Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, whether its a cold early morning 6 am rise accompanied by a bowl of porridge, or a lazy sunday eating poached eggs and avocado on toast. My boyfriend is also a top-quality pancake maker, but so messy he almost gives me a heart attack. I devised these brunch muffins having recently formed an obsession with the delicate flavour of dill, which is wonderful served with fish, or more unusually with lightly crisped new potatoes, capers and a heap of creme fraiche (I’m also a little obsessed with creme fraiche- this too shall pass). Stuffed full of salty smoked salmon, warm aromatic dill, zesty lemon and sharp creme fraiche, these sunny little muffins have a lovely light fluffy texture and are gorgeous served with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkle of spring onions.
120ml olive oil
50ml whole milk
300g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
100g smoked salmon
2 tablespoons of plucked dill leaves
3 tablespoons of creme fraiche
2 spring onions
extra spring onions and creme fraiche to serve
- Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.Preheat the oven to 180•C.
- Measure out the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients. First crack the eggs into the bowl and whisk lightly with a fork to break up the yolks. Add 120ml olive oil (nice quality if possible) and whisk.
- Beat the liquid mix into the flour to produce a dry shaggy dough. Spoon in 3 tablespoons of creme fraiche and 50ml milk and continue to beat. The mixture will not be thick and gloopy, quite similar to if you were making cheese scones. Don’t worry, it looks gross but will taste nice when cooked.
- Add the flavourings- so the zest of a lemon and some chilli flakes, and two tablespoons of dill. Before adding the dill, spend some time picking the leaves of so no hard stalks remain.
- Next add the chunky ingredients. Chop 100g smoked salmon into small pieces and add to the mix. Follow this with 2 washed and finely sliced spring onions (or gunions as they are called in my family). Finally add 75g of coarsely grated mature cheddar. The cheese doesn’t add much to the flavour of the muffin, but adding just a little more fat is needed to get the right consistency.
- Finally add the juice of half a lemon.
- Stir the mixture thoroughly to make sure all the ingredients are well dispersed.Visually, the muffins should be colourful and bright with all the ingredients that have been added- the more the merrier.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cases and bake for 30 minutes. They should be turning a warm golden colour on top when you take them out.
- Serve with extra creme fraiche and spring onion sprinkles.