Believe your eyes. It’s a big cornbread muffin, encasing a boiled egg, shards of maple candied bacon, chilli and topped with more of that sweet, sweet bacon.
This recipe is totally inspired by a cornbread and egg muffin I had at a place called Sweetcakes in Chicago a few years ago. It’s an idea that’s been knocking around in my brain ever since, but in my mind, there were two major problems with their version of this inspired bit of breakfast madness. 1: The ratio of cornbread to filling. Too much egg, not enough bread. 2: No bacon. What a mistake-a to make-a.
This recipe rectifies both problems, but as a result, you can’t bake them in regular muffin tins as they’re just not big enough. So I use small aluminium pudding molds. The kind of thing you’d make a chocolate fondant in. Also, make sure you buy medium sized eggs, not the bigger ones you can get these days.
Ingredients (makes 6)
150 g yellow grits / cornmeal / polenta
150 g white bread flour
1 large red chilli, de-seeded & finely chopped
8 medium sized eggs (6 for the inside, 2 for the batter)
300 ml buttermilk (or plain yoghurt)
100 ml whole milk
45 g caster sugar
Big pinch of salt
6 rashers streaky bacon
First up, you want to hard boil the eggs you’ll be putting inside the muffins, so get a pan of water on your hob, place in 6 of the eggs, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 6-7 minutes, and then drain and immediately cool off the eggs using cold water. peel, and then set aside for later.
Next up, candy your bacon. In a hot frying pan with a bit of oil, fry your bacon until nice and crispy. Remove the rashers from the pan, pour off the excess fat, and then return them with a good couple of glugs of maple syrup. Toss the rashers in the bubbling syrup until it has reduced and nicely coated the bacon. Remove the rashers and place them on a piece of greaseproof paper, and then cut them up into small pieces with a pair of kitchen scissors.
Pre-heat your oven to 180 c, and then prepare your molds. Grease the inside of each with some butter, fill with your grits or polenta, and then tip off the excess. You should end up with a golden coating of the golden corn meal. Now pop these into your fridge.
Making the batter is very simple. Take two bowls. In one, whisk together the milk, buttercream, 2 remaining eggs, chilli and 80% of the bacon shards. In the other mix together the grits, flour, baking powder, sugar and a good pinch of salt. There’s no need to sift these, just make sure they are well incorporated. Then add the dry to the wet in two stages. As always, don’t over mix the batter.
Right, you’re ready to go. Fill each mold around a third full and then drop an egg onto the top of the mixture. Spoon over the remaining mixture until each egg is covered and the molds are almost full. Scatter the remaining bacon on top, and then put in the oven for around 25 minutes.
They’re ready when the domed surface of the muffins are a lovely golden brown colour, and an inserted skewer knife comes out clean. After taking them out of the oven, leave them in their molds for around 5 minutes before liberating them and placing on a wire rack to cool.
They are best eaten warm with a bit of Tabasco, but they are still delicious when cold.