The world of baking and food through the eyes of an American in London

Posts made in April, 2011

Banana Bread Donuts

Posted by on Apr 30, 2011 in Donuts, Fruit | 13 comments

Banana Bread Donuts
Move over Royal Wedding desserts here come the donuts! I have some exciting donut fun coming up next week (stay tuned for that) but in the meantime I decided to make some! The last donuts I made were Pumpkin Cake Donuts for Thanksgiving.
Banana Bread Donuts
These are the best donuts I have ever made! The recipe only made about 6 donuts so I took the photos really quickly so I could eat them!
Banana Bread Donuts
It’s a basic cake donut with mushed banana, pecans and cardamom added to the batter.
Banana Bread Donuts
*This recipe uses very hot oil. Make sure you have the proper equipment*

Banana Bread Donuts

adapted from Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home (makes 6-12 donuts)
Ingredients
1 3/4 cups plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup caster/superfine sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 egg
1/3 cup scalded milk (I used soy)
2 tbs plain yogurt (I used soy)
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 mashed bananas
1/4 cup chopped pecans
pinch of cardamom
Rapeseed oil for frying

Glaze
1 1/2 cups (150g) icing sugar, sifted
2 tbs maple syrup
2 tbs milk

Banana Bread Donuts
1. Scald the milk by bringing it to a near boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Set it aside to cool down. Scalding the milk keeps the donuts fluffy.
Banana Bread Donuts
2. In a small bowl mash the bananas. Mix in the chopped pecans and cardamom. Set aside for later.
Banana Bread Donuts
3. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar. Add the butter and blend together with a hand pastry blender. The mixture will be like crumbs.
Banana Bread Donuts
4. In the cooled saucepan with the scalded milk mix in the yogurt, egg and vanilla. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon. Add in the banana mixture and fold until the batter is thick, similar to cookie dough. Don’t over mix or the donuts will be like rubber.
Banana Bread Donuts
5. Cover the mixture with cling film and set aside for 20 minutes. While that sits get your frying station and glaze ready.
Banana Bread Donuts
6. Make the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar, maple syrup and milk. Pour 2 inches of oil into a big pan and clip a candy thermometer on.
Banana Bread Donuts 
7. Heat the oil to 360 F. Cut out squares of parchment and grease them lightly. Fill a piping bag with a round tip (big enough to allow the pecans through) with the batter. Pipe rounds on each square.
Banana Bread Donuts
8. When the oil reaches 360 F put 2 donuts parchment side up in the oil. Using a pair of tongs lift the parchment paper off. Fry on each side for 1-2 minutes (do a test donut first).
Banana Bread Donuts
9. When done lift the donuts out and place on a paper towel lined plate. Once slightly cooled glaze (I did 2 coats).
Banana Bread Donuts

These are best enjoyed on the same day they are made (they will go soggy quickly)!

Banana Bread Donuts

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Royal Wedding Whoopie Pies

Posted by on Apr 28, 2011 in Fruit, Holidays, Whoopie Pies | 11 comments

Royal Wedding Victoria Sponge Whoopie Pies

I had just enough time to squeeze in one more Royal Wedding treat! I decided to go with a simple Victoria Sponge but styled into a bite size whoopie pie. These are really quick and easy to bring to your local street party! I still haven’t decided how to spend my day off from work. Any suggestions?

Royal Wedding Victoria Sponge Whoopie Pies

Victoria Sponge is the most classic British cake, after a fruit cake. It’s two vanilla cakes with whipped cream and raspberry jam sandwiched in the middle. It’s not overly sweet but a good contrast to the sweet Bubbly Peach Cupcakes I made earlier.

Royal Wedding Victoria Sponge Whoopie Pies

I used cookie cutters to make stencils out of the aluminium foil for the icing sugar dusted on top. A little glitter mixed in there would look nice too. You could also make a reverse template to what I’ve done.

Royal Wedding Victoria Sponge Whoopie Pies

I used Hannah Miles book Whoopie Pies: Fun Recipes for Filled Cookie Cakes, which is absolutely adorable (I bought my sister the book and in the US it is in cup measurements not grams)! I thought about dying the cake red and blue but figured that wouldn’t be sophisticated enough for such an occasion.

Victoria Sandwich Whoopie Pie
adapted from Hannah Miles ‘Whoopie Pies’ (makes 12)

Ingredients
Cake
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
220g caster/superfine sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
320g self rising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
250ml buttermilk
100ml hot water (not boiling)

Filling
300ml whipping cream
raspberry jam
icing sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease a whoopie pie tin. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Royal Wedding Victoria Sponge Whoopie Pies

2. In a large bowl cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.

Royal Wedding Victoria Sponge Whoopie Pies

3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk, alternating with the flour mixture. Whisk until Incorporated. Stir in the hot water.

Royal Wedding Victoria Sponge Whoopie Pies

4. Scoop one spoonful of batter into the tin or onto the tray. Alternatively for a uniform smooth pie put the batter in a piping bag. Let stand for 10 minutes and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from tin after a few minutes and set aside to cool completely.

