It’s pretty easy to whip up a batch of muffins and on weekends for breakfast, we sometimes prefer baking that’s a little savory and sweet, like Muffins with Cheese, Caramelized Onion and Thyme. Also, I wanted to try these cardboard cupcake/muffin cases I’ve had for a while… I’ve only every used paper muffin/cupcake liners to bake with. These tall black and white cardboard cases look so pretty and love how tall muffins look, like these Lemon Yoghurt Muffins with Poppy seeds and Dried Cranberries.
The cardboard cases are sturdy and you don’t need a special cupcake/muffin tin… you only need pop the filled cases on a baking tray and bake as normal. But like me and if you’re not used to baking with them, you need to experiment when filling… and that will vary using different recipes.
I could have filled them a little more which probably would have given me 6 jumbo (Texas style) muffins… I had made eight. I didn’t achieve the effect I was looking for while in the cardboard cases, but they looked gorgeous when removed. Of course I could have made another batch… but will leave that for another tall muffin. You can of course use standard muffin/cupcake liners instead.
These savory muffins take longer to prepare as you need to caramelize the onions first… cheese and onion has always been a delicious combination. I find when caramelizing onions, adding about 1/2 teaspoon (more if needed) of water to the saucepan helps remove the caramelized brown bits from the bottom of the saucepan, adding color and flavor to the onions while cooking. And you can’t go wrong adding fresh herbs such as thyme. A light scattering of black sesame seeds on top before baking add a colorful touch. These savory muffins are best eaten warm from the oven and on day of baking. If you like, freeze some, defrost and re-heat using the microwave when needed.
Savoury Muffins with Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Thyme
50g finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
75g salted butter, melted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
75g mature cheddar cheese, grated
250g all-purpose or plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
25g castor sugar
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)
For garnish, fresh thyme (optional)
You will need a 12 hole cupcake/muffin baking tin lined with paper cases. Or, experiment baking them in sturdy cardboard baking cases.
How to make:
Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC/Fan 170ºC/Gas 5.
Heat a small heavy based saucepan on medium heat, add the olive oil and onions. Reduce heat to low and cook the onions (stirring often) until dark golden and caramelized. Do not let the bottom of the pan burn. This should take about 20 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before incorporating into the wet ingredients. While the onions are caramelizing prepare the other ingredients.
Add the melted butter, milk and egg to a small bowl (bowl one) and beat together with a fork until mixed. Stir in the thyme, cheese and caramelized onions. In a large bowl (bowl two), sieve in the flour, baking powder and sugar.
Pour all the wet ingredients (bowl one) into (bowl two) the dry ingredients. With a large spatula or spoon, stir the ingredients until combined. Do not over mix as this will result in heavy and tough muffins. The batter should still be a bit lumpy with no dry flour visible.
Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared tins or cases and sprinkle over some black sesame seeds if using. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until muffin tops spring back when pressed gently. Cool the muffins for a couple of minutes in the baking tin or cases before transferring to a wire cooling rack.