Condensed Milk Doughnuts

Divide it between the tins.
Sifting.

With all that is going on, I have been raiding my cupboards to see what I have to bake with rather than venturing out to the shops. My last trip to the cupboards unearthed a tube of condensed milk and some wholemeal spelt flour. It may be that the logical choice would have been a cookie of some description, but I have had baked doughnuts on the brain since the schools closed on 26 March. My theory was that if I baked them into existence, I might be able to get them off the brain and focus on less sugary and more healthy snacks. I am sure that my next post (whatever it ends up being) will inform you of how successful I have been with that one. I think my kids and husband are all banking on me failing as they quite like having a steady stream of cake in the house!

Yup, Ophelia won.

These doughnuts were really fun to make. Ophelia did manage to mix it all up herself, but needed assistance spooning the mixture into the moulds. We both had fun dunking them in the icing and putting sprinkles on them. We shall glide over the creative differences which led these doughnuts to be coated in pink icing rather than peanut butter icing and there are no prizes for guessing who won that discussion…

These baked doughnuts have a rather cake-like texture, but are light and fluffy and so incredibly yummy. Our batch didn’t survive more than 12 hours. If you don’t have a silicone doughnut mould, then you can always make them in cupcake cases.

Doughnut pyramid.

To make six doughnuts you will need:

  • 1 egg
  • 100g condensed milk
  • 25g melted butter
  • 80g flour (we used wholemeal spelt, but have used plain flour in the past)
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1-2tbsp of water
  • Pink food colouring
  • Sprinkles

Then:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°c fan.
  2. Whisk the egg and condensed milk together.
  3. Add the melted butter, vanilla and pinch of salt and mix.
  4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and gently fold into the mixture.
  5. Divide the batter between the 6 doughnut moulds.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until springy to the touch.
  7. Leave to cool in the moulds for a couple of minutes and then carefully remove from the moulds and allow to cool fully before icing them.
  8. Mix the icing sugar and water in a bowl. Add less water for a thicker consistency. Add a couple of drops of food dye and mix again.
  9. Dip the doughnuts in the icing bowl and decorate with sprinkles.

If you happen to make this recipe, I would be as pleased as punch if you would leave me a comment. Stay safe everyone.

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Teabread

My confession: we are not a household of tea drinkers. This may sound sacrilege for a British family, but there you go. My sister is the champion tea drinker in my family. Maybe she has tea running through her veins rather than blood like the rest of us?! I always have to check that I actually have teabags in the house before we have visitors as I have been known to be unable to provide guests with a cup of tea when visiting! When I do buy them, it takes us so long to get through them. Teabread is the only way we really use them.

Into the tin it goes

We always seem to have a load of dried fruit in the house, even more so since we moved to the Falklands. This is probably because our bulk online shop at the beginning of the year mainly comprised cereal, dried fruit, tinned tuna and squash! We are steadily working our way through the many packets of apricots and banana chips, but some of the dates, raisins and cranberries went into this yummy teabread. You could just use raisins and sultanas in this loaf, but I am a particular fan of putting some chopped dates in as they really do give it such a lovely squidgy texture. It is a versatile recipe, an easy to put your own stamp on.

Ophelia really enjoyed using a spoon to transport the dried fruit into the cold tea and spent the rest of the afternoon coming back to check their progress. The following morning after we had dropped the boys at school, the moment we got back to the house, she was immediately asking to put the soaked fruit into cake. There is no doubt at all that she gets that particular characteristic from me!

To make this teabread you will need:

  • 300g dried fruit (we used raisins, cranberries and chopped dates)
  • 2 tea bags made into 475ml tea and cooled
  • 225g soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 450g self raising flour (we used a mixture of wholemeal and regular)

Instructions:

  1. Spoon the dried fruit into the cold tea and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Line a large loaf tin with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 160°c.
  3. Beat the eggs into the sugar until completely combined.
  4. Add the flour and the soaked dried fruit (with the remaining liquid) and mix to form a batter.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the top with the back of a spoon.
  6. Bake in the oven for 55-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

I am not ashamed to admit that my kids have been enjoying a small slice of this for their breakfasts recently. With all the changes in their daily routine, I wanted them to remember some of the fun things, like when mummy allowed them to have cake for breakfast! Much love from our small corner of the world to all my readers and please do stay safe.

