Toddlers & Young Children, Finger Foods, Grown Ups too!
We make cheesy muffins pretty often at Chez Foti as both my kids adore them (and so do I!), especially when they’re still warm out of the oven. They’ve each been known to eat five in one go! As it was public holidays here last Thursday and Friday and no school we did a spot of baking together. Actually the holiday was only officially on the Thursday but being France employees, teachers included, like to take the Friday off too and make a long weekend of it. Most of May it seems is taken up by these long weekends.
Anyway back to the baking, Francesca who’s now three and a half loves to do all the stirring, whisking, muffin case choosing and placing in the tins, dolloping and sprinkling. It’s a messy business but well worth it, if your patience and tolerance levels will allow!. Kids always seem much more interested in eating anything they’ve had a helping hand in making. Though Jacques at just two was more than happy to do some scribbling, with the occasional cursory glance, on the other side of the table. He participated in the eating only, which needless to say he excelled himself at again. I’m sure it won’t be long before he wants to join in too as he’s a natural born foodie.
As well as a mid morning or tea time treat savoury muffins are a great alternative to all the sweet stuff at kids parties, and are good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. My monsters had these for their dinner with some baked beans on the side. They happened to be coming out of the oven unintentionally at their dinner time anyway and there was no way they’d eat less than three so dinner they were!.
I make small fairy cake size mini-muffins for my kids using ordinary cake cases, and this recipe makes about 24. If you’re making ordinary muffin sizes you should make 12.
To make 24 small mini-muffins, or 12 ordinary sized:
2 medium free range eggs
250ml of semi-skimmed or full fat milk
85g of butter, melted then allowed to cool
280g of plain flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
a pinch of salt
a pinch of pepper
½ teaspoon of English mustard powder
140g of Cheddar cheese, grated
100g of ham, diced into roughly 1cm squares
100g of drained tinned sweetcorn (or defrosted frozen sweetcorn)
Pre-heat your oven to 200ºC/Gas Mark 6. Line muffin or cake tins with 12 or 24 cases depending on which size you opt to make.
Beat the eggs together, stir in the milk and the melted and cooled butter.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt & pepper and mustard powder. Make a well in the middle and pour in the egg, milk and butter mixture. Stir together gently.
Stir in ⅔ of the grated Cheddar, the diced ham and sweetcorn and stir well without over mixing.
Spoon the mixture into the cake or muffin cases. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tops.
Place in the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes until risen, firm to touch and a little golden on the tops.
Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool for a few minutes then dig in….as if you couldn’t resist! They’re at their best eaten fresh out of the oven.