What’s the perfect occasion to have savoury muffins? The answer sprang right in front of my eyes when I read about Chobani‘s CHObrunch Challenge. A late morning brunch looks like a great excuse to indulge in a muffin or two (or three, or four!); it’s a shame that I can’t easily fit it into my morning routine.
Brunch is for the fortunate ones who manage to sleep until late on weekend mornings, and don’t really feel the need for breakfast before a proper lunch. Me, I’m an early riser: give me a chance to turn off my 7.10am alarm clock, and I’ll most likely be up at eight, awake and ready to make plans for the rest of the day. There are a few advantages to that: I’m at my most productive in the morning, and get to do a lot of writing before breakfast. But there’s only so much I can do on an empty stomach; once I start craving my morning espresso and bowlful of cereal, there’s no way I can hold off having them for another couple of hours. I’d never be able to resist until brunch time, unless I felt like indulging in a second breakfast!
Even though I may never be able to enjoy a “real” brunch, that doesn’t mean I can’t cook for one. So here’s my first brunch recipe, dedicated to all you lovely sleepyheads out there: all my loved ones, who have an ability to sleep in that I can’t seem to master, and everyone who enjoys a good lie-in whenever they can. May you wake up at 12 on a Saturday afternoon, and find a plateful of savoury muffins on your table, baked by an early riser who wants to make you happy.
“Double Cho” Pizza Muffins
(Makes 10 – 12 muffins)
One of the best things about these muffins is that they’re completely butterless. The key to their moist, soft texture is plain, creamy fat-free yoghurt, with just a few tablespoons olive oil. To be sure I wouldn’t turn my first attempt at baking with yoghurt into another baking fail, I did my research beforehand: a recipe by The Urban Kitchen‘s Genevieve Taylor pointed me towards the right flour to egg to yoghurt ratios, which really worked a treat.
The idea for the filling came from the leftovers in my fridge, which always looks rather sad at the beginning of the weekend. On Saturday morning, with the past week’s food supplies already gone, it contained little but a half mozzarella ball and the remainders of a chorizo sausage; one trip to the supermarket and one box of cherry tomatoes later, the Pizza Muffin Project was ready to start. My creation only needed a name: with Chobani yoghurt in the batter and Chorizo in the filling, I’m sure you can guess where “Double Cho” came from!
- 150g plain flour
- 100g wholemeal plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 250g natural yoghurt (I used Chobani Plain Fat Free Authentic Strained Yoghurt)
- 300g cherry tomatoes
- 100g diced mozzarella
- 100g diced chorizo
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt, black pepper, oregano and thyme, to your taste
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: both flours, the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, the salt and pepper, and the herbs.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the wet ingredients: yoghurt, eggs, and olive oil.
- Pour the wet ingredients in the large bowl, and mix until almost combined.
- Add the mozzarella, 150g cherry tomatoes and the chorizo, and mix until just homogeneous.
- Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases, and fill them with the mixture.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°, and bake for at least 20 minutes. Your muffins will be ready when a sharp knife inserted in one of them emerges a little greasy, but with no crumbs attached.
- Allow some time for your muffins to slightly cool down, and serve them while still fresh and warm, with the remaining cherry tomatoes as a side. You can cut them in halves, sprinkle them with oil, salt and thyme, and cook them in the oven at the same time as the muffins: simple, effective and tasty!
- If any muffins are left over after your brunch, store them in an airtight container (or another closed space, such as a cold oven) and eat them cold, up to a couple of days later: they’ll still be soft and moist, and really excellent.
Note: These muffins are one of my entries to Chobani’s CHObrunch Challenge. Chobani supplied me with the yoghurt I used for the batter, as part of a baking kit they sent me when I signed up for the contest. Thank you Chobani for inspiring this recipe…and my first attempt at baking with yoghurt!