Sunday 1 March 2015

Cheesy pumpkin muffins

Herewith another of the trio of recipes "cuisine express" by Flavie Degrave that I found in a magazine, the name of which I no longer recall, in the physotherapists' waiting room. Muffins with Beaufort cheese and red onion squash - simple enough store-cupboard ingredients, we have a couple of potimarrons left and several cheeses in the fridge, "certainly what it takes to make [this recipe]".

The original recipe - muffins with beaufort cheese and red onion squash
So here's cheesy pumpkin muffins.

Shared between twelve cases, they look tasty but rather miserly
  • I substituted St Nectaire, which we had lots of in the freezer, for the Beaufort which is 22 euros a kilo on promo. Both are a "cooked" cheese with a soft but firm texture and a distinctive flavour. Both have AOP status (several paragraphs deleted here burbling on about "patrimoine" and "terroir", both untranslatable unless you are allowed to include a 12-page essay).
  • The recipe says "half a potimarron". Now that's a moveable feast: a potimarron (a.k.a. Red Onion /  Red Kuri / Uchiki Kuri squash) can easily weigh a kilo and a half. I used a small butternut squash which yielded 300 grammes prepared weight of pumpkin flesh and it was too much. No more than 250g, let's say 200g.
  • I split the mixture between 12 muffin cases. The muffins did not rise much, with so much pumpkin to flour, and they looked lost in the paper cases, to which they stuck firmly. The recipe makes six standard muffins and I recommend using silicon moulds rather than paper cases. 
  • I had no fresh chives, so I used a sprinkling of dried lovage; dried thyme could add an interesting dimension. 
  • I added a pinch of cayenne. Naughty, but nice.
  • Most of the time was taken up with the chopping. Once it was all done, the recipe is a doddle. 
  • After the recommended cooking time of 25 minutes using a fan-assisted oven the muffins were not done and I gave them another 10 minutes. They really needed a bit longer - I'd say don't use fan assist to avoid burning the top. It will take longer to cook the same mixture divided into six instead of twelve, but the removal of the paper case will speed things up ... the square on the hypotenuse ... windage ... let g be the acceleration due to gravity... oh, give it another ten minutes and poke one with a skewer!
Next time I'll do this mix as six muffins

Muffins with Beaufort / St Nectaire cheese and red onion squash

200g peeled potimarron, butternut or Crown Prince squash, cut into small dice
80g Beaufort or St Nectaire cheese, cut into small dice
10 leaves chives, rinsed and snipped into short lengths
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
50 g onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 eggs
110g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
65ml olive/sunflower oil
50ml milk
Freshly ground pepper
A pinch of salt

Soften the onion and garlic in a tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil for 3 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin, sprinkle with pepper, put on the lid and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add the chives or other herbs of your choice, stir and allow the mixture to cool (immerse the bottom of the pan in cold water if necessary).. Meanwhile, lay out six silicone muffin moulds on a baking sheet, or line 6 muffin moulds with greaseproof paper or muffin cases.

Heat the oven to 180°C. Beat the eggs. Putting the pumpkin and the cheese to one side for a minute, mix the remaining wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and give a good stir, but don't overmix or your muffin will be hard on the outside. Add the pumpkin, then the cheese. Share out the mixture between the muffin cases. Cook for 25-40 minutes until done.

Serve at room temperature.

Very tasty, very very tasty ....
And the last recipe - brouillade d'oeufs aux cèpes (scrambled eggs with ceps / bolete mushrooms) - is exactly what it says on the tin. Or in my case, jar.


Jean said...

They look delicious. I love savoury muffins.

John Going Gently said...

The title of this blog entry made me chortle

Le Pré de la Forge said...

Today used double the quantities: made 17 including 5 paper cases. The silicone cases are a bit smaller than those, so if I had 18 of the silicone ones (from LIDL) that would have been just right. Pauline