I like the texture that polenta gives to cakes and bakes. I made a polenta cake before, Lemon Polenta Cake with Raspberry Smudges, which was very moist but with a grainy texture which was a good contrast. This muffin recipe includes little pieces of tomato and an oozy centre which are nice surprises against the herbs and polenta.
Makes 10. Takes 45 minutes.
What you need:
170g wholewheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
50g butter, cut into chunks
5g herbs de Provence
Half a tub of mascarpone
A muffin tray or two
What you need to do:
1. Heat the oven to 150C for the dried tomato wheels.
2. Cut the ends of the tomatoes off, with the stalk end at the side – not facing you, and keep them to the side for later. Then cut the tomatoes into slices about half a cm each. It’s good to cut more than 10 as some may burn or break. Gently cut out the seeds and keep them with the ends.
3. Place the tomato wheels on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake them for 10 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven, carefully turn the tomato wheels over and put them back in the oven for 10 minutes so the other side can dry out. Once ready leave them to the side to cool whilst you make the muffins.
4. Turn the oven up to 175C.
5. Put the bits of butter into a mixing bowl.
6. Add the polenta, flour, baking powder and herbs and mix. Don’t mix the butter in too well – make sure you can still see blobs of it.
7. Chop the ends of the tomatoes up into small pieces and add them to the batter along with the seeds that you cut out.
8. Crack the eggs one at a time mixing each one in but try not to mix the batter too well. You need to still see lumps of butter.
9. Tear pieces of baking paper into squares, scrunch them a bit and line the muffin tray indents with them.
10. Place dessert spoons of batter into each muffin paper, then make a little dent in each one and place a teaspoon of mascarpone in the dent. Then place a teaspoon of the batter over the mascarpone.
11. Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until a knife or skewer comes out clean (of batter, not mascarpone!)
12. When they have cooled decorate them with the dried tomato wheels. The wheels look nice standing up if they can!