Feta Cheese Herb Muffins

Oh wow, these Feta Cheese Herb Muffins certainly have a taste of the Mediterranean about them.

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins perfect for eating any time of the day!

Sorry, I know I usually write a little intro, but these Feta Cheese Herb Muffins are so, so good I wanted to tell you about them straight away. Like an excited child with news of their day at school, I am literally bursting with excitement over how good these are.

Salty feta cheese, that almost melts, in a slightly healthier muffin – I’ve added in some wholemeal flour, without any added heaviness – accompanied by the delicate onion flavour of fresh chives and just the teeny tiniest hint of fresh mint!

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins delicious warmed for brunch.

Having first made my friend, Jackie Heaton aka The Baking Nanna’s Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins which are absolutely delicious, I have loved coming up with different variations of the muffin.

Today I wanted to see if I could add wholemeal flour to the muffins, without making them heavy. So I replaced one third of the flour with plain, wholemeal flour. I increased the baking powder and hoped that the balance would work. It totally did.

The wholemeal flour adds a subtle depth of flavour that completely works with the salty feta cheese. I thoroughly enjoyed a late breakfast this morning feasting on these flavour packed morsels.

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins so good and so easy to bake.

Freshly cut from the garden, both the chives and the mint add a subtle brightness to the Feta Cheese Herb Muffins. None of our children noticed the mint, I was a bit worried thinking that might be the deal breaker! There are only three mint leaves in the whole recipe, yet they provide a fantastic, fresh flavour, without making the muffins taste like toothpaste!!!

If you don’t have fresh herbs in your garden, they can easily be grown on a window-ledge. I buy mine growing in pots, from the supermarket. Woody herbs such as sage, thyme, oregano and rosemary grow in the garden, as do the chives, which have recently started to sprout. Mint I grow in a tub, as it can be a bit of a thug if planted in the open ground, rapidly spreading and smothering other plants.

There is a place for both fresh and dried herbs in my kitchen. In this recipe however, I would only recommend using fresh herbs. Look out for upcoming posts where I will share tips and recipes on the vegetables and herbs I grow.

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins delicious, healthier and low in fat.

Recipe: Makes 12 Feta Cheese Herb Muffins

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

100g/4oz Plain Wholemeal Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

200g/7oz Feta Cheese – drained

1tbsp Chopped Fresh Chives – plus extra to garnish – I use scissors to snip the chives

3 Fresh Mint Leaves – finely chopped

200ml Whole or Semi-skimmed Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

2tbsp Vegetable Oil

2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Approx 1tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper – or less if desired

Method: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6

  • Line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin cases
  • Measure the milk into a jug. Crack in the 2 whole eggs and add the oils. Stir with a fork to combine – wet ingredients.
  • Into a large bowl add both the flours, the crumbled feta cheese, black pepper finely chopped mint and chives. Stir with a fork ensuring all the pieces of crumbled feta are coated in flour – dry ingredients.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.
  • Stir lightly with a fork until almost combined. Note: lumpy batter ensures tender muffins, if you over mix the muffins will be tough!
FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Here is good, lumpy batter.
  • Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin cases.
  • Place the muffin pan into the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (mine took 17 minutes).
  • The muffins are cooked when the are starting to turn golden brown and are firm to touch.
  • Once baked remove the muffins from the oven.
FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins hot straight from the oven.
  • Allow the Feta Cheese Herb Muffins to cool slightly on a cooling rack.

Serve the delicious Feta Cheese Herb Muffins warm with an extra sprinkling of freshly cut chives.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To refresh pop in a medium heated oven for 5 minutes and they will regain their freshly baked flavour.

These Feta Cheese Herb Muffins are the perfect addition to any packed lunch or picnic. They are a perfect, portable, fairly healthy snack and great for sharing. Long days at the office? These take barely 30 minutes to make and bake and then you have breakfast/lunch sorted for a few days!

I love coming up with easy to make, nutritious food, that means you always have something delicious to fall back on instead of always reaching for a chocolate bar or packet of crisps. With food made at home, you know exactly what has gone into it and it always tastes so much better than anything you can buy.

Loved these Feta Cheese Herb Muffins? Here are some other easy, food on the go recipes you may like to try:

Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins 

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins utterly delicious.

Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks a slow release energy bar wherever you are.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

BN Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks – perfect for sustained energy release.

Are you good about eating breakfast and taking a packed lunch to work, or do you grab a sweet muffin with your morning latte?

Hopefully I’ve given you some tips to make mornings less stressful on some days? There are always going to be days when you oversleep, or no matter what you do, you’re running late. If you can plan just a little bit, then a bad start to the day needn’t set the tone for how the day pans out!

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I really enjoy reading them. Likewise for all of you who have posted your makes and bakes on Twitter and Instagram. I love seeing how my recipe turns out in someone else’s kitchen!

Have fun making and baking your feast.

Sammie xx

 

 

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Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes.

Hi there, I hope you are having a good day and hopefully this recipe for Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes will make you smile and encourage you to get baking!!!!

So late (7.30pm – that’s late for me!) the other night, I was in bed and our lil man popped his head round the door and said “Mummy it’s the school bake sale tomorrow.  Do we have anything that I can take in?”.  Looking at me with his angelic, freckled face and gorgeous green eyes, hopeful, expectant.  Mummy’s can sort anything out, at a moments notice – can’t they????

