Tag Archives: featured

Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins

18 Jan

So, doughnuts. Or in the words of Willy Wonka’s Veruca Salt:

Cream buns and doughnuts and fruitcake with no nuts – so good you could go nuts.

Exactly.

Thus, imagine my joy when I found this doughnut recipe online. Doughnuts – made in a muffin pan! I was all over it it like white on rice (like krispy on kreme?)

This recipe is taken from Noble Pig.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups flour

1 1/2 tsps baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

Jam

For the topping:

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

1. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon; whisk to combine.

2. In another bowl, combine sugar, oil, egg, and milk.

3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened.

4. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups half-full; place one teaspoon jam on top.  Cover jam with enough batter to fill muffin cups three-fourths full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Place melted butter in a small bowl; combine sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.  Immediately after removing muffins from the oven, dip tops in butter, then in cinnamon-sugar.

Adjustments:

I didn’t have any nutmeg, so I didn’t use any.

Greasing the muffin tray. There has to be a better way of doing this. Perhaps I should have use my paintbrush pastry-brush. At least my fingers are nice and soft. (And yes, I did wash my hands.)

Greasy.

Kitchen whimsy – it’s a salt shaker. Every time I use it, he reminds me of this little guy…

Image (c) heroofswitzerland.blogspot.com

Food for thought.

Ground cinnamon.

This recipe is so easy, there isn’t much to photograph.

Ploughing the land (aka, whisking the flour)

Vegetable oil doesn’t get much of an outing these days. Trust the Americans to bung a recipe full of it.

So. Oily.

Mixing the wet and dry ingredients together. (My favourite bit.)

It has the consistency of porridge and the smell of wet linden trees.

This is the first time I’ve used the muffin pan without cases. I hope it’s okay…

(SPOILER: This decision is to prove disastrous.)

Ah, the Verloon Hoop.

Sainsbury’s Basics jam. No shame. No shame, I tell you.

Remind you of anything?

Oh yeah. Now who says this blog lacks class?

“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.”

– Mae West

Ooh snap Mae, SNAP.

Anyway, here is our tray of severed lips. Now you see them…

… And now you don’t. Because they’ve been covered over with another layer of batter. Those holes look fit to burst.

Gloop gloops, into the oven they go.

My! how they’ve risen.

Are they done? The muffin gives nothing away, but the toothpick… the toothpick never lies. It’s time to pop these bad boys out. Just one small quibble…

…They seem to be a little stuck together. Not to worry, I’m sure they’ll be fine once we get them out of the pan.

It appears someone didn’t grease the pan very well. They won’t come out. Here’s one I maimed earlier.

The next step is supposed to be dipping the still-warm cakes into hot butter and sugar. I’ve tried to cut corners again by using demerara sugar instead of something finer. When will I learn? The crystals are just too massive!

This is one of the least-savaged muffins. Shame about the sugar – you could propose to someone* with one of those rocks.

It’s pretty neat how the jam-centre turned out. I ate one straight from the oven and the jam was still hot.

VERDICT:

Taste:

They taste good. Obviously they’re not quite the same as deep-fried doughnuts, but they are less greasy, and have a more wholesome bite. The flavour is a more like a churro, which is no bad thing in my book. The jam is good too.

Recipe pros:

It’s healthier and more filling than a regular doughnut, and the recipe was simple to put together.

Recipe cons:

It’s a pity they stuck to the pan. I think I overfilled it, but then again,  I was only following the recipe. Next time, I’d also use a different sugar for the top.

* But not to me, and certainly not to Mae West.

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Lady Grey Cupcakes with Knights in White Icing

12 Jan

I love a good cup of tea. Possibly more than is healthy. I get through about ten cups a day, from the spectrum of black through to white, from loose-leaf to bags. When it comes to tea I’m an equal opportunity drinker. A Saturday treat is buying a new variety from the supermarket. When I moved back to the UK from China, I left personal items behind so that I could pack my hand luggage with tea. Phew, it feels good to get that off my chest. I like tea.

