July 31, 2015

Doughnuts!



I've only ever deep fried churros and Camembert before, so it was very exciting to break the oil out again and try something new!


I tossed some of these in cinnamon and sugar and dipped some in a simple lemon glaze.  One of my favourite parts of making these was frying the doughnut holes - they started off as flat circles and puffed up to gorgeous spheres!



Recipe adapted from: Handle The Heat
Ingredients
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (one packet)
50g white sugar
250mL milk
2 tbsp butter (28g)
1 egg
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
360g flour
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt

For frying - about 5 cups of oil (vegetable or peanut)

For dressing - white sugar and cinnamon or lemon juice and icing sugar

Method
1. Microwave the milk until it's lukewarm, then mix the milk with the yeast and about a tablespoon of the white sugar.

2. Let the yeast proof for a few minutes.  Melt the butter and set it aside.

3. Once the yeast as activated and started to foam up, mix the rest of the sugar, butter, egg, nutmeg, flour, vanilla and salt in with the yeast.  I used my KitchenAid with the dough hook attachment.

4. Knead the dough (or let the mixer run) for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft.

5. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl in cling wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1.5 - 2 hours.



6. Punch the dough down and tip it out onto a lightly floured surface.  The dough is so soft!

7. Roll the dough out to less than 1cm thick (1/4 inch), then cut doughnut shapes.  I just used a large circle cookie cutter and a smaller one.  I did some big doughnuts and some small; I recommend doing larger ones (about 9cm diameter).



8. Transfer the doughnuts to a baking tray covered in baking paper, spread them out, cover with a tea towel and let them rise for about an hour.




9. When you're ready to cook the doughnuts, heat your oil to 175C (350F) i
n a large wok or saucepan.  Prepare a plate or baking tray and cover it with paper towel to soak up excess oil.

10. Gently fry the doughnuts about 1 minute per side (for large 9cm doughnuts), until golden.  I use chopsticks to turn the doughnuts - tongs or a slotted spoon would work too.  The doughnut holes will take a shorter time.



11. Once done, lift the doughnuts out of the oil and place on the paper towel, turning to soak up all of the excess oil from both sides.

12. If you're dressing the doughnuts in cinnamon and sugar, it's best to coat them while the doughnuts are warm.



Another option is a simple lemon glaze, made by mixing icing sugar and lemon juice - if you're doing this, make sure that the doughnuts have cooled.




Enjoy!



July 10, 2015

Caramel Pecan Oat Bars


...with chocolate chips, because almost everything is improved with chocolate.  Despite being packed with caramel, chocolate and sugar, the oats make these bars seem almost - dare I say - healthy!?

Recipe adapted from: My Baking Addiction
Ingredients - 21 x 31 cm (8 x 12 inch) brownie tin
290g butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
310g flour
2 cups rolled oats
277g brown sugar
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup pecans
1 cup caramel (recipe here)

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).  Line your brownie tin with baking paper.

2. Melt the butter in a large heatproof bowl.  Add the vanilla essence.

3. Mix the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, bicarb soda and salt into the melted butter until all is combined.

4. Press half of the mixture evenly into the lined brownie tin - this is your base.

5. Bake for about 8 minutes, and chop your pecans into rough chunks.

6. Take the base out of the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips and pecans over it.  Then pour the caramel on top.



7. Using your fingers, break the rest of the oat mixture over the top of the caramel.



8. Bake the slice for another 15 minutes until the top is golden.



9. Let the slice cool before slicing into bars or squares or whatever shape you like.  I dug straight in with a fork and let me tell you, it was amazing!  However, it's much easier to cut the slice up when it's completely cool.



Enjoy!