Cook the bacon in a small frying pan over a low heat for 5 minutes or until it is crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towel.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly coat a 12-hole American-style muffin tray with cooking spray; each hole should be about 6 cm diameter. Alternatively, line each muffin hole with a paper liner.
Beat the oil and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until well combined. Add the egg and continue beating until well combined.
Stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Alternately fold the cornmeal mixture and the milk into the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the cornmeal mixture. Fold in the sultanas and the bacon.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin holes and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the tray, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.
Some more ideas…
*Cornmeal can be bought either coarsely ground or highly refined; don't confuse it with cornflour, which has a much finer texture. Cornmeal is often sold as polenta (although technically, polenta is the name of a popular Italian dish made from cornmeal), and instant polenta – which requires considerably less cooking time – is widely available. Yellow cornmeal is more common than white. *To increase the fibre content, use ½ cup (70 g) each plain white flour and plain wholemeal flour. After sifting the flour, return any husks that are in the sieve to the bowl. *Replace the sultanas with ½ cup (60 g) chopped toasted walnuts.
*Cornmeal is a good source of B vitamins. The nutrient content of both the white and yellow varieties is similar, but the yellow is higher in betacarotene. *Milk is an excellent source of many essential nutrients, the majority of which are concentrated in the non-fat part of milk. Low-fat and skim milk, therefore, contain more of these nutrients than full-cream milk does.