Even Foxes Love Fruit and Cheese Muffins!

Hakkenden Touhou Hakken Ibun 09 - 02I was watching a recent episode of Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun, when I saw a glittering shot of three types of delectable muffins….

In episode 9, Hamaji gets Sosuke to whip up some treats as a gift to give the girls in the school dormitory where she will be moving to. Ayane and the foxes swoon over the muffins, and Sosuke invites them to try one… He’s baked three types: blueberry, cheese, and walnut muffins. Hamaji later shares them with her new roommate (I use this term loosely…) as a late night snack…

Now, I had never heard of cheese muffins until seeing them on Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun! However, they reminded me of a one of my staple muffin recipes: fruit and cheddar cheese muffins! So, with today’s recipe, I guess I’m combining two types of muffins together, and effectively killing two birds with one stone…. Though I do have a good blueberry muffin recipe that I hope to share in the future!

This recipe for fruit and cheese muffins merges the best of both worlds… sweet fruit meets savoury cheese to create a crispy on the outside, soft on the inside type of muffin that makes for a filling and sustaining breakfast treat.

About the recipe:

Muffins - Hakkenden- Touhou Hakken Ibun 09 - 01These are my favourite breakfast muffins… They are hearty without being heavy, crispy top and bottom while soft and fluffy inside, and flavourful without being overwhelmingly cheesy or fruity. And, if you bake them in a large, oversized muffin tin (the type that holds about double the amount of batter and bakes up to be as big as a store-bought muffin), you’ve got a very impressive and delicious breakfast muffin! (or, you could just eat 2 regular sized muffins!)

I like baking these for breakfast when company stays over because you can prepare all the components the night before, and then quickly throw them together the next morning. The dry ingredients can be mixed together, fruit prepared (if you’re using fresh berries), the cheese grated, and the oil and buttermilk measured out in advance. This makes baking them quick and easy!

When mixing the wet and dry ingredients together, make sure not to overmix the batter or else it the muffins will turn out tough or hard. Only mix until the flour has been incorporated into the wet ingredients. This rule of thumb is generally used for all quick breads – that is, any bread that is leavened without using yeast, including everything from cakes and brownies, to cookies and muffins.

About the ingredients:

Hakkenden Touhou Hakken Ibun 09 - 04I like to use whole nutmeg in this recipe, rather than powdered nutmeg. Whole nutmeg can be ground finely with a rasp grater, and results in a much more fragrant spice.

Any sort of vegetable oil can be used in this recipe. I generally use either canola or olive oil.

Raspberries are listed in the ingredients, but you can always use another fruit (frozen or fresh), such as blueberries or pineapple. If you add frozen raspberries, don’t defrost them (they will be too wet if you do), and be careful not to break the berries up too much while mixing them into the batter. Some breaking of the raspberry is good, but too much can lead to the fruit being lost inside the muffin batter.

The recipe:

Fruit and cheddar cheese muffins

Makes 24 regular muffins or 12 large muffins

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • 2 cups raspberries (frozen or fresh; see notes for substitutions)
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 425 F, and grease the muffin tin(s).

2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Stir in fruit and cheese to the flour mixture.

3. Whip oil and eggs together until thoroughly combined, and is a slightly pale, light yellow color. Add oil/egg mixture to the flour and mix, using the buttermilk to wet any remaining dry flour along the sides or bottom the bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are just combined.

4. Divide the batter into 2 regular muffin tins (24 muffins), or 1 large muffin tin (12 muffins). Bake at 425 F for 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown, and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the muffin comes out mostly clean. Loosen the muffins from the tin, and prop them sideways (or place on a wire rack) to allow them to cool so that they don’t become soggy.

Serve warm out of the oven, or cut in half and lightly toasted.

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Refrigerate if you live in a warm and/or humid climate.

Hakkenden Touhou Hakken Ibun 09 - 03

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