Ah, cheddar…. And with the next 3 Six Nations Rugby matches looming on the horizon, we close our eyes and think of … cheddar. But a piece of cheddar lying on a plate next to a pile of crackers picked up at the grocery store on the run just won’t make the cut (“Off to the sin bin with ye, mate!”). And then there is the other scenario …
What’s a cheese-lover to do?
How about a bit of lovely baking instead? Cheddar Muffins with the bite of good French Dijon mustard warm from the oven sounds, oh, very cheeky!
Easy, scrumptious, flavorful, these muffins are the ideal snack to nibble on, washed down with a can of stout, while watching the rugby on the telly Saturday afternoon, or the best accompaniment to that bowl of Irish Potato Soup, Welsh Rarebit or French Poule au Pot while cheering on Les Bleus during the Friday night match.
"I don't know... it's like no cheese I've ever tasted..."
CHEDDAR MUSTARD MUFFINS
2 cups (260 g) flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 Tbs sugar
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp paprika
2 large eggs
¾ cup (175 ml) milk
¼ cup (4 Tbs, 60 g) butter, melted
3 Tbs Dijon or Dijon-style mustard
1 ½ cups (about 6 oz, 180 g) grated sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
a few green onions/scallions, green part only, or chives, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin either by lining the cups with cupcake papers or grease or spray generously.
In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and a generous grinding of black pepper .
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, melted butter, mustard, grated cheese, paprika and chopped greens. Whisk until well blended.
Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients in the larger bowl and, using a rubber or silicone spatula, fold just until well combined. Do not over mix!
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, dividing evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed, golden and set in the centers.
Remove from oven, turn out of the tins and serve warm.
"Cracking good job, Gromit!"
(credit where credit is due : images of Wallace and Gromit from Aardman Studios and their great stop-motion animated films about our favorite heroes)