Cheese and onion muffins – Makes 6

Carbon dioxide gas is released into the muffin dough and makes these savoury muffins rise.

75g margarine or butter
1 small onion (50g), very finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
150g grated Cheddar cheese
100g self raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder (2g)
2 tablespoons milk (30g)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.
  2. Melt the margarine or butter in a saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave.
  3. Put the chopped onion, beaten egg and 120g cheese in a bowl and stir in the margarine or butter.
  4. Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl and stir in the vegetable mixture to make a soft dough. Add milk to soften the dough.
  5. Place equal amounts into 6 muffin cases and bake 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown and spring back to touch.
  6. Cool on a cooling rack.

The Science bit

Self raising flour and baking powder, when mixed with liquid, give off carbon dioxide gas.
On heating the carbon dioxide gas expands and pushes up the mixture.
As the mixture cooks, the gluten in the flour sets and the protein in the egg coagulates.
The mixture turns brown as the sugar in flour turns to dextrin and the protein changes with the Maillard reaction.

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