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Kim Boyce's Corn and Gruyere Muffins and The Friendship Test : The Good Soup

Kim Boyce’s Corn and Gruyere Muffins and The Friendship Test
  • Pesceterian
  • Vegetarian

We’re in Berlin and I feel like I’m growing my spirit back. I’m not sure how much of that growth is Berlin induced or because I can now think, hang out, walk around, bathe and cook, pretty much whenever I want. What I mean is, we’re on holidays! Ok, Mathew’s still working a little every day, but at a relaxed tempo. He’s less impatient, brighter, more present with Oliver.

And we’re surrounded by his friends again, friends that are part of Mathew’s spirit (although he’d never admit to having one). Of course, they’re my friends too… at least, I think of them that way. But their shared history is with Mathew. Their relationships go back decades, through all the manifestations long term friendships take: roommates, schoolmates, lovemates, partymates, and all their conjugations.

I have my own long termers, but they’re stationed all around the world now. I like them that way. Means we can visit exotic locations and catch up in that slow, deep way camping out in others’ lives allows.

Mathew and I were talking about these friendships the other night with a couple of his long termers. I was telling them that Mathew doesn’t think of this person or that person back in Brisbane as his ‘friend’. That sounded crazy to me. They hang out, he has fun with them, what else is missing? He doesn’t think they’d pass his ‘friend test’. What’s that? I asked. Well if you and I broke up, who would so and so still hang out with- you or me?

Ah. good test. Made me feel a little friendless over here in Berlin, but that’s ok. Maybe if I make enough food for Mathew’s long termers I’ll win over one or two.

These muffins would be a good start, and when I find a muffin tin, I’ll be sure to make a batch for Floyd, who’ll be my first target. He’s the one who makes that wonderful coconut cake I’ve been trying to replicate for a couple of years now. He won’t give me the recipe (because he’s a tease), but I’ll keep working on him all month long, plying him with food until he feels too guilty to keep teasing me like this.

Kim Boyce’s Corn and Gruyere Muffins

Taken with a little adaptation from Good to the Grain, p. 89. Makes 10 large muffins
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced green onions
  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 1/3 pound)
  • 1 cup corn flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Preheat your oven to 350F and rub your muffin tin well with butter. If you have a large oven that can handle a 24 cup muffin tin (if you have a 24 cup muffin tin!), or, if you have two 12 cup tins then this is ideal, as it means you can space the muffins out and they will cook more evenly (a little Kim Boyce trick).

Trim and clean the green onions of any grit and brown bits and then slice the whole length of them into thin circles. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until you can smell them toasting, add the butter to the same pan and as soon as it foams, toss in the spring onions, coat them in the butter and saute them until they wilt. Season with salt and pepper and then scrape the onions and cumin seeds into a bowl to cool.

Sift the corn flour, pastry flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl, adding any bits remaining in the sieve to flour. stir to combine. Add the cooled onions and the grated cheese to the muffin mixture and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, mix together the sour cream, eggs and melted butter with a whisk until well combined.

Make a well in the dry mixture and add all the wet mixture at once, folding the two together until just combined. Scoop the batter into 10 muffin tins (spacing them alternatively, if possible), filling each tin until it is slightly mounded.

Bake for 32-36 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown. Turn the trays once through the baking to make sure they cook evenly. When they’re done, let them rest for a couple of minutes and then twist them out of their tins, resting them sideways in the trays to cool.

The muffins taste best warm from the oven, or soon after. If you want, you can make the batter ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until you want to bake them. This will mean a little longer in the oven, but the muffins turn out great this way as well.

They also taste totally fabulous with Heidi Swanson’s Avocado Spread, but I’ll have to save that up for another friend push. See you soon. xx


  1. Magic of Spice
    August 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm | | Reply

    The muffins would win me over easy :) Sounds like you are enjoying your vacation…have fun and be safe :)

  2. Joyti
    August 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm | | Reply

    Sounds like you are having a nice time :)
    And the muffins sound delicious. I really should check out ‘Good to the Grain’…seems like so many people love it.

  3. Kitchen Belleicious
    August 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm | | Reply

    Those muffins look to die for!

  4. Nazneen
    August 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm | | Reply

    I probably shouldn’t be scouring food blogs while I am fasting (Ramadan) but I am and these look so good and that’s not just the hunger talking :)

  5. Lucy
    August 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm | | Reply

    have been wondering about that book of boyce’s for some time – think you’ve convinced me! these look lovely.

    so pleased you found me via christina, ‘cos it’s lead me back to you and YOUR beautiful blog. kinda wonderful the way these things travel…

  6. altadenahiker
    August 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm | | Reply

    Have I told you how much I enjoy your blog? Witty, wise, lots of food porn. I am going to give those strawberry preserves a wide berth, though.

  7. Susan
    August 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm | | Reply

    Oh, my dear! When I first saw these muffins, I thought, “Brilliant! Another way to use zucchini!”, which tells you what a zucchini jag we’re on here in the grey cottage! Using the zingy green onions, though, is just perfect!

    Travel, travel! You must feel that you’ve got wheels on your heels! … aber, viel Spaß in Berlin!

  8. Michael Toa
    August 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm | | Reply

    Oh Angela. Those muffins look incredible. I have to make them soon and I just know my friends will stick around for these. Hope you’re having a great time in Berlin and been eating lots!

  9. Caffettiera
    August 5, 2011 at 10:11 am | | Reply

    I broke up with a boyfriend after ten years and it turned out I lost all of those friendships – I still miss them sometimes. Most of ‘my’ friends are around the world as well. It is really great to catch up in the most unexpected places, but I kind of miss what my partner has: going back to his home town and finding the circle of friends still there, as if fifteen years did not pass.

    I have made these muffins and I liked them a lot – there is something irresistible in savoury muffins. I’m sure you have won a few friends for life :)

  10. The Hungry Writer
    August 5, 2011 at 11:45 am | | Reply

    The french are funny about using the word ‘friend’ (‘ami’) and I had a deep conversation with my hairdresser about it. I consider that he’s become my friend over two years but he couldn’t say that I was his. Some people have become my friends instantly but this can’t happen, apparently, if you’re french. It’s not time that matters for me but connection.

    I’ve also realised that I have friends for different things too but I wouldn’t call them better or worse friends, just different.

    Lovely lovely lovely muffin photos.

  11. kankana
    August 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm | | Reply

    I think guys take time to call anyone a friend. Anybody i have fun with and feel comfortable is a fren .. may be not best friend.. but fren. Arvind on the other hand will not call anyone fren unless ..he feels that . what ask me what is ‘that’ .. cause i don;t know :D :D
    This muffin sounds and looks fantastic!

  12. Manu
    August 8, 2011 at 12:13 am | | Reply

    Hahaha great way to put it! I too have friends back in Italy and some “new” friends here… I guess I too look at them a be differently. I haven’t “grown Up” with the new friends, but I we are now sharing other experiences which is great too. I guess time will tell. ;-)

    These muffins look delicious! I love gruyere… it reminds me of my childhood in Europe! ;-)

  13. Caz
    January 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm | | Reply

    True friendships are rare, I think.

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