Cinnamon Roll Doughnut Pie! Oh yes…that’s what I said.

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So, recently I made mini cinnamon roll doughnuts and they seemed to be a rather popular blog post! They were also very popular with me; bite size, full of flavour, fluffy and fresh! My love of these mini delights got me thinking about how I could develop this recipe and make it even better. I’ve recently been watching ‘Unique Sweets’ and it really inspires me to try to make something a bit different. I saw one that visited Momofuku milk bar and they make some very interesting pies, such as the crack pie and grasshopper pie, they looked incredible. Hence, the idea for cinnamon roll doughnut pie! A shortcrust pastry crust, cinnamon roll sauce, topped with doughnut batter packed full of chocolate chips to give it that extra flavour and texture.

ImageI was actually surprised at how well this turned out and how addictive it was. The doughnut layer was a little thick but still fluffy and flavoursome. I think when I make this again, I will extend the pastry out to the sides of the case to give it that extra bite and I will put in more sauce to ensure that you always get a kick of cinnamon in every bite.

This pie was really something new that I’d never tried before and it was still so simple; give this a go!

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You can find the basic recipes for the sauce and doughnut batter here or here. You can buy shortcrust pastry if you wish or use any simple recipe to make your own, which is always better and more satisfying, I find.

As for assembly, I simply lined a greased pie dish with pastry, added a little semolina to the base, followed by the cinnamon sauce. I folded 200g chocolate chips into the doughnut batter and gently spooned this on top of the cinnamon sauce in the pie dish.

I then baked the pie at 180C for 20 minutes and turned down the temperature to 150C and continued to bake the pie until a skewer inserted into the doughnut layer came out clean. Don’t worry about the edge browning slightly but it shouldn’t burn.

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Nutella Cookies stuffed with Biscoff Spread!

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So…biscoff… a spread made of biscuits? Who knew? Well, I didn’t know about this magnificent treat until a few weeks ago and I definitely didn’t think I’d be able to find any in England but low and behold, on the bottom shelf at my supermarket, there it was! Imagine my delight! Within five seconds, my brain was buzzing with the possibilities of what I could bake with it and a jar was already in my basket.

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I toyed with ideas for a few days but then the urge became too much and I gave in… not only to biscoff but to Nutella… I completely experimented making these cookies but they really were delicious. The edges were chewy but the biscoff stuffing made the entire centre gooey and fudgy. The chopped hazelnuts gave a different texture to the cookie and they were very addictive. A very easy bake with brilliant results.

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Nutella and Hazelnut Cookies stuffed with Biscoff Spread

Ingredients

230g Nutella

70g Plain flour

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

1 tablespoon milk

40g chopped hazelnuts

6-8 tablespoons Biscoff

Method

  • Grease a large baking sheet.
  • Place the Nutella, flour, egg, milk and vanilla extract or paste into a bowl and mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Fold in the hazelnuts.
  • Place 1/2 tablespoon measures of the mixture onto the baking sheet, well spaced apart and shape into round cookies. The amount of mixture should make between six and eight cookies. Flatten each cookie slightly.
  • Place 1 teaspoon of Biscoff spread in the middle of each cookie.
  • Place another 1/2 tablespoon measure of the cookie mixture on top and seal the edges slightly.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for around 10 minutes but watch the cookies carefully as the edges can burn easily.
  • Take out of the oven and cool for 5 minutes before leaving to cool on a wire rack.
  • Enjoy!Image

 

Mini Cinnamon Roll Doughnuts!

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  I think I’m definitely going to become addicted to making mini doughnuts with my new mould; I’ve only had it for a little over a week and I’ve already made four batches! This batch was by far the best. The fusion of the cinnamon roll and the doughnut was inspired but the fact that they come in bite size portions just makes them even better! I think I’ve eaten about 12 now…is that bad?

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They were incredibly easy to make and didn’t take too long either. If some of the cinnamon mixture gets stuck in the mould when you turn out the doughnuts, don’t worry! I personally preferred the doughnuts that had slightly less sauce on because the balance between the amount of sauce and the doughnuts was much better. Be careful when adding the melted butter to the milk and egg mixture though because it can curdle very very easily. I cooled the butter, warmed the milk and egg slightly and added the butter very slowly whilst whisking to avoid curdling and that seemed to do the job.

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I used the recipe from a friend of mine’s blog, Mess Makes Food. If you haven’t seen her blog before, you need to! Some truly inspiring recipes combined with fun writing and beautiful photographs, you should really have a look! You can find the recipe here. The only deviation I made was dropping a few drops of vanilla extract into the doughnut batter as well as the cinnamon sauce.

You should definitely try these little bites; they are gooey, soft and full of cinnamon flavour and when they’re this simple to make…why not?

