jam & vanilla custard filled doughnuts

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I doughn’t know what it is about this recipe, but I am so happy that my first forays into yeasted concoctions have been deep fried, covered in sugar and filled with dreamy deliciousness.

There’s something incredibly satisfying about kneading a dough by hand, and certainly no smell more comforting than fresh, floury products. Unfortunately I can’t eat these in any way, shape or form given my celiac disease, but I absolutely adore the process of making something that literally rises to the occasion. I am, however, curious to experiment at some stage with what will inevitably be inferior gluten free renditions, but for now, here is the unadulterated, gloriously glutinous version.

These are real-deal doughnuts: I’m unfortunately not about to accept baked versions as anything more than doughnut-shaped cakes, which are undeniably tasty in their own right, to be sure, but doughnut to try to tell me that they can compare to their yeasted, fried, sugar dusted counterparts. These really are in a league of their own, and try as I might to come up with a combination more blissfully simple than jam and custard, I’m not about to mess with what I know works.

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Whittaker’s Creamy Milk chocolate fudge

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Sugar thermometers make the ability to give gifts your command.

Fudge is SO simple with one of these – it takes the guesswork out of heating the sugar, which is 100% the scariest part of making it. I’m so excited to have added this treat to my repertoire of quick treats. It has the perfect smooth but chewy consistency without any hint of grittiness from crystallisation. It also stores well at room temperature and so is perfect for sending away for friend’s birthdays! I would definitely recommend having an occasion planned for this wee one, mainly because it is altogether too easy to consume in vast quantities. Much easier to simply discount the extensive spoon licking and off-cut consuming afterwards as quality control for its final purpose.

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salted caramel crunch brownies

DSC05019I’ve been a little absent and not fulfilling two of my January goals/New Year’s resolutions (post fortnightly on food blog, bake something for workmates once a week), so I suppose an epic slice of three layered proportions is the only appropriate attempt at compensation for such neglect. Finding my groove for 2015 proving to be a greater challenge than expected – the combination of shift work and summer do not make for consistent habits – but in any case, this was my most recent baking effort.

I don’t even know how I stumbled upon this recipe – I wanted to make some kind of outrageous brownie. Usually for such purposes I would reach for the Betty Crocker cookie mix and packet of Oreos and whip up a brownie of the slutty variety, however this slice seemed like a level up. I doubled the recipe in order that I could take some to work and be left with plenty for a birthday present (which I am about to send off today). I did not make it gluten free, however this could be easily adapted as such and would certainly taste just as good.

Makes ~ 25 small pieces (and trust me, a little goes a long way)

Recipe from Bake Play Smile (adapted slightly – using less rice bubbles, different ganache method)

Ingredients:

  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (175g) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup (100g) plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa

For the caramel crunch:

  • 2 cups (440g) caster sugar
  • ½ cup (125ml) water
  • ½ cup (125ml) single (pouring) cream
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (55g) puffed rice cereal
  • 1 teaspoon crushed rock salt

For the chocolate ganache/topping:

  • 300g dark chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup (125ml) single (pouring) cream
  • 50g Crunchie bar (chocolate honeycomb), bashed with a wine bottle
  • Silver cachous

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160 if fan forced).
  2. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Pop the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth and completely melted.
  4. Place the sugar, eggs, flour and cocoa into a bowl.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until well combined and no lumps remain.
  6. Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin and cook for 30–35 minutes or until set.
  7. Leave in the tin to cool completely.
  8. For the caramel crunch layer, place the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat and stir regularly.
  9. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil.
  10. Cook for 8–10 minutes without stirring until the mixture is golden (if you have a sugar thermometer check that it has reached 160 degrees). For those cautious with caramel and without sugar thermometer, I advise to drop the heat once the syrup starts to turn golden to avoid burning.
  11. Add the cream, butter and salt. It will bubble up dramatically; this is to be expected.
  12. Stir until well combined and the butter has completely melted.
  13. Add the rice bubbles and pour the caramel mixture over the brownie layer.
  14. Use a spoon to smooth the top of the caramel crunch layer.
  15. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes or until almost set. I put mine in the fridge.
  16. To make the chocolate ganache, bring the cream to boil over a low heat in a medium saucepan. When simmering, take off the heat and add the chocolate.
  17. Stir until melted and completely smooth.
  18. Pour over the caramel crunch layer, then sprinkle with crushed Crunchie and silver cachous and place into the fridge to set overnight.
  19. Cut into pieces.

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