With the recent success of making gougeres, we made another attempt at creating a savory baking recipe. Once again, we used cheese (we love cheese in case you haven't noticed) and for added flavor, pancetta (just Italian bacon, and everything is better with bacon). We've been noshing on these mini-muffins ever since. They are definitely better warm, so eat them (almost) straight out of the oven and/or heat them up.
Browning the pancetta.
Cheese mixed in.
Thick, sticky batter.
About to go into the oven.
A look inside...somehow both fluffy and dense, with cheese and pancetta.
Note: We did not intend to use heavy cream, but we only had 1/2 cup of milk left and happened to have about the same amount of heavy cream in the refrigerator. Nonetheless, we were so pleased with the results, that we modified our recipe. They're muffins with cheese and bacon - a little more fat isn't going to make much difference.
Yields 24 mini-muffins.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 ounces pancetta, finely diced
1/2 cup milk (we used 1%)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup melted butter at room temperature
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown the diced pancetta in a small skillet then set aside atop a paper towel to absorb the grease. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the cheese and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and butter. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients, add the pancetta, and stir until well combined. The resulting batter will be thick and sticky. Spray two mini-muffin pans with baking spray and fill each cup with the muffin batter (a melon baller does the job nicely). Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove immediately and serve warm.