Well of course we can!  Improvisation is one of the most important parenting tools any mum or dad learns.

So, fortunately my cupboards are groaning under the weight of baking ingredients at the mo, due to being unwell over Christmas – see there’s a silver lining to every dark cloud!  If I was going to bake I was definitely going to blog about it.  Only problem with that is, have already posted Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes (chocolate cupcakes guaranteed to sell and make the most money!), I needed a different chocolate recipe.  So I invented a new recipe on the spot – Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes!

They look and taste soooo good!
Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes. They look and taste soooo good!

Given my desire to get back to bed ASAP I decided not to frost these cupcakes. Sprinkling each individual cupcake top with chopped up crunchy after dinner mints turned out better than I hoped for.  The crunchy mint chocolate shards didn’t melt, or lose their shape and once cooled provided an excellent topping in itself!  Ditching the frosting also made it much easier for my lil man to transport these scrumptious (WHAT?? – of course we had to try them!!!) cupcakes to school.

Recipe : Makes 33-36 Cupcakes

1lb/450g  Unsalted Butter – at room temp

1lb/450g  Light Soft Brown Sugar

8 Eggs – Large, room temp – pref free range

2tsp. Vanilla Extract

1tsp. Peppermint Extract

1/4tsp. Salt – I use Kosher (free flowing and additive free)

12oz/350g White Self Raising Flour

4oz/100g  Cocoa Powder

8oz/225g  Milk Chocolate Chunks (or chips)

4oz/100g  Dark Mint Chocolate

Method :

Preheat oven to 190C (175C fan).

Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl and whisk (using an electric whisk, or beater paddle in a stand mixer) until completely combined (this is called creaming) and light and fluffy in texture.

A mix of sugars. Dark and light brown and white caster - it was late and it was the best I could do!!!!
A mix of sugars. Dark and light brown and white caster – it was late and it was the best I could do!!!!
It all whisked up beautifully - breathed sigh of relief!!!!
It all whisked up beautifully – breathes sigh of relief!!!!

Add the vanilla/peppermint extracts and the salt. Whisk in thoroughly.  Now add the eggs, one at a time, whisking between each addition – I break each egg into a separate bowl before adding it to the mixture –  it helps keep any errant eggshell out of the batter.  If the eggs are at room temp then the batter shouldn’t curdle, however, if it does start to curdle just add 1 tablespoon of your flour and the mixture will come back together again.

All 8 eggs whisked in and no curdling! I was relieved.
All 8 eggs whisked in and no curdling! I was relieved.

Next sift in the flour and cocoa powder.  Fold this in using a spoon/spatula, using a gentle figure-of-eight movement rotating the bowl to ensure the flour/cocoa become fully incorporated. The idea is to keep the mixture light and not lose too much of the trapped air from the whisked in eggs.

Add the milk chocolate chunks and fold these into the Cupcake batter so they are evenly distributed.

This mixture looks, smells and tastes scrumptious!
This mixture looks, smells and tastes scrumptious!

Line you cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake cases and using an ice cream scoop, fill the  cases 3/4 full (one scoop full).  Remember I’m not frosting these cupcakes so I want them to have a nice rounded top!

Ready....
Ready….
Squeeze.....
Squeeze…..
Plop! The exact amount of batter drops into the cupcake case - brilliant - and quick - and much less messy than using 2 spoons!
Plop! The exact amount of batter drops into the cupcake case – brilliant – and quick – and much less messy than using 2 spoons!

Sprinkle the crunchy, dark mint chocolate shards over the top of each uncooked cupcake, pushing slightly into the batter.

Ready for the oven!
Ready for the oven!

Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 mins depending on your oven.  I usually test if cupcakes are cooked by lightly pressing in the middle and if it springs back it’s cooked.   I DON’T suggest you do this – I did, forgetting there would be melted chocolate on the top – OUCH!!  So, when the Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes are risen, with a nice dome shape, lightly press the SIDE of the cupcake top.  If firm remove the cupcakes from the oven, if it’s still a bit sticky and wobbly, leave them in the oven for 3-5 minutes until firm and then remove.

Leave to cool for a good 5 minutes before removing to cool on a baking rack.
Leave to cool for a good 5 minutes before removing to cool on a baking rack.

If you’ve only got a couple of cupcake tins you can pop them on the garden bench to speed up the cooling process, so you can decant the cupcakes, wash the tins, get the next batch in the oven and get back to bed!!!!

Come on babies, cool quickly please?
Come on babies, cool quickly please?

When the cupcakes are all cool, pack into an airtight container, cupcake box for school bake sale or place one on a plate pour a glass of milk and take it up to bed to enjoy!!!!

All Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes were sold out in 2 minutes the next day, raising £10 for the charity Mencap!!!

The fun bits……..

Who needs a dishwasher......
Who needs a dishwasher……
When you have chocolate loving children
When you have chocolate loving children

You could easily halve this recipe, should you not have a cake sale to bake for, or, here’s a thought – use the recipe, as is, and surprise someone with a tin/box/plateful of scrummy cupcakes!!

Remember Food Tastes Better When It’s Shared. Happy Feasting!

Sammie x

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