Cheese and Chive Bran Muffins

these bran muffins have a spicy kick

The spicy kick of these muffins is a great way to jump start a dull morning. I make up a batch and freeze them, they defrost fully in 30 mins which is great if like me your stomach takes a while to wake up in the morning or you could always take one out the night before.
I like to use bran for a good dose of fibre but have that found pure bran muffins are quite dense and it's difficult to get a good rise and fluffy texture. This combination is great, you get a crisp top on the muffin and lovely light centre.

Ingredients makes 12
120g self raising flour
120g bran
150g strong grated cheddar cheese
2 medium eggs
50g butter
300ml milk
1 tbsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
3g fresh chopped chives
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp mustard

Pre heat oven 200c
Mix the sieved flour and baking soda together in a large bowl then add the bran, salt, cayenne pepper and mustard powder.
Toss the cheese and chives in the mixture so they are coated with the dry ingredients.

 light and fluffy inside

Melt the butter.
The butter needs to be just melted so it is liquid and combines easily but not hot as it will cook the eggs. I melt the cubed butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, this partially melts in then you can stir it up and the residual warmth will melt the rest.

Add the butter to the beaten eggs and milk. The eggs and milk should be at room temperature, if they are too cold the butter will solidify when you add it to them.

Add the liquid to the bowl with the bran mixture and stir the two together. You are only stiring to combine the ingredients and no more. If you over stir at this stage the muffins will be tough and chewy and we are looking for light and fluffy. The batter will be lumpy but that's fine as long as the ingredients are combined.
Divide the mixture into a muffin tray and bake for 16 minutes until the tops of the muffin are firm and browned.

Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

brown and crispy outside