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Butterscotch Pudding Muffins

So the new series of The Great British Bake Off has officially started and what a series it looks to become! It’s quite shocking how far it’s come over the four series and the majority of the tasks now seem incredibly difficult! I was very impressed with some of the wonderful cakes made by the baker’s dozen but today, it wasn’t cake for me, it was muffins! Pudding muffins to be specific.

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I’ve not baked with pudding mix before but I keep seeing recipes pop up on different blogs so I was curious. I tried making a simple butterscotch pudding with chocolate chunk muffin using the recipe found here.

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Personally, I think there was a little too much flour in the recipe and I couldn’t taste the butterscotch flavour very strongly but I still enjoyed them and will be trying them again with less flour and more chocolate chunks.

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Baci di Dama (Hazelnut biscuits with chocolate, hazelnut ganache)

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I went to a friend’s wedding this weekend and it really inspired me to make something I’ve been meaning to try for a while now – Baci di Dama! It literally means ‘Lady’s Kisses’ because of the two biscuits being paired together like a kiss. I love the combination of chocolate and hazelnut, it’s a real classic and is definitely irresistible to me so when I found out about these, I was desperate to know what they were like.

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The biscuits themselves were actually really simple to make and bake; they took barely any time at all! The recipe called for melted chocolate to sandwich the biscuits together but I decided to go that bit further and make a hazelnut, chocolate ganache. If you don’t want to make one, you could use a hazelnut, chocolate spread instead, like Nutella. The biscuits were like a slightly softer and hazelnut version of amaretti biscuits or biscotti. The combination of the crunchy biscuit with the smooth and luxurious ganache was addictive but I even went further and rolled some of them in chopped hazelnuts to add yet another texture and a blast of hazelnut.

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If you can manage to buy whole hazelnuts and roast and chop them yourself, then do, I used ground hazelnuts from a bag and I think there was quite a lot of the skin left in the packet so if you can avoid this, it would be beneficial.

The original recipe for the biscuits was found here but I made the ganache by heating 120ml of double cream until it was just boiling and then poured it over 130g of chopped dark chocolate and 30g ground hazelnuts. I then let the chocolate melt for a few minutes before stirring and producing the ganache. I then used it to sandwich two biscuits together and even with two biscuits, these little baked goods were still small enough to pop in the mouth all in one go! Delicious and will definitely be making them again and exploring further.

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Mini Doughnuts!

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I have a new mini doughnut mould! What fun I’m having with it as well. This recipe is a little too easy and uses ingredients that I generally have around the house so it’s going to prove far too easy to make them all the time and create lots of different variations.

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Bite-sized bits of baked goodness; who could resist fresh, warm, home-made mini doughnuts? Not me, that’s for sure. Every time I passed the plate, another doughnut disappeared. I made the same basic batch of doughnuts but then dipped some in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and dipped one side of the left over doughnuts in melted nutella.

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I have to say, the nutella version was my favourite and they were gone within the hour. The rich, hazelnut spread worked perfectly with the subtle vanilla taste of the doughnut and I couldn’t resist.

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I used the basic recipe for the doughnuts from the Lakeland website here

The recipe offers the choice of using olive oil or melted butter and I tried both. There were advantages and disadvantages to both versions I think. If you don’t have much time, use olive oil because it’s incredibly quick and easy. If you have more time, tried the melted butter version as I think it gave slightly more flavour to the base doughnut. However, if you choose the melted butter version, be careful when adding it to the milk and egg because the difference in temperature can curdle the milk and egg. To avoid curdling, you need to get all of the ingredients to the same temperature. I did this by letting the butter cool slightly after melting and by warming the milk and egg mixture slightly in the microwave. If you can use butter though, DO! I felt the doughnut really benefited from butter but frankly, what doesn’t benefit from having more butter?

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I’ve never really been a fan of the new silicone craze but I may be a convert after using this excellent doughnut mould. The silicone made it so easy to clean, grease and remove the doughnuts but they also kept their shape very well, which is the problem I usually have with silicone moulds. For £5, it was definitely worth the investment and I will soon be trying out plenty of new combinations and variations of doughnuts so watch out for them!

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Pecan Pie Please!

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Oh I do like a good pie! I thought that my recent trip to America would have been full of them but sadly, it was not! The severe lack of pie meant that my craving had not subsided by the time I got home. Hence, the creation of this delicious pecan pie!

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I adapted the recipe for this pie from Mary Berry’s version and the main difference is that her recipe calls for brandy, whereas I use Southern Comfort. Pecan pie screams the south to me so I thought I’d try this combination and it worked wonderfully well! I use half the amount as well so as not to overwhelm the flavours of the pie but it still gives a kick of real southern flavour.