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Chocolate Ginger buns

Yum chocolate icing too!

I am a self-confessed chocaholic. I can be very good and ignore chocolate in the fridge for weeks on end, but as soon as I open the wrapper, my resolve crumbles and a single square turns into a whole family-size packet! And despite my constant insistence that the kids share, in this instance I am powerless to follow my own advice. To prevent arguments, the kids have their own treat box which was affectionately christened the ‘num num tin’ and I am categorically not allowed their treats as I refuse to share mine! I understand this logic and it seems like a fair deal to me; I can go without the other sweets that they love, but I cannot abandon my chocolate!

Chopping ginger

Chocolate bakes are always among the most popular with my kids (I wonder where they get that from?!) and these little cakes are so yummy and moreish that it’s easy to understand why. Atticus in particular was eager to make these as they contained ginger. For those of you who haven’t met my younger son, he is my fellow redhead in the family.  He piped up that they would be his special ginger cakes and under no circumstances was I to decide that they would replace him as my favourite little ginger!

The ginger isn’t overpowering in these cakes, but it adds depth to the chocolate cake. If your kids aren’t huge fans of ginger I would recommend omitting the ginger syrup from the icing or leave them plain. My kids seem to think that undecorated cakes are some kind of crime to baking.

Mix it all up

To make the buns you will need:

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tbsp syrup from a jar of stem ginger
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 60g stem ginger from a jar, chopped into small pieces

For the icing:

  • 85g icing sugar
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp syrup from a jar of stem ginger
  • 3-4tbsp milk
  • Sprinkles

To make them:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°c fan and put the cupcake cases in the muffin tray.
  2. Chop the stem ginger into small pieces. Adult help may be required.
  3. Cream the sugar and the margarine together until it is light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
  5. Add the ginger syrup and mix again.
  6. Sift the flour and cocoa into the bowl and fold into the mixture.
  7. Add the stem ginger and gently mix.
  8. Divide the mixture between the 12 cases and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until springy to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Once cooled, make the icing by mixing all the ingredients together. Add more milk for a thinner icing if desired. Spread it onto the cakes.
  10. Let the kids go crazy with the sprinkles!

This article appeared in Penguin News on Friday 20 March, 2020.

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Cottage Potato Pies

My kids all seem to have decided that mashed potato is good. This is a far cry from where we were only a year ago, when we would have to embark upon massive negotiations to get our middle child to even consider having potato on his plate. This polar change has opened up many more recipes that are now deemed acceptable as the humble potato is no longer considered food enemy number one! Unfortunately, tomatoes and courgettes remain exiled from two of the kids’ plates, but we are celebrating small victories.

There is now generally a mini stampede when I mention making mashed potatoes. This is because they all enjoy mashing potatoes and making ‘worms’ appear through the masher. The act of mashing is always accompanied by shrieks of delight!

This meal is lots of fun to put together. My kids loved scooping out the inside of the cooked potato, spooning in the mince, mashing the potato, sprinkling in cheese and then transporting the potato back on top of the mince-filled potatoes. It is true that it requires a fair amount of parent preparation; cooking the potatoes and making the mince filling. Despite this it is definitely worth the effort. It is also an incredibly versatile recipe which can be made vegetarian by using a Quorn or a lentil filling instead of the mince.

To make 4 jacket potatoes you will need:

  • 4 jacket potatoes
  • 50g grated mozzarella
  • 2-3tbsp milk
  • 500g beef mince
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • 3tbsp tomato paste
  • Seasoning; dried herbs and garlic, salt and pepper

Parent prep

  • Cook and cool jacket potatoes and slice the tops off.
  • Make the beef filling by frying the onions and carrot with the seasoning. Brown the meat and then add the stock and tomato paste and allow to simmer for 30 minutes until it has reduced and cool.

Kiddie jobs

  1. Scoop out the inside of the potatoes being careful not to break the potato skin and put into a large bowl.
  2. Mash the potato and add the cheese and milk.
  3. Spoon the meat filling into the potato shells.
  4. Cover with mashed potato.
  5. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 160°c fan until warm through.
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