and your guests can then slice themselves a piece. Presenting ‘normal’ food differently is a very subtle way of telling your guests you have made it yourself!
Images from The Great New Zealand Baking Book copyright © Lottie Hedley