If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-J.R.R Tolkien

13 December 2011

Too-good-to-be-true Muffins with Red Onion Jam and Blue Cheese

 Ha so only about a week later than planned I finally have made my muffins with the glögi-spiced sweet onion jam and blue cheese. So tasty I have already had three...

 I am taking part to Chocochili's food challenge with this recipe. The challenge was to use glögi (mulled wine) in a recipe or create a recipe for glögi. I came up with the idea of using glögi in red onion jam, and asked my boyfriend for instructions when I made it. I made mine quite sweet and fruity with the glögi and cherry liquor and it tastes great just with a piece of cheese on it's own.  He traditionally makes an onion jam for Christmas but I think my version is much better. Don't tell the chef that though...

For the muffins I used Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's savoury muffin recipe as a base and added my own ingredients. I have made muffins before with this recipes and they always turn out delicious! I like my muffins savoury and cheesy.

Red onion & blue cheese muffins
makes 12

Use baking paper to make cups for the muffins. Cut/ rip squares that fit your muffin tray, use some warm water and crunch to soften them and place in the muffin tray ready for the dough mix. (Can use ready made cups or just pour the dough straight onto a buttered tray but these look more rustic and save you from a mess)


250g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
80g butter, melted and cooled
200 ml buttermilk
2dl of Red onion jam
150g blue cheese, preferably crumbly
(I added some grated cheddar on top)

Mix together the dry ingredients.
Mix eggs, butter and buttermilk together in an another bowl.
Fold in onion jam and blue cheese carefully, not too much to make sure the muffins come out light.
Spoon the dough into the muffin cups.
Bake for 18 minutes in 200C degrees.

Enjoy!! Best muffins ever!!

07 December 2011

Red Onion Jam with Mulled Wine

December's blog challenge is so interesting I have to take part again! This time with something a little more challenging than my mom's macaroni soup. Congratulations to Chocochili who won November's challenge, her blog is one my favourites, not least because of her amazing food photography! Her choice for the challenge was glögi, Finnish version of mulled wine. The idea was to share your glögi recipe or use glögi in cooking. We start drinking glögi as soon as it arrives in the shops in September, so by December we're already quite fed up with it. I decided to make up something different, and spent a few days thinking how to use glögi in something savoury.

Red onion jam is made in our kitchen a few times a year and so I thought I would make a more Christmassy version of it, finally making some savoury muffins with the onion jam and blue cheese. I'm making the jam tonight and the muffins (which will be the challenge recipe) tomorrow. The jam takes a couple of hours to make and it's simmering as I write this post.

Red Onion Jam with Mulled wine
Measurements are estimates, add,change or reduce to your liking!

6 large red onions, finely chopped
A bottle of readymade mulled wine or glögi (I had Kaskein Marja Juhla glögi, 0,75l)
1 dl Berry liquor (I happened to have some Estonian Cherry liquor in my cupboard)
1 dl Port wine
You can use what you happen to have, or buy some cheap, full bodied red wine, but remember to add more sugar
3 dl  Brown sugar
Couple of dashes balsamic vinegar
Star anise or other spices used in mulled wine, that you like. Star anise is my favourite

Assorted liquids found in the cupboards
Lotsa onions!
Mix all the ingredients in a big pan, bring to simmer at medium heat and keep simmering until the liquids have evaporated and the onions are soft and sweet. Ready!

Serve with cheese, in a sandwich, fill a quiche with it or as a side dish with anything you think it would go with. You can also fill some cute little jars with it and give to other foodies as a gift. Keeps for a couple of months or so in the fridge.

I will post my muffin recipe tomorrow, with which I will be taking part to the monthly blog challenge.