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The combination of flavours and textures in this pie is perfect… Rich and sweet from the brown sugar and golden syrup, brought back to Earth with toasted pecans and all surrounded in buttery, crisp, homemade pastry – nothing beats homemade. The coupling of crunchy and smooth textures keeps the mouth watering and wanting more and this pie only has one slice left – I’m sure even that won’t last long!

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Pecan Pie

Ingredients

150g pecan halves

30g unsalted butter

60g light muscovado sugar

30g caster sugar

125ml (or roughly 8 tablespoons) golden syrup

1 1/2 tablespoons Southern Comfort

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons single cream

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of grated nutmeg

1 large egg

2 egg yolks

For the pastry:

175g plain flour

90g chilled butter, cubed

roughly 2 tablespoons cold water

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Method

  • Make the pastry by putting the flour and butter into a bowl and rubbing the mixture between your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add enough water to form a soft dough and leave to chill in the fridge for roughly 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface and line a buttered flan tin with the pastry. Bake the case blind in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the baking beans and baking paper or foil and lightly brush the pastry shell with the egg white. Return to the oven for 2 minutes.
  • Whilst the pastry is chilling, toast the pecan halves in a preheated oven at 180C, turning occasionally to avoid burning, for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and once slightly cooler, reserve some of the halves and chop the remaining pecans roughly.
  • Put the butter into a saucepan and melt on a medium heat until it turns golden brown. Add the sugars and golden syrup and heat gently until the sugars dissolve. Add the Southern Comfort, bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, cream, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Whisk together the egg and egg yolks in a separate bowl. Whisk a little of the hot syrup into the eggs. Add half of the syrup, a little bit at a time, then add the remainder. Leave to cool.
  • Arrange the chopped pecans and pecan halves in the pastry shell, reserving some for decoration if desired. Pour the syrup and egg mixture over the pecans and place the decorative pecans on top.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 40 minutes until golden brown and set. After 25-30 minutes, you may need to place a piece of foil lightly over the pie to prevent the pastry from burning. Leave to cool before serving but you can reheat individual slices to have warm pie if you wish. I have a warm slice of pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and the combination offset each other perfectly. Image

Back to baking, baring cookies!

I’ll open with an apology; I haven’t been able to blog for so long and I’ve really been missing it but I have a legitimate excuse, I promise! I’ve just completed my University degree AND moved house! I know, what a brilliant idea to do both at once. The last few months were pretty hard work and rather hectic and I’ve spent the last few weeks in America so haven’t been able to blog then either. The good news is that I’m home now and I got a First for my degree so I’m a rather happy bunny and baker. Anyway, back to baking!

I decided that you all needed a rather…tempting recipe for me to return with and so I invented something especially for all of my lovely readers. It’s got nutella, it’s got oreos and oh yes, it’s stuffed with milk duds. Who could resist?

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Tempting? I think so. They ended up with a rich vanilla flavour with sudden blasts of nutella and a random crunch of oreo. I stuffed one milk dud into the middle of each cookie so that the caramel would melt inside the biscuit and it resulted in a stringy, gooey mess but with a silky texture and golden caramel flavour.

These cookies were perfect warm and fresh from the oven with a glass of cold milk.

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I brought a box of milk duds back from America because they’re about a quarter of the price over there but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them without eating the whole box and breaking my teeth in the process. “Why not stuff them in cookies?” the rather hungry baker thought, and as you all know, a hungry baker is not a good idea because they produce the most ridiculous but delicious recipes. The hunger did not subside however and the milk dud stuffing became a reality.

As if milk dud stuffed chocolate chip cookies wouldn’t have been enough, I decided to add nutella and broken oreos into the mix as well.

You may recall me being giving some vanilla bean paste for Christmas and as of yet, I haven’t found a way to use it. I decided to try substituting my usual use of vanilla extract for the same amount of vanilla bean paste to see if it gave a more intense taste but if you don’t have any vanilla bean paste available then extract is absolutely fine. I do think it added a more intense and genuine flavour to the cookies though and if nothing else, it smelt divine whilst baking. If you can’t find milk duds either, you could try using toffee poppets or perhaps rolos.

