Wow, who knew it was so hard to cram flavour into a savoury muffin? If you know more about making muffins than I do (which is not hard), you are probably itching to shout ‘me!’. Well, I didn’t know, but I do now. 😉
I got the idea for these Cajun-style muffins after posting the Guardian recipe for the feta, spinach and Peppadew muffins. There is a recipe for a Cajun-style plaited loaf in Jennie Shapter’s The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook that I really like, so I thought I would try and transfer the flavours of that loaf to a batch of muffins.
As the bread recipe calls for a lot more flour than you need to make twelve muffins, I decided to go easy on the spices and flavourings when I made my first trial batch. The muffins had good texture but it was like they had absorbed all the flavour I put into them. I’m not going to bore you with the details but the next batch, with a lot more spice, turned out bland-ish too. But, third time lucky, the muffins I baked after that came out exactly how I wanted them. Spicy (not hot), slightly garlicky, piquant and vibrant. An interesting muffin I wouldn’t say no to anytime and that goes particularly well with a soup or a salad.
Grating or crumbling in cheese is an easy way to add flavour but I didn’t want to go that route this time. The flavour in these babies comes from the dried spices, the grated garlic and garlic oil, and the fresh ingredients: pepper, spring onions, and coriander.
Eat these Cajun muffins and think of dreams coming true on Blue Bayou (or just play the song while you eat them).
110 g plain flour
115 g wholemeal flour
2 heaped tsp baking powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp sweet paprika (the non-smoked variety)
¾ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
40 ml garlic oil
50 ml flavourless vegetable oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 clove of garlic, grated or minced
3 spring onions, sliced finely
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
100 g (one small) red pepper, diced finely
– Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 12-hole muffin tin.
– Mix all the dry ingredients.
– Mix all the wet ingredients, making sure the tomato puree dissolves.
– Mix wet and dry until you still see some lumps of flour. I like to add the dry ingredients to the wet, but won’t frown if you do it the other way round.
– Add the fresh ingredients and fold until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
– Divide the muffin mixture between the holes in the tin and bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
– Let the muffins cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully take them out and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.