Doughnut Cupcakes

This recipe is amazingly easy, as well as slightly unusual and, of course, delicious. I made these for afternoon tea with friends and they went down so well; they’re a sophisticated version of a childhood favourite. They don’t taste exactly like doughnuts as they’re baked not fried but as they’re probably easier on your waistline, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. I imagine these would be quite good to make if you have small children who want to join in in the kitchen-  it’s a one-bowl recipe that’s relatively fuss-free.

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Ingredients

230g softened butter plus 3 tbsp melted

230g sugar, plus about 25g extra to sprinkle

2 eggs plus 1 yolk

280g self-raising flour

105 ml milk

1/2 tsp baking powder

12 tsp strawberry jam (about half a jar)

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Recipe

Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

Beat together the softened butter, sugar, eggs, flour, milk and baking powder in a large bowl until you have a smooth batter.

Line a 12 hole cake tin with cases. Fill the cases two-thirds full with the batter, then make a small dip in the batter and place a teaspoon of jam into it. Cover with another spoonful of cake batter and repeat for the rest of the cupcakes. Bake for 25 mins until golden on top. The sponge should bounce back when lightly pressed.

Brush some melted butter over each cake then sprinkle with caster sugar and serve.

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Blondies

I am so sorry for the lack of posts recently! My hiatus over the last couple of weeks has been down to being really busy at work, as well as a last-minute trip abroad to visit family. Please accept my profuse apologies in the form of this recipe, which I think (I’m pretty sure) you’ll enjoy.

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Blondies, for those of you unfamiliar with them, are a white chocolate version of brownies. The pecans prevent them from tasting too sickly-sweet and also give them a pleasantly crunchy texture. When melting the chocolate, I would recommend leaving the butter out of the bain-marie until the chocolate has gotten well on its way to melted, otherwise the butter will melt very quickly and may start to burn if the temperature is not quite right.

This recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and makes about 12 pieces.

Ingredients

150g white chocolate, broken into pieces
125g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
a pinch of salt
120g pecan nuts, chopped

Recipe

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 33 x 23 x 5cm baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a bain-marie. Leave until they have melted together to form a smooth mixture.

Remove from heat and add the sugar, stirring until well incorporated. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and stir briskly. The mixture may look like it is starting to split – don’t worry; this is normal. Add the flour, salt and pecan nuts and stir until distributed evenly throughout the mix.

Spoon the mixture into the baking tray and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and the centre is still soft. Leave to cool completely and cut into squares.

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