Preheat oven to 400° F
Prepare the muffin tins by greasing them well with butter and lining them with squares of parchment paper. (Make sure to cut them big enough to the sides rise a couple of inches about the tray)
Hold each cob vertically on a chopping board and use a large, sharp knife to shave off the kernels: you should end up with about a pound of kernels.
Discard the cobs and put the kernels, shallot, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse until the corn has been roughly processed (but not a wet puree)
Add the fennel seeds, cumin, celery seeds, tarragon, baking powder, butter and egg yolks, plus a teaspoon and a half of salt and a very good grind of black pepper.
Plus a few more times to combine and transfer to a bowl (some of the kernels will still be whole)
Fold the flour in by hand
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they form firm peaks.
Fold a third of the whites gently into the corn mixture (being careful not to overwork it). Once incorporated, fold in another third, and then repeat with the last of the egg whites.
Divide the mix between the molds and insert a chunk of feta into each, pushing it halfway down into the corn mix (the cakes will puff up around the cheese when they cook)
Bake for 25-40 minutes (depending on the size of your muffin tins) until the cakes have risen and are fluffy and golden brown
The cakes will still be a bit wet at this point, so remove from the oven and set them aside for 10 - 15 minutes before lifting them out of the tray
Beet + Apple Salad
Mix all the salad ingredients (except the beetroot and apple) in a bowl
Gently mix the beetroot and apple into the salad just before serving.
Serve the warm cakes with the salad alongside, sprinkled with the extra fennel seeds and the basil leaves.