My mum, of wedding cake fame, is one of this blog's most ardent supporters. Not only has she been a reader since the very first day, she's proudly spread the word among all her family, her friends and my former Maths teacher for good measure (hi, Mrs Evans!). She buys me kitchen treats to try out on the blog - edible gold leaf, I know you're in storage now but I promise that your day will come - and sends me recipes, suggestions and ideas. In our homeless limbo land without a kitchen of our own, she finds dishes she wants to try and invites me round for lunch on the understanding that I'll bring the camera and blog the results. Today's recipe, and the next two to follow, all stem from one of these recent greedy lunches and so, with thanks, I dedicate this blog post to her.
It's quite fitting to start with the corn muffins. Not only were they the standout success of our afternoon (what a way to excite you about the two recipes to come!) but they hark back to her adventures around Canada as a fresh-faced teenager, exploring the frozen wilderness on her own, making friends and eating cornbread. I'd tried making cornbread before but wasn't blown away by the results - but these muffins were exponentially better. They also, apparently, tasted completely authentic and took her right back to her teenage travels. Not just a muffin but a time machine! I love it when that happens.
Whether authentic or not, the main thing is that these were easy to make and tasted amazing. The recipe comes from last month's Waitrose magazine and they did feel perfect for Autumn - sweet, bright and cheery. Whether out by a bonfire, or curled up on the sofa, these are ideal for slathering in butter, dunking in soup or swiping through gravy.
You can see us here, aproned Mother and Daughter bending over her new, novelty cake tin while Mr Dine at Mine paparazzo-snaps us artistically through the flowers. Whatever you're doing on this drizzly November day, whether cooking in your own kitchen or your mum's, whether broken open by your own fair hands or hers (as modelled below), these corn muffins are a sure fire hit. Crispy-edged, crumbly-centred, delicious. Good recipe-funding, Mummy Dine at Mine! Mummy knows best. Obviously.
And when you have leftovers, I think it's fair to suggest that you would never regret warming them up for breakfast. Or serving them with some sizzling, crispy bacon. And perhaps drizzling a sticky pool of syrup on top. Not that we would ever consider such a greedy thing, of course. And we would certainly never allow any photographic evidence.
From Waitrose Kitchen, October 2011
Makes 12 muffins, square or otherwise
- 50g unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 125g plain flour
- 250g polenta
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs, beaten in a small bowl
- 240ml whole milk (for once we actually used whole milk, bought specially - but I'm sure it would be fine with semi-skimmed)
Preheat the oven to 160C and grease a muffin tin with a bit of butter or oil.
Gently heat the butter and oil together in a saucepan until the butter has melted. Then get a big bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, and pour in the milk, eggs and warm butter/oil mixture.
Stir together until well combined, then spoon into the greased muffin tin. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Brilliant on their own, with soup or - the ultimate - with bacon and syrup.