Monday, 14 October 2013

Mini Doughnuts.

Donuts...Doughnuts...CRONUTS??? I think Americans would call these ones doughnut holes, which I thhhhiiink are the result of when the doughnut fairies make the rings and the friendly ones keep the middles for those of us that have been good (correct me if I'm wrong).

To be honest, I just made these little because I hate the idea of using vat-fulls of oil and then having to deal with it after. But lets stick with the fairies thing yeah?

I've been meaning to make doughnuts for aaages. Ever since my local farm shop started selling them fresh from the pan on weekend mornings. Theirs are big and knobbly and heavy and are meant to be rings but have got so fat that there is no longer a hole, just a little channel of crispyness and they are heaven. And so I decided that if the fancy farm shop could sell super rustic style doughnuts for actual money then I could have a crack and not be too embarrassed if they were a bit wonky.

Turns out though, I needn't have worried because, if you make them mini, doughnuts are easypeasy aaaaand have the perfect ratio of crispy outside to doughy inside. DO give them a go. With Love and Cake.

Mini Doughnuts.

A few notes:
  • Making doughnut is making bread really...check my post on white bread for lots of hints and tips.
  • You could definitely make these into larger doughnuts....I couldn't advise you on cooking times though because I haven't tried that yet.
  • These are perfect for just poppong straight into the mouth any which way, but if you want to make them fancier and more desserty they would be fabbo served with a chocolate sauce for dipping.
Makes 12....serves 2-4 depending on how you serve them
You will need

For the dough
2 tsp dried yeast
75ml warm water
125g strong white bread flour
pinch salt
25g soft brown sugar
1 tbsp flavourless oil

For frying and finishing
enough flavourless oil to fill a small frying pan 3/4 full, I used about 750ml rapeseed oil
50g granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

  • Stir the yeast into the water.
  • Into a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, sugar and oil.
  • Stir the yeasty water into the flour mix and get your hands in there to bring it all together to a shiny dough.
  • Knead for 5-10.
  • Set the dough back in the bowl and put somewhere cosy for an hour or 2 or until doubles in size (the time this takes can vary hugely depending on the temperature and other factors so if you think it needs another hour give it another hour).
  • Divide the dough into 12 and form each piece into nice smooth ball.
  • Set the balls on an oiled baking sheet and leave in the cosy place for another 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon on a plate ready for dipping for your doughnuts.
  • Heat the oil in a small saucepan until it reaches 150˚c or until you can pop a small piece of bread in there and it gently sizzles immediately.
  • Add the doughnuts to the oil in batches so they aren't crowded and cook for 3-4 minutes, turning over a few times. 
  • When the doughnuts are bronzed, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on some kitchen paper for a moment before transferring to the plate of cinnamon sugar, rolling them around to give them a good sugary coating.
  • EAT. EateatEAT. 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake.

Oo helloooo. I'm sorry it's all been a bit sporadic around here lately... I've been so good and organised with my 2 posts a week over the past couple of years and now I keep being silly and forgetting to press publish or having a little holiday and getting all the posts prepared but not actually telling you about them. What a wally.

And I'll be starting a new job next week, in a new town with a new schedule and having not started yet it's hard to see how it'll all work out...when will I bake, when will I run, when will I tell you how excited about my latest peanut butter discovery??

Plus, it's winter now, or at least it felt like it when i walked home yesterday... battling through the wind and rain, mascara more on my cheeks than my lashes... which means it's dark, which means I am SO much less productive at either end of the day.

So I hope you don't mind but I'm just going to see how I go and work it out along the way. It'll work out I'm sure. In the mean time, here's some cake, to say thanks for coming back and fingers crossed for lots more peanut butter excitement.

Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake.
Adapted from a Life Made Simple Recipe

A few notes:
  • You could change the citrus here, orange would be lovely.
  • The recipe below is for a 2lb cake tin... but I like my 1lb one better for cakes so I used about 2/3 of the mixture in that and the rest as muffins (baking for 20 minutes after the cake was done so I didn't have to open the oven door part way through the cooking time). You do as you will.
Makes a 2lb loaf cake
You will need

1 x 2lb loaf tin, greased and lined

For the cake
190g caster sugar
60g soft brown sugar
225g butter, at room temperature
Zest 3 lemons
3 tbsp lemon juice
5 tbsp sour cream
5 eggs
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp poppy seeds
Pinch salt

For the syrup
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

For the glaze
50g icing sugar
lemon juice

  • Preheat the oven to 160c.
  • Beat the 2 types of sugar and the butter together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the zest, juice and sour cream, followed by the eggs, one at a time.
  • Gently fold in the flour, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt until everything is well combined.
  • Pour the mixture into your prepared loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes...I wouldn't expect it to be ready at this point but you want to check if the top is browning too quickly and you need to cover it with foil. 
  • Name for a further 15 minute or until firm and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave the cake to cool for a while in the tin while you get on with the syrup.
  • Pop the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Prick the cake all over with a skewer or cocktail stick and then spoon over the syrup so it soaks into all the holes.
  • Remove the cake from the tin to cool completely.
  • When it's cooled, make the glaze by mixing just enough lemon juice to make a smooth paste with a dropping consistency.
  • Spoon over the cake and let it dribble down the sides...mmmm.