Spicy hummus muffins

 "a gentle tickle of your tastebuds, rather than a full-on, tonsil-jiggling snog"
as Grace Dent would say
I´ve never been a great fan of tahini,so when I saw Jamie Oliver on the television, making hummus with a peanut butter twist, my heart leapt for joy.I rushed to the store cupboard and with gay abandon, started opening cans of chickpeas and chucking them into my processor, followed by peanut butter.I was so beside myself that I was not really paying attention to the quantities in his recipe.I did however remember him saying as he emptied the chickpeas into his processor that you need not drain the water.My initial thought was that this would make the resulting texture too thin.I was right,what emerged from my processor was way too thin so I opened yet another can of chickpeas and achieved a result that satisfied me.This hummus was perhaps the best hummus I have ever tasted, but I was left with more hummus than anyone in their right mind should consume.I proceeded to Google "things to do with Hummus".What I unearthed surprised me,not only that there were so many flavoured varieties of hummus, but that you can also use hummus as an active ingredient in baking.Having discovered spiced hummus I thought I would spice up my hummus and make some muffins.This was perfect timing to revisit my spice cabinets and decide firstly what now belonged in the elephants graveyard,and then to start using up the still-fragrant but perhaps too-abundant spices before they too lost their vibrancy and join the others in the compost grave.Dead spices, unlike spoiled yogurt or mouldy cheese, somehow feel like failures, a reminder of big culinary dreams that you failed to fulfill in the prior year.But be bold, sniff, accept and toss you must. Then you can reorganize, and assess what you have left.Fast fading sumac,long in the tooth turmeric and past its best porcini were among those alongside garam masala, caraway seeds, sumac and herbes de Provence,that needed depantrification. Cumin,cayenne, sesame oil,and some dregs of tabasco was the answer.I was really surprised at the result.The individual flavours of the spices shone through with out interfering with the overall taste.A gentle tickle of your tastebuds, rather than a full-on, tonsil-jiggling snog as Grace Dent would say.I feel another batch coming on.
Jamie Oliver´s Hummus  

1 x 400 g jar /can of chickpeas
1 tablespoon unsweetened peanut butter
tbsp olive oil

½ a clove of garlic
1 lemon

Drain the chickpeas and tip into a food processor. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Add the peanut butter and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, peel and add the garlic, finely grate in half the lemon zest and squeeze in all the juice.Add more olive oil or water until you achieve the consistency you desire.Whizz until creamily smooth, then transfer to a shallow serving bowl. 
To spice up your hummus
 I/2  cup of hummus from recipe above
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
dash of tabasco / sriracha 
Large clove garlic,minced

Spicy hummus muffins
makes 8
1/2 cup prepared spicy hummus
1/3 cup milk
3 large eggs
11/4 cups plain flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp chilli powder
174 tsp flor de sal
1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated
2- 3 spring onions shredded 
Start by mixing your wet ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the hummus into this bowl and whisk it well. You don’t actually want any lumps of hummus in the batter.
In the dry bowl, add in the flour, leavening ingredients, cheese, scallions, and spices. Toss this all together really well so the cheese and scallions get lightly coated in flour. This will help them stay evenly distributed in the final batter.The final Hummus Muffins batter should be on the thick side for sure. Thicker than pancake batter, definitely.If your batter is too thick (it should be slowly pourable), then add a bit more milk until it’s the right consistency.
Grease or butter your muffin tin well and fill them up to just below the top.as you can see mine rose quite considerably.Bake for about 30minutes at 200Cuntil they are puffed and a bit crackly on top.Let them cool a bit before popping them out.They are great on their own for breakfast and make a lovely accompaniment to a bowl of hot soup.they have a great shelf life of 3-4 days if you dont finish them all the same afternoon they come out of the oven.


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