Butter and Cheese:
3 tbsp salted butter (unsalted + salt)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (Note 1)
2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda / bi-carb soda (Note 2)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg (large, 2 oz), lightly whisked
1 cup milk (full or low fat)
1/4 cup sour cream (or plain yoghurt)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or any plain oils, not olive oil)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (Note 3)
1 garlic clove, crushed
Preheat oven to 350F (standard) or 320F (fan).
Place butter and garlic in a microwave proof bowl and melt in 30 second bursts. Mix.
Brush a 12 hole standard muffin tin generously with butter, being sure to slather with some garlic. Reserve some butter to brush tops.
Whisk Dry ingredients in a bowl.
Whisk Wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
Pour Wet into the Dry ingredients bowl. Mix 8 times. Add cheese, mix as few times as possible just to incorporate remaining bits of flour – no more than 7 big stirs (secret to soft muffs).
Divide between 11 holes in muffin in (I use an ice cream scooper). Batter should be thick and fill muffin tin to top (if in ball shape due to scooper, leave as is). See video.
Bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until the muffins are golden and crusty and spring back when touched in the centre.
Remove onto cooling rack, brush with remaining butter (microwave again if needed) and cool slightly before getting stuck into them!
1. I typically use grated Cheddar or Tasty Cheese (common in Australia). Any flavoured cheese will be terrific here, as long as it melts. Avoid Mozzarella – it doesn’t have enough flavour.
2. Baking soda gives these muffins a kick start with the rise so you get a lovely dome BUT if you don’t have it, then you can use an extra 2 1/2 tsp of baking powder instead. OR use self raising flour instead of plain flour and no baking powder and no baking soda.
3. Can sub with 1 tbsp dried parsley or 1 1/2 tsp of stronger dried herbs (thyme, oregano, mixed herbs, basil), or just skip. Still lovely flavour without!
4. These stay fresh for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container. Best served warm. These can also be frozen for 2 – 3 months.
5. As always for baking recipes, I have made these using Australian cups (imperial measurements used by the most of the world, including Europe, NZ) as well as US cups. I actually made these while I was in LA at a friend’s house and they came out just as they do when I made them at home!
6. Add In options: Up to 1 1/2 cups of stir ins of choice, add with cheese. Sun dried tomatoes, chopped or large chunks of feta, chopped olives, ham, cooked bacon, grated zucchini (salt, leave for 20 minutes then squeeze out excess water), grated carrot, chopped spinach, bell peppers/capscium (cooked). Cooked mushroom slices, cooked chorizo, even chopped chicken. Let your imagination run wild. Makes 12 high dome muffins, or 13 – 14 sensible muffins.