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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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!

 

A twist on Bread and Butter Pudding and the Family Favourite Brownies

It has become somewhat of a tradition for me to bake brownies for my brother’s birthday every year. I’ve been using this particular recipe for so many years that I can’t remember how many adaptations I’ve made to it. It’s so popular in my house that I have to make a double batch every time and my brother eats them five at a time! As I was in Paris on his birthday, I travelled to see him on Saturday armed with a batch of his favourite brownies and boy, did they go down well! They are not the fudgy, gooey type of brownie but the silky, smooth, decadent type. They are made using melted chocolate, rather than cocoa powder, which I always find makes for a better brownie. The top is flaky and the outside slightly crumbly but as soon as you bite into it, the chocolate melts with the sugar in your mouth and really gets the juices going. Sufficed to say, this is a tried, tested and failsafe recipe. The original called for 125g of chopped walnuts but I much prefer using chopped hazelnuts and tend to use 100g because not only do the packs generally come in 100g so it’s more convenient but I prefer the ratio this way as the chocolate has more room to take precedence. I’ll pop the recipe at the end of this post so that you can all have a go!

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Two bakes in one post? I know, I spoil you but this recipe really couldn’t wait. For those of you who live in sunny ol’ England, you’ll be only too aware that there has been a fair amount of rain over the past week and Sunday was yet another miserable rainy day. As I sat home alone, I craved a warm winter pudding and immediately thought of bread and butter pudding. I’ve never been a huge fan of this pudding because I don’t really like hot raisins or sultanas but I worked in a hotel restaurant for a few months and that gave me the idea for this recipe; waffle and chocolate chip bread and butter pudding. Essentially, it’s waffles instead of bread and chocolate chips in place of the raisins – I know, why haven’t we thought of this sooner? The waffles were light and fluffy on the inside, crispy on top and soft and flavoursome on the bottom where the custard had soaked in to them. To add to all of this, the chocolate chips melt slightly so when you bite into this dish, you get a hot ooze of chocolate sauce on top of the fluffy waffles. It’s not the most elegant dish to serve but if you like waffles and chocolate, try this recipe! Image

Chocolate and Hazelnut Brownies

Ingredients: 

200g butter
200g dark chocolate
3 medium eggs
250g caster sugar
112g plain flour
100g chopped hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/170C/350F. Line a deep baking tin with greaseproof paper. 
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together by placing them in a bowl over simmering water until melted. 
  • Using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar until pale (this usually takes me about a minute but this will depend on your mixer).
  • Add the melted chocolate to the eggs and sugar and mix well until blended.
  • Add the flour, salt, chopped hazelnuts and vanilla extract to the mixture and stir well until all of the ingredients are combined and there are no lumps. 
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 25-35 minutes. The top will look cracked and flaky.
  • Leave to cool, then lift out from the tin and cut into squares. 

 

Waffle and Chocolate Chip Bread and Butter Pudding

Ingredients:

For the waffles:
3 free range eggs
170ml semi-skimmed milk
230g self-raising flour
30g sugar
100g butter

For the pudding:
5 or 6 waffles (the number of waffles depends on the size of your dish and your appetite and the waffles can be shop bought or homemade).
100g milk chocolate chips
25g butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
350ml milk
50ml double cream
2 free range eggs
25g granulated sugar

For the waffles:

  • Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly. 
  • Whisk 3 eggs in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the melted better, sugar and milk. Mix thoroughly and stir, carefully folding in the flour.
  • Cook the waffles in your waffle maker as per the instructions on your waffle maker.

 

For the pudding:

  • Butter one side of each waffle and cut them into triangles. Arrange a layer of the waffles in the dish, sprinkle over a layer of chocolate chips and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Repeat the layers until the waffles are used up.
  • Gently warm the milk and cream together in a pan but don’t let it boil. 
  • Crack the eggs into a bowl along with three quarters of the sugar. Whisk until pale. 
  • Add the warm milk and cream mixture to the egg mixture and mix well. Pour the custard over the waffle layers, sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top and leave to stand for 30 minutes. 
  • Place the dish in a preheated oven at 180C/355F/Gas 4 and bake for 30-40 minutes.