Today is my birthday. I’ve reached the grand old age of 26. I officially fall into the ‘mid to late twenties’ category which, frankly, is a little unsettling.
Last night I had a wonderful night out with my best girls, eating delicious tapas at Iberico and co. We tucked into tender meatballs in rich, spicy tomato sauce, plates of olives bursting with flavour, huge juicy shrimp, swimming in garlic butter and thyme, pan fried chorizo topped with a perfectly cooked, bursting yellow duck egg and, of course, a heap of the most incredible patatas bravas. With a couple of Irish girls at the table, we weren’t going to have a meal without a good serving of potatoes.
I had a cake in mind to make today for you, but instead I’ve spent the morning in my pyjamas eating left over profiteroles and nursing a gentle wine hangover. Instead I’ll give you these, delicious savoury muffins, the perfect birthday breakfast treat. If you prepare your onion and bacon the night before, they’d be very quick to whip up in the morning and have fresh and warm and melting. If you need any further convincing to make these, just look at this picture.
Anything with this must cheese and bacon can’t be bad.
Cheddar, bacon and red onion muffins
(adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
1 tsp oil
100g streaky bacon, cut into 1cm pieces
1 red onion, finely diced
50g wholemeal self-raising flour
200g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt
80g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
200ml buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk, add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to milk and leave to stand for five minutes before using)
150g strong cheddar, grated
Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
Heat the oil in a pan and cook the bacon until slightly crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and leave to cool. In the same pan, cook the onion until soft.
In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. In a jug, whisk the eggs, butter and buttermilk. Mix into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the bacon, onion and two thirds of the cheese.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and top with the remaining cheese.
Bake for about 18 minutes until the tops turn golden.
They are best eaten fresh from the oven when they are still warm, but they freeze well if you need to.