Amma is currently with me and as is the usual practice, I try and make something interesting when she is around. Unlike K, she is game to try anything at least once, and is deeply appreciative of my culinary escapades 🙂
A conversation almost always gets triggered from a food memory. This time, while asking about the ingredients I used, and knowing that finely grated cheese was used, she told me about how there was food rationing in the 50’s and some of the schools and organisations affiliated to America received supplies of cheese powder and egg powder which they had no idea how to use. So they would mix the two and make scrambled eggs 🙂
I told her how I love savoury muffins and that it is a pity most people associated baking with cake and cake is sweet and hence all baked goods are expected to be sweet. In my baking classes, I used to teach a savoury pizza muffin, but due to it having not too many enthusiasts, I changed that over to a sweet variant.
For this muffin, I eyeballed all the ingredients and it turned out wonderfully fluffy and full of flavour.
I ran out of whole wheat flour, and have used half of all purpose flour and half whole wheat, feel free to use whole wheat flour for the whole amount, but expect the crumb to be a little grainy.
The pizza sauce I used is the one I posted in the Fusilli with pine nuts recipe. This is an all purpose pizza / pasta sauce that is very handy to have in the fridge.
Gouda Cheese and Pizza Sauce Muffins (Makes 6 large muffins)
1/2 cup All purpose flour (Maida)
1/2 cup Whole wheat flour (Atta)
1/2 cup Grated gouda cheese + 2 teaspoons for garnish
(Use any cheese such as parmesan or even processed cheddar, mozarella makes the muffin stringy, hence not recommended)
1 Egg (to make this eggless, use 1/4 cup milk + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, let it sit for 5 minutes and use when the recipe calls for egg)
1/2 cup Milk (I used full fat)
1/4 cup Pizza/ Pasta sauce (check for the recipe here or use store bought)
8-10 fresh basil leaves, shredded (substitute with any fresh herbs of choice – mint, coriander, garlic chives or even spring onions)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Salt to taste (add half of what you think you need because the sauce and cheese are salty)
Preheat the oven to 185 C and brush the bottom of a muffin pan with oil. For an even brown crumb, do not use muffin liners.
In a bowl, add the all purpose flour, wheat flour, grated cheese, salt, baking powder, baking soda, chopped onion and basil leaves and toss well.
In another bowl, add the egg and milk and whisk with a fork. Add the pizza sauce and mix it well. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and with a light hand, mix till the batter is just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups equally, garnish with the reserved grated cheese. Bake for 16-17 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness.
Cool in the pan for 3-4 minutes before running a blunt knife around the edges of the muffin pan and removing them to a cooling rack / serving plate.
These muffins are best eaten warm. Can be stored refrigerated for upto 4 days.
PS: To make this an eggless muffin; use 1/4 cup milk + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, let it sit for 5 minutes and use when the recipe calls for egg