Gorgonzola and Smoked Bacon Polenta Breakfast Muffins
The warm aroma of melting cheese mixed with smoky bacon is enough to make anyone salivate. There is something magical about these Gorgonzola and smoked bacon breakfast muffins. The tiny size allows second and third helpings, and helps soothe the guilty conscious as they are only little!
I love to serve them straight from the oven as I can’t control myself. I’m not sure if it’s the melted cheese that gets stuck to the tray that’s obviously the cooks privilege or if it’s eating them. I need to think about that a bit more so that I can make up my mind . But in the meantime I shall help myself to another muffin.
The polenta gives these muffins a slightly crunchy and light texture. Sometimes I change the flavours and use ingredients that are in the fridge. Try chopped semi-dried tomatoes and goats cheese or Kalamata olives and Feta cheese for a vegetarian option. These muffins are very quick to make, they are perfect for breakfast or even served as a canape. They also make a delicious lunch box alternative to ordinary sandwiches.
- 100g smoked back bacon
- 100g Gorgonzola cheese
- 175g plain flour
- 75g polenta
- 1tsp baking powder
- small pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1tsp chopped mixed soft herbs (such as chives, parsley and basil)
- 50g melted butter
- 150ml full fat milk
- 1 whole egg
- smoked paprika for dusting
Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease the chosen muffin moulds, I used a flexible oven safe rubber mould with each hole measuring 5cm wide x 3cm high.
Cut the bacon in 5mm dice; heat a non stick frying pan and sauté the bacon until golden brown and cooked. Set aside and let the bacon cool completely.
Weigh the flour, polenta, baking powder a very small pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper in to a mixing bowl. Chop the chosen soft herbs and add to the flour. Crumb the Gorgonzola between your fingers and add to the flour. Stir to coat the cheese with the flour it helps to separate the cheese and it does not all get stuck together in a lump. Drain the cooked bacon on kitchen paper and add to the flour mixture.
Melt the butter; add the milk and the egg whisk vigorously for a minute. Add the egg mixture to the flour, stir to mix, do not over work the mix, the secret for light muffins is do not to mix it too much. Work light and fast.
Spoon the mixture in to the prepared moulds, fill them to the top as they do not rise much, just a bit of a puff. Place the tray on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake for 25minutes. Once the muffins are cooked, remove the tray from the oven and dust it lightly with smoked paprika. Turn the muffins out on to a cooking rack and let them cool slightly before serving.
Makes 15 x 5cm wide small muffins
Food Fanatics Tips
I am a great believer that cooks should use their own initiative to adjust recipes and experiment with different flavours. However I have made the classic mistake with this particular recipe in the past where I have tried to add too many alternative exciting ingredients and made the muffins too greasy or heavy. Do not be constrained by a recipe and feel free to experiment but do remember that less is more. It’s easy to over complicate flavours and it can ruin your dish completely. Bear in mind that if you exchange the cheese use a cheese with a similar texture as it could make the muffins too wet if the cheese is too runny.