I’d been trying to think of something simple to bring to a friend’s morning tea, and stumbled across this muffin recipe in a recent edition of Delicious magazine.

Instead of serving them full-size with tomato soup as recommended by the recipe (which I’m sure would be great too), I thought that minature versions could work and give me a reason to invest in a long-yearned-for silicone mini-muffin pan. Though for some reason I’d shied away from muffin-making in the past, this recipe is easy and yields light and fluffy cheesy bites, with the added bonus of spinach goodness (I’ve increased the spinach content from the original recipe). Just what you want, I think, to leave room to sample other tasty morning tea treats as well!

While I haven’t tried it yet, I’m pretty sure that frozen chopped spinach would work in this. The original recipe calls for soft goat’s cheese instead of fetta, which I’d also be keen to try next time.

spinach and cheese mini-muffins
Adapted from Delicious

25g unsalted butter
200mL milk
150g baby spinach
1 2/3 cup plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2/3 cup finely grated parmesan
1 egg, lightly beaten
120g creamy fetta, crumbled
punnet of small cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 190C. Lightly grease your mini-muffin pan, if needed.

Heat butter and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the spinach and stir for 1 minute until the spinach is just wilted. Remove from heat, cool slightly, then blend with a hand blender until spinach is roughly chopped. The milk will appear a bit frothy, which is fine.

Combine flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and parmesan in a medium bowl. Stir in the spinach mixture, egg and fetta until just combined.

Spoon into the moulds, filling to about 3/4 full. Press a cherry tomato into the centre of each muffin, and prick each tomato a couple of times with a toothpick (this will hopefully prevent excessive tomato explosion).

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until muffins are cooked through and the tops are golden. Turn out onto a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yields: 36 mini-muffins