Goats Cheese, Caramelised Onion & Roasted Pepper Muffins

I am currently living my wildest tourist dreams and frolicking around London, camera in hand, visiting ALL the landmarks, or at least the cheap/free ones anyways! I cannot get enough of this city. There are so many places that I have not yet explored that I feel like I will never run out of tourist opportunities!
Last Sunday the weather was beautiful so I decided to go for a walk. One of my absolute favourite pastimes in London, is climbing up a hill to get a view of the city. So, I decided to head towards Hampstead Heath and climb Parliament Hill. It was a pretty grand view, however, it still didn’t beat my old favourite, Primrose Hill. I wanted to make the most of the weather so I hopped on a bus and headed towards Primrose Hill and as ever it did not disappoint. Primrose Hill is without a doubt my favourite spot in London.

<(Adventure time! The view from Primrose Hill)

When I was in halls on Drummond Street, not far from Regents Park, I used to take a walk through the park and up Primrose Hill whenever I got stressed out. In fact I used to take much needed breaks from the library, walk through the park and up the hill and just sit and listen to music. I could sit there for hours.

On Tuesday I went to see a drama school showcase with my pal Hannah, following which I decided I wanted to do a bit more exploring. So from Piccadilly Circus I just headed straight, ended up in Covent Garden, where I got an Eton Mess ice-cream, then continued on walking straight. I took a few turns, walked by the Royal Courts of Justice, took a few more turns and eventually ended up on Waterloo Bridge. Now there is something about going down to the river, and walking across any of the many bridges, that is just so darn exciting. I am always left in awe of the fact that I actually live in London! The weather wasn’t too great, but that actually made for an interesting photo opportunity!

(Piccadilly circus! Eton mess ice-cream. The view from Waterloo bridge)

There are a lot of places in London that I probably should’ve been to but I just never got round to what with spending most of my life in the library and all! Climbing up to the top of Monument was one of them. I only found out the morning I went to visit it, that it is a monument for the great fire of London and that if you were to lay the monument flat where it stands, it would reach the point where the fire of London started. The climb up was about 300+ stairs but it didn’t really seem that bad. Probably because we stopped every 10 steps to take pictures out of the narrow windows! The view from the top was crackin! It also wasn’t very busy so we walked around a few times, pointing out various landmarks and buildings.

(Monument stairwell. View from Monument)

So I am slowly working my way through my list of places I need to go before I move back home and I am pretty surprised about the lack of food related things I have done thus far. Don’t worry, they are yet to come. I definitely need to hit up east London which I will probably do on a Sunday as thats when all the little markets are usually open. I also want to venture west towards the fancy parts of town and see how the other half live!

(Monument. Screwballs with a view)

As the weather was so nice, I obviously had a picnic with my friends. Picnicing is totally one of my favourite things about the summer. I wanted to bake something for my first picnic of the year, you know, start as I mean to go on and all that. I didn’t want to make something sweet so savoury muffins came to mind. Obviously cheese had to be involved and a flavoursome cheese at that, so goats cheese fit the bill perfectly. I love to have chutney with cheese or something sweet to compliment it so caramelised onion was the next filling to be thrown in the mix. Shortly followed by roasted peppers, to again give a bit of sweetness and add a bitta texture.

These muffins are dead easy to make. They are delicious straight for the oven but also just as good in your picnic hamper. Remember that time I made that Banana Bread with wholegrain flour? Well I had some of the flour left so I decided to use it to make these muffins to make them a little more healthy! It worked a treat. You honestly can’t tell it’s wholegrain flour at all. Just a quick tip, make sure you store them in the fridge because of all the fresh ingredients in them.

Recipe

I used this recipe as a rough basis for the measurements etc then added my own fillings!
Serves: 15 (medium sized)
Prep Time: 50 mins (including pepper roasting & onion caramelising)
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Skill Level: Simples 

Equipment
12 hole muffin pan (deep)
Muffin cases (if not using a silicon muffin tray)
Chopping board
Knife
Saucepan
Oven proof dish/tray
2 x mixing bowls 
Sieve 

Ingredients
150g yellow pepper (cut into small pieces, about 1cm)
1 tbsp + a drizzle olive oil
medium red onion (thinly sliced)
1 tbsp caster sugar (heaped tbsp)
400g wholegrain flour
1½tsp baking powder
salt & pepper
250ml milk (I used skimmed)
medium sized eggs
150g goats cheese (cut into small cubes)

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200c/180c fan/Gas 6
  2. Chop pepper, place on ovenproof dish/tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast in oven for 30mins. 
  3. Whilst the peppers are roasting, thinly slice the red onion.
  4. Over a low heat warm 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the sliced onion and cook for 15mins until they have softened  and become translucent
  5. Add the caster sugar and cook for a further 3-5mins
  6. Sieve flour, baking powder, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl. (Make sure to season well) (If using wholegrain flour, add the grains left in the sieve to the mixing bowl)
  7. Cut the goats cheese into small cubes.
  8. Add the roasted pepper, caramelised onion and goats cheese to the flour mix and stir until combined. (Make sure the bits of cheese are separated and the onion, so they don’t end up all in a clump)
  9. Beat together the egg and milk in a separate mixing bowl. 
  10. Pour the liquid mix into the dry mix and CAREFULLY fold until just combined. (Do not over mix otherwise muffins will come out tough)
  11. Spoon muffin mix into cases in muffin pan. Fill cases until about 3/4 full.
  12. Bake in oven for 20mins until golden.
  13. Leave to cool or serve warm.
DO YOU KNOW THE MUFFIN MAN?
 

Sitting on Primrose Hill I generally like to listen to chilled out, relaxing music. Bonobo is probably one of my favourite artist when it comes to instrumentally, chilled music.

KB x

p.s. don’t forget to check out the Soundbites for this recipe and others HERE

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