I hope anybody who knows me in real life or reads my blog regularly doesn’t fall over in shock at this statement but…I baked some muffins. Yes, the undomestic goddess herself actually made something and it was edible! Since we’ve been weaning the little guy B has still done all of the cooking, although obviously I’ve managed to rustle up a few simple things like pasta, veg and salad! I have been looking through the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook (which is written by the wonderful Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett and you can find out more about here) for inspiration and my sister-in-law had recommended the savoury muffin recipe from the book. I bit the bullet and actually went for it! Obviously all credit for the recipe goes to Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett.
Cheese and spinach muffins sounded like a great idea for a snack to me, or you could give it as part of a bigger meal with some veg (or even meat). As they are light and easy to munch on they are perfect for babies just starting on their weaning journey or those who struggle to eat heavier meals. They are an ideal packed lunch food if you don’t fancy sandwiches or if your bubba struggles with bread (we always find it sticks to the roof of TM’s mouth!).
In the interests of full disclosure, I did get B to supervise me while I was cooking to try and avoid any disasters and he helped a little with some of the prep. It’s a simple recipe to follow – clearly, as I managed it!
Ingredients (makes 10 muffins, I felt they were quite small but it says ‘regular sized’ in the book!):
- oil or butter for frying and butter for greasing (unsalted is recommended for babies)
- half a small red onion
- 175g plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 egg
- 110ml milk
- 125g grated cheese
- 60-75g baby spinach leaves, torn
We used a normal onion rather than a red one, just because that’s what we had in the house. We didn’t put quite as much spinach in as the recipe suggested as when I was adding it to the mixture we didn’t think it needed it all. We also put less cayenne pepper in but that probably wasn’t necessary as you couldn’t really taste it. We used mature cheddar as it gave the muffins an even better flavour.
- Preheat the oven to 160c/Gas Mark 3. Heat the oil or butter in a frying pan, fry the onion until soft and then lift out using a slotted spoon (to drain the oil). Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cayenne pepper into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg and add the milk, whisking them together. Pour the mixture into the flour and fold together.
- Add the onion, cheese and spinach leaves. Fold it all in gently until the mixture is evenly mixed.
- Spoon the mixture into the cases in the muffin tray.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and springy, then allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the tray.
I am sure it won’t surprise you to hear that the ride wasn’t entirely smooth – I accidentally tipped a load of baking powder into the mixture. I don’t think this had any lasting impact?! Our oven decided to turn itself off halfway through so they took an absolute age to cook; I don’t know whether this is just our oven or whether the cooking time should be a little longer. And our kitchen resembled a bomb site when I was done.
I am so pleased with how the muffins turned out though! For my first baking attempt in a very long time I don’t think they are too shabby. They are pretty flat, again I don’t know if that is because of our oven, the recipe or my below par cooking skills. BUT they tasted delicious, TM loved them and so did our 5 year old niece. B & I both enjoyed them as a snack and I would definitely make them again; they are perfect for days out. We gave them to TM with some salad vegetables but you could give them alone or with anything you like, really.