coincidental culinary components

The other week I made some savoury muffins, and realised that most of the ingredients (the main ones, anyway) started with the letter C: corn, carrot, cheese, cumin and coriander seed. These were all ingredients that I happened to have, and it was only as I was adding them, that I realised the coincidence.

I took a few muffins to work, and I let a couple of food-lover friends/colleagues try them so I could get feedback. One suggested (half-jokingly?) that I should try to add more C ingredients. They both thought more cheese wouldn’t go astray.

With this in mind, we brainstormed more ingredients starting with the theme letter, but in the end, my second batch only had the addition of capsicum and, of course, more cheese. (I didn’t want to overload it with random flavours, since the original/main ones would get drowned out or confused in the gustatory cacophony.)

While I ate most of the first batch myself, I brought in the second batch for everyone to share. After all, it was one of the assistants’ birthday, and I thought it would be good to add something savoury to the usual birthday spread of cake and biscuits. I was quite chuffed with the positive feedback I got, and the birthday girl even asked for the recipe. I feel like it’s the greatest compliment for a recipe if one gets asked for the recipe, or gets asked to make the thing again.

Funnily enough, this recipe was actually partially based on / inspired by the one I use for fig cakes (which was originally a sticky date pudding recipe), and that is one recipe that I have been asked to share, and also asked to make again, on separate occasions, and by different people.

The other basis/inspiration for this recipe was the one I use for carrot cake. It was actually several weeks ago that, while grating some carrot for a salad or something, it occurred to me that I hadn’t made carrot cake in a very long time. Not that I especially like carrot cake, or that there was ever any sort of regularity in my making of carrot cakes, but most of the carrot-grating I’d previously done was for carrot cake (preferring to julienne carrots if required for anything savoury).

Actually, even the cheese scones mentioned at the end of that carrot cake post had some role to play in this recipe. It was thinking of that recipe that prompted me to mix the cheese with the flour before combining wet and dry ingredients together. (Not sure how much of a difference that makes, but whatever.)

But the real seed of this recipe germinated several months ago, when I was in the supermarket, and creamed corn was on sale, so, on a whim, I bought a can. As to when the seed was actually acquired or planted, I’m not entirely sure, but I believe it was either late at night or early in the morning, as I was entering or leaving bed, and suddenly thought it would be interesting to try a savoury version of the fig cake recipe, using different ingredients.

Anyway, this is a lot of pointless back-story.

Since I was asked for the recipe, I thought I’d just record it here. I have since been contemplating using different theme letters – perhaps G for gruyere, garlic, goats’ cheese, garlic chives(?); or O for onion, olives, oregano (and I wish I could think of a cheese that starts with O…) – but have yet to put any of this into action. Definitely open to suggestions too.

Savoury “C” muffins

  • ~210g creamed corn
  • ~100g grated carrots*
  • ~1/2 cup of roasted capsicum (peeled, diced)*
  • ~1/2 cup grated cheese (plus extra to sprinkle on top)*
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of sunflower oil* (I used this because that’s what I happened to have, but I suppose olive oil or whatever would be fine too)
  • 3 eggs (large)
  • 1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour**
  • 1/2 cup (regular) self-raising flour**
  • 1 tsp cumin***
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds***
  1. Combine flours and spices in a bowl. Stir in the cheese
  2. Whisk eggs in separate bowl, then whisk in oil
  3. Gradually stir dry ingredients into eggs/oil until combined
  4. Stir in corn, carrots and capsicum
  5. Fill muffin tin. Bake at 160C (fan-forced) for about 20 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
  6. At/toward the end of cooking time, sprinkle on remaining cheese, and let them sit in the oven until the cheese melts

If storing for later or another day, you can eat them at room temperature, or just warm them slightly in the microwave

*Sorry I’m a bit unsure on the measurements for the carrots, capsicum and cheese, as I did these mostly by sight. I tried to measure and make note of the quantities in the second batch, but never wrote it down… You can probably just adjust as per your own tastes, anyway. As to the amount of oil: I used half a cup in the original batch, but reduced it to just over a third of a cup for the 2nd one, as I was using more cheese, and also because my mum told me I probably used a bit too much oil in the first batch.

** You could use all wholemeal but, you know, that stuff’s not cheap, and you’d have to adjust the other ratios. Of course, you could also use all regular SR flour… This is just the proportion I used when I made carrot cakes.

***This amount of spice seemed somewhere between subtle and “just right”. You could easily add more or other spices if desired

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