Doughnuts (attempt one)

Ages ago, someone from work was telling me how much they loved Gregg’s Caramel Doughnuts. So, me being me, I saw this as a challenge and told them I would make some doughnuts.

Now, to begin with, I wanted a doughnut recipe where I baked the doughnuts as I don’t trust myself frying food (hot oil scares me), also, I’m not a fan of greasy food and wanted to try and make them a little healthier. Now, I remembered that I attempted baked mincemeat doughnuts last year so went to find the recipe (again, a Good Food one). Now this recipe required filling the doughnuts before they were baked but I wanted to fill them afterwards. But, I figured I could still use the same recipe.

All I can remember about using this recipe last year was that they were easier to make than I thought. So, I got together all the ingredients and decided that I would fill them with a caramel flavoured custard and top with a caramel icing.

So, making the doughnuts. Mixing the ingredients together, I found the dough to be quite wet (recipe stated that it would be soft) and I found it difficult to knead as it wouldn’t firm up. But I ploughed on and assumed that what I had was what they meant as soft. Now, I struggle proving doughs at room temperature in my kitchen so decided to use the overnight fridge method. The dough did rise a little bit using this method (not sure if it has risen enough but this may have been due to wet dough). I shaped my doughnuts as best as I could into balls (difficult with the dough still being wet and sticking to my fingers). I should have made 12 balls but 8 was the best I could do. To prove the dough for the 30 mins this time I used the oven method (turn oven on full, once temperature reached, turn off and put dough inside). The dough did rise. I cooked in oven as per recipe. For the filling I used ready made custard that I flavoured with a caramel flavouring. I know this is a cheats way of doing it but as it was a ‘see what will happen’ bake, I thought this was the best way.

Cue, take doughnuts out of oven. Now, didn’t look like doughnuts, looked more like bread rolls. Shouted Mr W over to show my disappointment. His response, well they smell like doughnuts. Seen as I’d gotten this far, I figured, what the hell, lets fill them with the caramel custard (I’d also bought a doughnut/cupcake filler nozzle for this purpose). Filled the doughnuts with the custard which was a bit difficult as custard was quite runny but I managed it with no leaks. Melted down some caramel toffees with some milk, added some icing sugar and dipped the filled doughnuts in this. Became more of a sticky caramel glaze rather than a caramel icing.

Next day, turn up to work with said doughnuts. Main comment was that they tasted good, like a sweet roll. Nothing like the intended caramel custard doughnuts. The caramel custard had soaked into the ‘doughnut’ so they were essentially sticky rolls.

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Doughnuts 1 Mrs W 0 #bakingfail

So, now I have a challenge for myself. To make a successful caramel custard doughnuts. Need to find a better recipe. Maybe go with normal jam filled before progressing to custard filled. Maybe I need to be filling them when I get to work so that the filling isn’t soaked up. Maybe baked doughnuts aren’t going to work, might need to man up and try fried. Make a caramel icing that isn’t sticky, more icing sugar? Overnight proving/oven proving methods not good?  So, I am only going to put up a recipe for this bake once I am happy with it. Watch this space.

‘Key’ Lime Pie

A while ago, a colleague asked if I’d make her a Key Lime Pie. I needed to wait until summer and holiday season was over so as soon as those temperatures dropped, I began finding a recipe.
Now, I’ve never seen a Key Lime Pie before let alone made one. I had visions of a Lemon Meringue like creation. Imagine my surprise when the images I were seeing were more like a Lemon Tart with the optional addition of whipped cream. Not as scary as I thought (not had much success with meringue making in the past). I managed to find a fairly simple recipe on the BBC Good Food website (how I love that website) that made a nice sized pie.
Now, I use the term ‘Key’ Lime Pie loosely as many traditionalists will argue that you need to use actual Key limes. Now, being in England, this isn’t a variety I come across. In the supermarket it was a choice between standard limes or organic limes. So, I am naming my bake Organic Lime Pie.
Now, I was fairly surprised at how easy this was to bake. To begin with, a biscuit crumb base that is baked for a short time to keep it together.  The recipe asked for hobnobs, I used digestive biscuits as that’s what I had in. The filling, condensed milk whisked together with lime juice and zest then baked in the oven. I’m not a fan of whipped cream (only acceptable in a Victoria Sandwich cake) so I omitted. Also made for easy transportation into work. I’m using my App to write this blog so will provide a link to the recipe rather than write it click here

Apologies for the poor photograph. I forgot to capture the pie in its entirety and only remembered when I snuck my slices  out of the office before the entire thing was demolished for breakfast.

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Lets try again

Now, a few weeks, my sister and I went to a cookery class at a cookery school in Wilmslow. We went after work and spent a few hours making and eating Mexican Street Food. We were part of a small group and had the opportunity to make our own corn tacos, chipotle chicken, corn salsa, guacamole and black bean tostadas. We then helped in the making of green rice, radish pickle and churros with chocolate sauce. Finally, we got to eat our tasty little feast. We both thoroughly enjoyed it and are looking into to doing another class in the future. If anybody lives in the Manchester area and enjoys cooking new foods, I strongly urge you to take a look at their website (here). Below is a snapshot of my little feast.

MexicanStreetFoodNow, to the reason for why you are probably reading this blog. What have I baked this week? Well, this bake actually started last week when I promised my colleague some of her favourite home-made cake. The one she calls ‘the cake with the yoghurt’. What it is actually called is Caramel Apple Loaf Cake. So, last Monday, I told her that I would be baking it that night and that I would bring some up to her the next day. As with most of my bakes, it took a little longer to cool than I wanted it to. I got a little impatient and decided that it was cool enough to remove from the tin and decorate. Below is a picture of the consequence of my actions.

Splat

Cue Tuesday morning when a rather upset colleague turned up at my desk expecting cake. She was hoping I would have scraped some up off the floor for her (I was tempted, it did look rather tasty) Instead, I promised her that I would bake it for her at the weekend when I would have time to let it cool. I would put aside some extra large slices just for her.

So, come Sunday morning, I went to the local supermarket to get my missing ingredients and started on making the cake. It then had the whole afternoon to cool before I decorated it (just in time for Mr W and I to have a ‘sample piece’ of course).

Moist apple cake. Crunchy walnut pieces. Gooey caramel topping. Just what you want for Autumn.

 Caramel Apple Loaf Cake

Caramel Apple Loaf Cake (8-10 slices)

175g baking margarine

175g golden caster sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

225g plain flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 rounded tbsp fat free Greek Yogurt

2 eating apples

50g walnuts, roughly chopped

50g dairy toffees

2tbsp milk

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan. Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and ends with a long strip of baking paper.
  2. Beat together the sugar, butter and vanilla extract until pale and then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour, cinnamon and yogurt. Peel, core and chop the apples into small chunks and add to the bowl. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon.
  3. Scrape into the tin, smooth the top and scatter the walnuts down the middle, squashing down gently. Bake on a middle shelf for 1 hour 20-30 minutes, until a skewer come out clean. Cool in the tin (important step!).
  4. To decorate, put the toffees in a small bowl with the milk. Gently heat, stirring until the toffees have melted into a smooth caramel sauce. Cool for about a minute whilst you turn out the cake. Slowly drizzle the sauce over the top of the cake. Leave for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe taken from Good Food