Peppadew and Parmesan muffins – IMBB #13


Muffins_1 Apologies in advance – this is going to be a very very brief post (for a change!!) as I am due to catch a plane to Berlin very very soon, but I wanted to get my post up before I left… Maki over at I was just really very hungry decreed that the theme for this month’s Is My Blog Burning? event would be cupcakes and muffins – and I leapt at the chance to use my new muffin pan. A very happy coincidence!

Hands up, who has eaten peppadews


These are "sweet piquante peppers" with a taste somewhere between a mild chilli and a plain bell pepper.  Why did I decide to make muffins with them?  Well, because they were discovered in the province where I grew up in South Africa!! Johan Steenkamp came across a chest-high bush of them in the garden of his holiday home in the Eastern Cape.  The bush was laden with small bright red fruit something like a cross between cherry tomatoes and very round chillies – voila – the peppadew!  They are now commercially grown and are very successfully exported, but remain (like me) a child of Africa.  So what better ingredient to choose to include in my muffins?

Here’s the recipe I used, which I got from Naomi’s Cooking:


500 ml (2 cups) cake flour

15 ml (3 teaspoons) baking powder

2,5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt

1,25 ml (1/4 teaspoon) ground black pepper

250 ml (1 cup) sour milk

1 egg

62,5 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil

125 ml (1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated

62,5 ml (1/4 cup) peppadews, drained and chopped

10 ml (2 teaspoons) fresh thyme leaves


Preheat oven to 200 ºC (400 ºF). Grease a standard muffin tin.

Sift together the dry ingredients.

Whisk together the milk, egg and oil until smooth. Add the cheese, peppadews and thyme.

Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

Spoon into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup three-quarters full.

Bake for 12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 3 minutes, then remove and serve with lots of butter.

Let me assure you they are absolutely heavenly – the salty Parmesan is a perfect foil for sweet, tangy slivers of peppadew and the thyme seems to bring out the flavour of both. Yum yum yum.

Happy Easter, all!

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  1. says

    What a great idea! Matt would love them (I think I bake as many savory muffins for him as sweet); I just wonder if we can get peppedew in the States?

  2. says

    Good God, Jeanne- these sound amazing! It’s a good thing you didn’t have more time to post…you would have just made them sound even more delicious than you already have.
    Can I pick up peppadews at my local Sainsbury’s?

  3. says

    Hi Stephanie.
    Try either Whole Foods or Wild Oats. I have found peppedews (imported from South Africa) there in Whole Foods stores in Colorado. If you don’t have a Whole Foods or Wild Oats try a speciality food store.
    I think if Whole Foods have them then any speciality food store should. My local supermarket has them in occasionally.

  4. says

    Hi Stephanie!
    You’ll see that Sally has already left a comment with some suggestions where to get Peppadews in the States – and here is a link on the Peppadew site telling you where to buy them closest to you:
    Good luck!
    Hi Moira
    Trust me – I am not overstating their fabulousness one bit – these muffins are seriously addictive!! I got my Peppedews at a Tesco Metro (renowned for having a teensy product range!) so getting them at most Tesco/Sainsbury/Waitrose stores will not be a problem. They are also great chopped up in tuna salad, in pasta sauces or on pizzas. I also think I once saw a recipe using them as a topping for fish fillets but can’t remember the details now… Butyou get the picture – you won’t struggle to get through a bottle!
    Hi Sal!
    Thanks for the tips – you can be the official Cooksister food outlet sourcer in the US! 😉

  5. says

    that brought back memories (of Peppadews). My sister usually brings a jar when she comes visit – not sure why really – she lives in Sheffield and that just doesn’t seem like a peppadew kind of place to me. I’m usually more interested in being brought jars of lime pickle and branston and chocolate digestives and tea and beer and cider – all things that are hard to get here, much better there and which I eat or drink regularly. But now I know what to do with the peppadews…

  6. says

    oh jeanne, entirely grateful i am for this suggestion! my dad spotted these peppadews when he visited last time, but he is fond of the savoury sort, you know, the astringent, full-of-vinegar variety. So I’ve got a jatr of them unused in my fridge – and now I finally know hwat to do with the left-overs…

  7. says

    Ooh! Those muffins look and sound delish!
    I discovered peppadews in my local Tesco a couple of years ago and have been addicted ever since – they hit just the right balance of ‘sweet’, ‘hot’ and ‘capsicum’ for me. Great stuffed with soft cheese and roasted. :-)

  8. says

    Peppadews of Madness, Empanadas of Malcontent

    The Peppadew is a sweet, tangy, mildly spicy pickled pepper from South Africa. It’s got an appealing flavor profile: It starts out sweet, then gets tangy, and then finishes with a warm, suffused heat.

  9. Rikke says

    Ok, my question is a bit different, Where do I get sour milk? Is it Amazi? or can I use a substitute like perhaps diluted sour cream, or even buttermilk?

  10. says

    Hi Owen
    Peppadews from Sheffield… now there’s an interesting concept!! Odd, but interesting 😉 And I think in future you should insist on chocolate coated digestives instead. Or oatcakes. And yes, Branston! There are all kinds of things you can do with peppadews – they are great on kebabs, in salads, finely chopped into tuna salad or mixed with a sticky honey and soy marinade for pork chops. Mmmmm!
    Hi Johanna
    Yes – see my response to Owen above for more uses. I must say, the full-of-vinegar ones don’t do it for me… but I guess the world would be dull if we all liked the same stuff!
    Hi Christina
    OMG, stuffed with soft cheese and roasted. *long pause* Just having a happy private moment imagining what that would taste like… Must try that out this summer!
    Hi Stephanie
    Awww, what a drag! I woudl be happy to do a food swap… but my record for safely getting glass jars of stuff to people by post is nil so far. :-(
    Hi Alanna
    Cool – the famous muffins are becoming even MORE famous! Hope you loved them as much as I did :-)

  11. says

    Hi Rikke
    Glad you ask! 😉 The original recipe called for buttermilk, but I struggled *so* to find that in supermarkets here, that eventually I looked up substitutes on the Internet – and that’s where the soured milk with added lemon juice came in. So if you can easily use buttermilk then yes, use that!

  12. Elizabeth Boonzaaier says

    In my garden I have a pepper of some sorts – it is red and looks like a little bell. Is this a peppadew?

  13. says

    Now don’t you just find that peppadew’s are just heavenly, I have them in my cupboard in stock because you never know when you will feel like them, I add them to a lot of my dishes but my favorite has to be with cheese and biscuits.