Cheese & Marmite Muffins

Cheese & Marmite Muffins Vegetarian
I devised these after a friend asked me to create a cupcake tower for her husband’s 40th birthday party. He is a huge fan of Marmite, so these muffins – topped with a swirl of cream cheese – were a quirky addition to the sweet cupcake display! I sampled one of them before sending them to the recipient’s house and enjoyed it so much, I quickly knocked up a batch for ourselves – as we are most definitely Marmite lovers in this house! If you’re not so keen on Marmite, feel free to leave it out. Instead, you could add a finely chopped onion (gently fry it until soft, first) for yummy cheese and onion muffins, or don’t add anything at all if you like plain cheese muffins. My daughter is absolutely mad about these savoury, moreish bundles – they are terrific as an occasional afternoon snack or alongside a lunchtime bowl of soup.  These, like most muffins, freeze beautifully – and defrost in about an hour at room temperature. They are especially tasty when warmed up for a minute or two in a hot oven, or in the microwave for just a few seconds.

Makes 10-12 muffins, depending what size your paper cases are.

225g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp white sugar
Pinch of salt and pepper
100g grated cheddar (plus an extra 35g for the tops)
200ml milk
60ml sunflower oil
1 large egg
1 tsp Dijon mustard (optional, to taste)
Marmite (I use the squeeze bottle type rather than the tiresome jar – as a rough estimate I’d say I use the equivalent of about 6 -7 teaspoons)

Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6.

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Mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper. Add 100g of the grated cheese and give it a mix.

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In a separate jug, lightly whisk together the milk, oil, egg and mustard.  Add the wet mix to the dry mix and stir just enough to combine. A lumpy batter is preferable for muffins – just stir until you can’t see any dry bits.

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Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the mix into each muffin case. Then add a squeeze of Marmite (about 1/2 tsp) on to each one. Use a cocktail stick or a skewer to swirl it in gently.

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Add another tablespoon of muffin mix to each case. Then squeeze/spoon another drop of Marmite on to the tops of each one (depending how much you enjoy Marmite!) and add  scatter the remaining cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes – the tops should feel springy and quite crispy. Mine need exactly 23 minutes, but check after 20.

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