This recipe is directly taken, with permission, from Frances Bissell's new book The Floral Baker. The perfect present for a gardener or baker or gardening baker! By way of a review I would say that they are EXTREMELY morish. Also the recipe says that they produce 24 miniature muffins but I used the mini muffin tin from Lakeland and got 40 from this amount of mixture. Not a problem at all.... :) I will also admit to not being the biggest fan of saffron so I left it out of the recipe the second time I made them and preferred it. But that is just me.
As they are non-crumbly, these muffins are very useful to serve with aperitifs.
Fennel, Pancetta and Parmesan Muffins. Recipe by Frances Bissell.
Makes 24 miniature muffins.
350 g/12 oz/3 cups self- raising flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fennel flowers
50 g/2 oz/3 tablespoons diced pancetta, lightly fried and cooled
75 g/3 oz/3⁄4 cup Parmesan, grated
225 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup buttermilk
25 saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon boiling water
5 tablespoons melted butter, or sunflower oil
Grease and flour a tray of 24 miniature muffin cups. Sift the dry ingredients together, stir in the fennel flowers and then add the pancetta and parmesan. Beat the buttermilk and eggs and add them and the saffron infusion. Stir together quickly. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tray or paper cases and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm.