Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cocoa pop choc chip doughnuts

It almost feels wrong to call Coco Pops a 'cereal', thanks to some strong associated health feels. But then again I am fairly certain its wrong to be adding 'cereal' to a doughnut so lets just leave it there and enjoy this for what it is. A much needed d-nut.
You know, the moment that occurs pretty much every other minute of every other day. These little numbers are baked then covered with a bit more chocolate….because…..and then some textural crunch thanks to some old school cocoa pops.
Baked versus fried. An argument I care little to get involved in. The struggle is not real. I mean it's a doughnut either way right?
2 cups plain flour
150g chocolate chips
¾ cup caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
¾ cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tbsp melted butter

½ cup superb quality milk chocolate
cocoa pops (about ½ cup or one of those small 30g boxes)

Super generously grease a doughnut pan. Preheat your oven to about 180C.
Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and stir gently to combine. In another bowl combine the wet ingredients then pour over dry ingredients and stir to incorporate. Be gentle and light handed, you do not want to overwork the dough. Pipe or spoon into the mould. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they spring back to the touch. Turn out to cool completely. Keep an eye on them, depending on the depth of your mould the doughnuts may take less time.
Drizzle with the melted chocolate and top with cocoa pops or cereal of your choice. Set aside for 30 minutes or until the chocolate on top has set and serve.
Best served day of making.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Peach Bellini Sponge

There is something about a simple sponge that says so much about its maker. It is a defining badge for food made by people who like to eat. It is a food that cares less about how it looks than how it tastes. It's cake language for all those things a cup of tea and a hug can do in that hour of need be it emotional, physical or purely gustatory. And this number, laden with a white peach and champagne jam in the vein of my favourite drink the bellini is no exception.
This guy has a coarser, heavier crumb than its CWA counterparts but if like me you tend to be heavy handed with your baking then this is for you as it easily stands up to that kind of beating. And the jam, oh lordy the jam. It has the background sourness of the champagne and the heady musky sweetness of the peaches and it belongs, so completely, to a bit of lightly whipped cream and a slab of this sponge. Truly, go forth and gather the last of the stone fruit for the season and bottle it up as quick as you can, it's the sort of jam that is life changing.
Peach bellini jam
1kg white peaches, hulled
500g caster sugar
2 vanilla bean pods, seeds scraped
juice of 1 lemon
180g self raising flour
½ tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon custard powder
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
185g caster sugar
50g butter, melted and cooled
300ml cream, whipped
icing sugar to dust (optional)
To make the bellini jam chop the peaches into chunks. Put into a large saucepan with 375ml champagne and the vanilla bean seeds and pods. Simmer slowly over low heat until the peaches are soft and falling apart.
Add the sugar slowly stirring until dissolved> Go slow until desired sweetness is achieved.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a high sided 16cm loose bottom cake tin.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Add the eggs and vanilla to the bowl of an electric whisker and beat for 3-5 minutes or until thick and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and mix until thick.
Fold through the flour mixture and the melted butter until incorporated, being careful not to knock too much air out of your batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and the cakes spring back to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out to a wire rack to cool completely.
Carefully slice the cooled sponge into 3 layers horizontally. Layer the base of the sponge with bellini jam and whipped cream then top with the next layer of sponge. Repeat again then top with final piece of sponge and dust over icing sugar if using.
Best served on the day of making.