This recipe was the result of a lack of other ingredients. The only recipe I was equipped for was basic cupcakes. I then adapted it to include tea. Seemples.

This recipe is adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly Complete Book of Cupcakes and Baking.

Ingredients:

125g butter, softened

½ tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup caster sugar

3 eggs

2 cups self-raising flour

1/4 cup milk

6 Lady Grey teabags

Glace icing:

2 cups icing sugar

20g butter, melted

2 tbsp hot water

Method (makes 24):

1. Preheat oven to 180 oC. Line two 12-hole muffin pans with cases.

2. Warm the milk and add teabags. Allow to steep for 10 minutes.

3. Combine ingredients in medium bowl; beat with electric mixer on low speed until ingredients are just combined. Increase speed to medium; beat about 3 minutes or until mixture is smooth.

4. Drop rounded tablespoons of the mixture into each case; bake about 20 minutes. Stand cakes about 5 minutes, then cool on wire racks.

5. Top cakes with glace icing.

To make icing:

1. Place sifted icing sugar in small bowl; stir in butter and enough of the hot water to make a paste; spread atop cakes.

Adjustments:

I’ve halved the recipe. As much as I might want them, I don’t need 24 cupcakes.

Steeping the teabags in milk. This is where it all went a bit off piste. Adapting a recipe is nerve-wracking. It could be great – resulting in glory and deliciousness, or it could be grit-biscuits all over again.

A close up of the tea-infusion. Looks enticing, no? In fact, it looks like the many cups of almost-finished tea that have ended up dotted around my flat. This particular specimen looks like one that’s been sitting there a few days – although the teabag would be crispier by now.

I am the Damien Hirst of butter.

A quarter tsp of vanilla essence. The back of the bottle says that it includes ethanol. Isn’t that like pure alcohol?

According to fount of knowledge that is Wikipedia:

Ethanol, also called ethyl alcoholpure alcoholgrain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatileflammable, colorless liquid. It is a powerful psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. It is best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and thermometers. In common usage, it is often referred to simply as alcohol or spirits.

And we’re putting this in cakes? Wowsa.

In it all goes. No sieving this time. Boo! It looks a lot like primary school cooking classes.

I always feel like it’s cheating to use the electric mixer. It makes it too easy. Where’s the sweat? The toil? And yet, my pathetic upper body strength rules out using a wooden spoon. I’ve also noticed a strong correlation between (a.) the using of the electric mixer and (b.) the getting of cake mixture in hair. Science.

From this…

To this. It’s pretty much exactly like Blue Peter here.

The original recipe was for 24 cakes. I halved the recipe, but then didn’t seem to have enough to make 12. So I made six big ones instead.

The error of my ways has become clear. There was too much mixture which (I think) is what has made them over-rise and crack on the top.

Poor little guy.

Making the glace icing. I can’t believe it requires a whole cup of icing sugar. Aren’t I sweet enough?

This icing lark couldn’t be any easier. I was pretty ambivalent with the spatula and it still formed icing in no time.

This is the baking equivalent of papering over the cracks – but better, because I can also eat the evidence.

This might be the ethanol talking, but I think the cake has almost an almost Von Trapp Family feel to it – all full-fat milk and girls in gingham.

Partners in crime.

VERDICT:

Taste:

Very good. While the cakes don’t smell of anything, the tea notes are subtle but definitely there in the taste. It adds a slight citrussy-spiciness. I’m glad I went with the icing – it  jazzes up the whole cake, and stops it becoming too bland.

Recipe cons:

I still can’t get my head around measurements. I thought by halving everything in the recipe, I’d end up with half the number of muffins. But perhaps I just overfilled the cases, and there should have been enough for 12.

Recipe pros:

It couldn’t be any quicker or simpler to make. It mostly involves ingredients you probably already have, and you could substitute any type of black tea for flavour.