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Nutella, Oreo and Milk Dud Cookies

Ingredients:

115g butter

50g caster sugar

110g soft brown sugar

1 egg (beaten)

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

150g chocolate chips

1 tablespoon Nutella

4 broken Oreos

155g plain flour

Pinch of baking powder

8-12 Milk Duds (or toffee poppets or rolos)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 185C (170C for fan assisted ovens) and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper (you may need two).
  • Cream the butter and sugars together until completely incorporated, light and fluffy.
  • Add the beaten egg and vanilla and mix well (the paste requires more mixing).
  • Add the chocolate chips, nutella and oreos and mix well to ensure that these ingredients are equally distributed throughout the mixture.
  • Mix in the flour and baking powder until there is no residue left on the side of the bowl.
  • Roll an amount into a ball and place on the baking tray. Make sure that you leave plenty of space in between each ball because these spread enormously.
  • Place in the oven and bake for around 10-12 minutes; they will still look soft and gooey but they will harden as they cool and who doesn’t like a gooey cookie? If you leave them in for too long, the edges will burn or at least go crispy. Once they are out of the oven, leave them to harden slightly on the tray and then transfer them to a cooling rack if there are any left after you try them warm!

 

Ravioles and ratatouille and Paul Hollywood’s Bread!

Quite a lot of baking and cooking has been occurring in my household lately but I haven’t had time to post about it so you shall get an influx of baking goodness now! Ever since going to Paris in November, I have been obsessed with the notion of ravioles…not ravioli but ravioles. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know what they are, but for the benefit of those who haven’t, I shall briefly explain. Ravioles and much like Italian ravioli but are much smaller and are French. I had the simple cheese and herb versions in a pumpkin cream soup and they were heaven. Thin, buttery pasta encasing melted cheese in a soup so silky that it would be perfection by itself. Sufficed to say, I needed to have them again. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find ready made ravioles anywhere other than ordering them online from ocado, which unfortunately I cannot do. My only option it seemed was to try making them myself…without a pasta maker or a ravioles mould – that was interesting. The recipe and some interesting information about ravioles can be found here. I managed to get the pasta fairly thin with a rolling pin but due to the lack of a proper mould, my ravioles turned out fairly large. I paired them with a nice ratatouille stew (another obsession of mine since the Pixar film and again, Paris) and they were such a good combination! Although large, the recipe was good so I will be trying these again but hopefully, I’ll be able to find a ravioles mould and make them the proper size! I think I would also add more gruyere to the filling as I love the taste of cheese and don’t think you can have enough of it!

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Paul Hollywood has recently started a new series on the BBC called ‘Bread’ and I found this week’s episode really interesting! He made a classic bloomer, which he then layered Mediterranean vegetables and mozzarella in, which sounded delicious! He also made malt loaf and an ale bread. The program didn’t just include recipes either; Paul looked into the history  of breads and the manufacture of flours as well but in a really interesting way. The recipe that caught my eye the most was the rye and ale bread so I attempted it. The recipe can be found here. It was really simple to make and was the perfect accompaniment to a chicken casserole on a cold night as the blizzard continued outside my window. I couldn’t taste the ale as much as I wanted to so the predominant flavour was rye but having not had a rye bread before, it was a new flavour and I really enjoyed it. To me, it was like a more dense and richer version of brown bread. Just as Paul suggests, I think it would be perfect with cheese in a ploughman’s lunch with an accompanying ale. The whole program was incredibly enticing and I’d quite like to make all of the recipes included.

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For a taster of what’s to come… I’ve been making lots of puddings lately…

Tuesdays with Dorie – Croissants!

Wow…what a recipe! As soon as I saw that the next recipe for us to venture into was croissants, I jumped at the chance because I’ve been meaning to try making these buttery, flaky morsels for a long time, especially given my recent trip to Paris. I spread mine out over three days rather than two but it was definitely a lot of waiting around. Overnight, four two-hour rests AND a four hour rest… I kept saying ‘these better be worth it’ and unfortunately, I don’t think mine were. I don’t quite know what went wrong but in the final proving stage, a considerable amount of butter oozed out of my croissants and the dough didn’t rise at all. Given the amount of time I’d already invested in them, I popped them in the oven anyway and they didn’t turn out as badly as I thought. I made both croissants and pain au chocolats; the croissants were small, greasy and only had a few flakes so I was a bit disappointed. HOWEVER, somehow, using the same dough, my pain au chocolat turned out really well! Golden, flaky and butter oozing into melted dark chocolate – heaven! The crisp shell broke easily into the silky flakes as rich, thick chocolate spread across the palette – YUM! Two pastries at opposite ends of the scale but from the same dough – very strange! My only complaint about the pain au chocolat was that they really had to be eaten on the day they were baked, which seeing as I had about 12… I didn’t quite manage!

I don’t think I’d try this recipe again but I’d definitely look for a different croissant recipe and try them again; possibly less stress and anxiety would make for a better croissant and they do say that practice makes perfect – what a shame, I’ll have to keep eating croissants.

Amanda at http://www.girlplusfood.net/ has hosted this recipe and her croissants look delicious! A lot nicer than mine, that’s for sure! Check out the other bakers’ attempts at http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com/

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