Cinnamon Bun Doughnuts

After running a Twitter poll, the Internet told me that I should either bake cinnamon buns or doughnuts on the weekend. Not am I always only going to make all important decisions via Twitter polls from this point forward, it's also reassuring to see that, like me, many people can't choose between the two. They both had pretty much the same number of votes.

I mean, cinnamon buns or doughnuts? How can you possibly choose between the two?

And so, like many other fully fledged adults, I chose the sensible, responsible answer. That answer being trying my very hardest to combine the two. Life is about balance and compromise afterall.

Without further ado, I present to you...cinnamon bun doughnuts.

Soft cinnamon baked doughnuts covered in a cinnamon glaze, cinnamon crumbs and maple vanilla drizzle.

Whilst cinnamon buns are still pretty fancy, I'm kind of sold on the idea that you can make baked doughnuts in under 30 minutes. No folding and overnight proving required here.

C I N N A M O N   B U N   D O U G H N U T S
(Makes 6 regular or 12 mini doughnuts)

Cinnamon doughnuts:
175g plain flour
2tbsp corn flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
75g caster sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
80ml buttermilk
1 egg
1tbsp butter, melted

Cinnamon crumbs:

1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Cinnamon icing:

240g icing sugar
2tbsp milk
1tsp cinnamon

Maple vanilla icing:

240g icing sugar
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees and thoroughly grease a doughnut pan.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl to remove any lumps. Set aside.
  3. In another, smaller bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and melted butter until bubbly.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk together until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into a piping bag, snip off the end and fill the doughnut pan, about two thirds full.
  6. Bake in the oven for 7-9 minutes, until the doughnuts have puffed up and start to turn golden.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 2 minutes for the doughnuts to firm up. Then tip onto a wire rack to cool fully.
  8. To make the cinnamon crumbs, combine the ingredients and rub between your fingers until the mix comes together into a breadcrumb type form.
  9. For the cinnamon icing, sift the icing sugar and cinnamon into a bowl before whisking in the milk.
  10. For the maple vanilla icing, again, sift the icing sugar into a bowl before whisking in the maple syrup and vanilla. Pour into a piping bag ready for drizzling.
To assemble:

Dip the cooled doughnuts into the cinnamon icing and sprinkle over cinnamon crumbs to stick. Leave for 15 minutes for the icing to set before finishing with a good drizzle of the maple vanilla icing. 

These doughnuts are best served fresh, but at a push can be made the day before and assembled on the day needed.

London Pride Fruit Bundt

After a baking disaster on the weekend I needed something failsafe and simple to make as an emergency Plan B for my Grandad's birthday. His favourite is fruit cake, nothing too sweet and something that will last through the week to squirrel away chunks when he thinks my Grandmother isn't watching.

Pre-secondary school he'd take me to an after school tutor and always bring an apple for the car journey. So this year, in honour of our apple tradition, I'd originally decided to make an apple and cinnamon cake from Mary Berry's Baking Bible. With some gentle spice and currants I thought it would be a winner.

Trust your gut people.

I thought the recipe sounded a little daft as I was working through it. With hindsight I'd have actually read the method before getting all the ingredients out and starting. The recipe asked to sandwich a big pocket of slushy, grated apple between layers of the cake batter instead of folding into the mix. Within the first 20 minutes of its hour in the oven I could already smell it burning so had to stealthily make a tin foil hat for it.

Once cooled, I crossed my fingers and went for the upturn. The first part smashed out onto the plate followed by raw apple stodge and the rest of the cake stuck to the bottom of the tin.

With burnt sides and a raw centre, it was completely inedible. The Baking Gods have reaffirmed to me that they are in control and that like my mother says, trust your gut and read the method first!

Here's when an old favourite bundt fruit cake recipe comes into play, with a little twist. I swapped the regular tea for the same amount of London Pride Ale and upped the spices. Grandad's love ale! And you know what? It turned out of the bundt beautifully! Sorry Mary.

