Saturday, 14 February 2015

Delicious duffins (donut + muffin)

Half term has arrived finally! While it is not quite a week off for teachers, more a time to catch up on paper work. Still, it will be good to have a few days to relax after what felt like a long half term (was Christmas really that long ago?!). Bring on the sunshine! 

I had made these duffins (donut + muffin) before but seem to lather them in too much butter last time making them tricky to eat (even if they were still delicious). So this time, I decided to use a milk brush to put on the butter after they had cooked. The down side of this was that by the time I got to the last ones, they had cooled too much for the butter / sugar to stay on! I say, dunk away!  Another great recipe from Bea's at Bloomsbury. 

420g flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
330g caster sugar
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
375ml buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
130ml sunflower oil

Coating and filling:
250g unsalted butter
300g caster sugar
1/2 jar raspberry jam

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the wet ingredients and stir until combined. 
2. Spoon the mixture into muffin tray holes filling them three quarters of the way up.
3. bake for 25-30minutes until a knife pulls out clean form the middle.
4. While the muffins are cooking, melt the butter and put the sugar into a separate bowl.
5. As soon as the muffins come out of the oven, coat them in the melted butter then dip into the sugar (they are hot but you have to work quick or the sugar won't stick)
6. Put the jam into a piping bag and insert into the muffins (top is easiest but the bottom is neater).

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Chocolate ginger cupcakes

A very chilly week! A few days of snow but nothing too much. My class of 30 five to seven year olds were very excitable by it though there was sadly not enough to make a snowman or have a snow day. 

We have began a house search which seems as though it will be slow going with our budget. Not enough houses and they sell within a day or two! Crazy. We trawled through all the estate agents in three areas but not a viewing yet. I am very optimistic at this point though and cannot wait for our own little house and maybe even an actual garden (vegetable patch awaits!). 

Much deserved chocolate treats this week. I really love the chocolate and ginger combination in these hummingbird cupcakes. i have made them a few times now and they have become one of my favourites. 

Ingredients: -
70g unsalted butter
170g plain flour
250g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
210ml whole milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp chopped stem ginger

Icing: -
225g icing sugar
30g cocoa powder
75g unsalted butter
30ml whole milk
chopped stem ginger for decoration

Makes 12

1. Preheat the oven to 170g and fill the muffin tin with cases. 
2. using an electric mixer, put in the butter, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, ground ginger and salt and mix together (scraping down the sides if needed).
3. Mix the eggs and milk in a separate jug by hand then add half to the mixture into the electric mixer while it is on a low speed. Raise the speed and scrape down the sides then add the remaining half. Mix in the chopped stem ginger (I used a third of the original recipe and thought it was enough).
4. Fill the cake cases two thirds full and put in the oven for 25 minutes. Leave to cool for 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack.
5. When the cakes are completely cool, make the icing. I always use half of what the Hummingbird book says as I think too much is too sickly. using the electric mixer, mix he icing sugar, cocoa powder and softened butter on a low speed.
6. Gradually add the milk while the mixer is on then spoon onto the cakes. Spread with a palette knife to give a smooth finish. Put some chopped stem ginger on top for decoration. 

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Oatmeal raisin cookies

Snow!!! I have been watching the weather with eager eyes as the snow travelled down the country. It had been promised several times but still not a flake until I opened the curtains this morning! I love snow. So magical and pretty. 

Amazingly, I still have oats left from the bag that I was trying to use up earlier in the month. I found this cookie recipe form the Bea's of Bloomsbury cook book. I had made them before and new they were good but adapted the recipe a little to, again, use up some things from the cupboard. They use coconut and just raisins but I thought the cranberries would work well. And they did. A lovely chewy cookie treat for a snowy winters day...

Ingredients: -
250g unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
250g dark brown soft sugar
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g oats
100g raisins
50g cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 170C. using an electric mixer, mix the butter, slat and both sugars until fluffy.
2. Add the eggs and beat until combined then add the vanilla extract and mix again.
3. Put in the bicarbonate of soda and half the flour and mix until combined, then add the rest of the flour and mix again.
4. Add the oats, cranberries and raisins and mix agin - each time mix until just combined.
5. Place a large spoon of the mixture on a lined baking tray leaving spaces between as the mix spreads during cooking. Put the tray in the fridge to firm for 5 minutes then bake for 12 minutes.
6. After removing them form the oven, let them cool for 5 minutes on the tray before moving to a wire rack.