Fireworks and my poor little doggy don’t really mix – she’s a big fat scaredy cat and quivers and shakes unless cuddled tightly all evening.
I was supposed to be going to see a very old friend playing violin in a concert for the evening and really wanted to go so doggy sitters were needed.
Fortunately, my nephew and his fiancé are saving up to get married so were staying in for the night and they are both pretty soppy when it comes to dogs. I dropped off the mutt along with a bottle of champagne to celebrate their recent engagement and decided that some muffins might go down well too. Ollie, my nephew, likes cheese and anything involving cheese, so cheesey muffins seemed a safe bet.
Then I realised I had some bacon that needed to be used and a can of pumpkin puree left over from Halloween.
These are really tasty – just the right amount of spice and a healthy helping of veg too. He liked them so much he asked for the recipe, so here goes.
425g can of pumpkin (I use Libbys, which I get from Waitrose)
100g uncooked weight bacon lardons
100ml Flora cuisine (or just under 100g butter, melted)
100 ml buttermilk (I use the big 1 litre Polish stuff but I think it is probably the same as the normal British stuff)
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
½ tspn cayenne pepper
¼ tspn English mustard powder
300g self raising flour
50g granulated sugar
38g pack of cheese sauce mix
100g grated mature cheddar (I use the pre-grated stuff as it seems to be more bake stable)
- Heat the oven to 200C
- Dry fry the bacon lardons over a medium heat for about 8 minutes until crispy, then tip onto a piece of kitchen towel to soak up any excess fat
- Whilst the bacon is cooking, combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
- Put all the wet ingredients into a large jug and mix together with a fork or ball ended whisk (the idea is to blend everything as opposed to incorporating air)
- Gradually mix the wet into the dry ingredients until all combined but don’t over work the mixture
- Once the bacon fat has been soaked up by the kitchen paper, chop the bacon up as finely as possible (I used a mezzaluna chopper) then add to the mix and stir through
- Using a large icecream scoop, measure the mixture into 15 muffin cases in muffin tins
- Bake for five minutes at 200C fan then reduce the oven to 170C fan for 15 minutes, when a skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin should come away clean
- Remove the muffins from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack in their paper cases
- Serve with strong cheddar and pickled onions