L O N D O N   P R I D E   F R U I T   B U N D T
(makes 1 bundt cake or 2 loaves)

370g plain flour
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2tsp allspice
2tsp ground cinnamon
260g soft light brown sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
480ml London Pride
80g chopped pecans
130g dried fruit (dates, cherries or currants)
  1. Heat the oven to 170 degrees and thoroughly grease a bundt tin.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices and set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add each egg one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Continue to mix whilst alternating between spoons of the flour mix and London Pride until everything is just combined. Fold in the fruit.
  5. Pour into the prepared bundt tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes - 1 hour. The top will be golden and a skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before upturning onto a wire rack to fully cool.
Once cooled, this cake will last up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Brownie Layered Loaf

Perhaps I should dust off the cobwebs and say hello. Its been a little while since I've done any baking and what better way to get back in the groove than with brownies. 

Festive times are over and there are no recipes sitting in my drafts so I get to start this year of blogging completely fresh. My aim for the year is to only publish what I'm completely happy with and not to worry about posting to any particular schedule. Admin aside, this frees up more time for trying out new recipes and for eating burgers. Everyone's a winner.

Brownies are my thing. Sometimes I make them and they're great, and sometimes not so good. And when they're not so good, I freeze the batch and eat them warmed up with plenty of custard another time. Or I roll them into little balls, cover them in more chocolate and have them like brownie pop truffles. No brownies are ever wasted.

But this time I wanted to try something a little different. I couldn't decide between two things to bake so threw them both together and hoped for the best. This combination absolutely works. Ultra rich and fudgey brownie topped with a moist sponge, means you can have bigger slices!

B R O W N I E   L A Y E R E D   L O A F
(makes one 2lb loaf)

For the brownie layer:

140g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)
50g unsalted butter
50g soft light brown sugar
1 egg
35g plain flour

For the cake layer:

120g unsalted butter, softened
90g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
120g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
50ml whole milk
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Gently melt the chocolate and butter over a pan of barely simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly. 
  3. Stir in the brown sugar until it starts to dissolve. Gently beat in the egg and fold in the flour.
  4. Pour into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the top and bake for 15 minutes until the top is slightly firm. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
  5. For the cake layer, turn the oven down to 150 degrees.
  6. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  7. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  8. Fold in the flour and baking powder and stir in the milk. Gently pour on top of the brownie layer and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 
  9. Leave to cool in the tin fully before taking out to serve.

Food in December

Happy New Year all!

Another month and year has flown past and there's been plenty of great food. Perhaps a little too much, but that's what January is for. I don't expect January to be full of wheatgrass and yoga, just maybe fewer mince pies and cream. Sadly, no festive Christmas burgers either. I have no real plans for January as yet in terms of baking, I should probably devise a form of plan, but for now here's the end of 2015...

At the start of December I popped over to Brighton for Afternoon Tea in Blackbird Tea Rooms, home to the best scones you'll find. Starbucks helped to spread the festive cheer and get me in the holiday mood by dropping off some #StarbucksBakes treats. I'm looking forward to recreating their fig and cinnamon loaf cake at home. Sadly I can only recall one burger this month, but at least it was an old favourite from Honest Burgers. The Christmas special burger included smoked bacon, deep fried brie, cranberry sauce and rocket - I'd have quite happily eaten it in lieu of Christmas dinner it was that good! I headed to Truc Vert with the girls for our first Raclette experience. Plenty of melted cheese and charcuterie, check out their Raclette Wednesdays through January for a great night out. I'm not one for takeaways, unless its Eat First. Homemade meals delivered straight to you to, all you need to do is heat up when you're ready. I ordered a turkey dinner with pigs in blankets for a work lunch treat on Christmas Eve, Eve! (Use my code  'DQ5FPASX' for £10 off first orders). And for something extra special, Williamson Tea's Kenyan Earth, a bright, full-bodied English Breakfast tea. The festive elephant caddie would make a great gift, or is great to keep for your festive brews.

And whilst we're rounding up the year, my favourite and most popular posts of the year:

So that's it!

Here's to another year packed with fabulous food and lots of fun for you all xxx