Royal Wedding Victoria Sponge Whoopie Pies

5. Make the filling by whipping the cream until stiff peaks form. Place in a piping bag and swirl onto a round.

Royal Wedding Victoria Sponge Whoopie Pies

6. Place another cake on top a dust with icing sugar.

Royal Wedding Victoria Sponge Whoopie Pies

7. Enjoy!

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Maple, Chocolate Chip & Candied Bacon Cookie Cups

Posted by on Apr 27, 2011 in Chocolate, Cookies, Other Desserts | 13 comments

Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups
These are simply amazing! I was so excited when I saw this on the daring bakers for April. I have been patiently waiting for something to bake where I could candy bacon.
Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups
The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com/!
Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups
Now that I’ve made candied bacon I don’t think I’ll ever make regular bacon again! Candied bacon would also taste great with pancakes. It’s a little sweet and salty.
Maple, Chocolate Chip and Candied Bacon Cookie Cups filled with Maple Mousse
Ingredients
Maple Mousse
1 cup maple syrup
4 egg yolks
7g unflavored gelatine
1 1/2 cups whipping cream (I used double cream)
Candied Bacon
adapted from Alex Guamaschelli
1 package bacon
pepper
1/3 cup brown sugar
Maple, Chocolate Chip & Candied Bacon Cookie Cups
adapted from Baconology (makes 12)
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple extract
1/3 cup candied bacon, chopped
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1. Make the mousse by whipping 1 1/4 cups of the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups
2. In a small bowl mix a 1/4 cup whipping cream and gelatine in a small bowl. Leave for five minutes and then microwave for 10 seconds and stir until dissolved. Heat for another 10 seconds if needed.
Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups
3. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks together.
Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups
4. Bring the maple syrup to a boil in a saucepan and remove from the heat. Pour a small amount of the egg yolks and whisk (so they don’t curdle). Pour in the rest of the maple syrup and the gelatine mixture. Whisk occasionally over the period of 1 hour.
Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups
5. Stir in 1/4 cup of the whipped cream done in step 1. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Cover and place in the fridge to set.
Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups
6. Make the candied bacon. Preheat oven to 325 F/ 160 C. Place the bacon in a bowl and mix the pepper and brown sugar. Place the strips on a foil lined baking sheet.
Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups
I used my favorite bacon that gets crisp when cooked. In the UK I’ve only seen this at Sainsbury’s
7. Place a piece of foil on top and another baking tray on top and bake for 10 minutes. Check, sprinkle a little more brown sugar over top and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until crisp. I baked for a few minutes with the top tray taken off as well.
Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups
8. Make the cookie cups. Preheat oven to 350 F/180C and grease a muffin tray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups
9. Beat together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time until blended. Add the vanilla and maple extracts and beat until blended and fluffy.

10. Add the flour a little at a time, mixing until combined, Stir in the bacon and chocolate chips.

Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups

11. Using a cookie scoop place 2 rounds in each muffin tray and bake for 12 minutes.

Candied Bacon & Maple Mousse Cookie Cups

12. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven take a teaspoon and gently press the center of the cookie to the sides to make a cup.

13. Leave in the tray for 5 minutes and then remove. Let cool completely.

14. Once the mousse has set place 1 tablespoon of mousse into each cup and top with a piece of candied bacon.

Enjoy, and if you’re feeling generous share! I don’t think I want to share my candied bacon.

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Bubble Tea Fever Hits London!

Posted by on Apr 26, 2011 in Yummy Places | 15 comments

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea is officially* the “it” thing this summer in London! Not one, but two dedicated bubble tea outlets have opened in the last two months. I started thinking about bubble tea when Ute went to Boba Jam back in January (there are also plenty of places in Chinatown that serve it and I’ve also had it in Ping Pong before) and a few weeks ago my interest was renewed when I found Bubbleology on twitter.

Bubbe tea was originated in Taiwan in the 1980′s where it’s as popular as soda in North America. I read somewhere that there are 8,000 bubble tea cafes in Taiwan! I used to live in Seattle and it’s a common to find it there too.

Bubble Tea

Chaboba is in Camden Lock Market and opened two months ago. I am in love with this place. I was wandering around the market for about 40 minutes trying to find it but the crush bubble tea I had in the end was well worth it.

I ordered a mango crush bubble tea (a cross between a slushee and a smoothie) with the “bobas” or pearls at the bottom. I chose to have the strawberry ”popping” bobbas on top (for an extra 50p). They are so awesome. They’re made from natural seaweed extract and are filled with fruit juice. I think the popping bobas give Chaboba a bit of an edge over the competition. I am already hooked and will be back.

Bubble Tea

Bubbleology opened a few days ago in Soho. The shop is larger and a tad more intriguing.

Bubble Tea

The fun part about Bubbleology is their “Cruffins”! English muffins or crumpets with your choice of topping. I of course had a crumpet with cream cheese and m&m’s. I’ll be back for another Cruffin.

Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea
I had a passion fruit bubble tea.
Bubble Tea
A bubble tea will set you back about the same price as a frappacino so I thought, I’ve seen the stuff in china town how hard would it be to make my own? I bought some supplies for £5 and made 3 different kinds.

First step is to prepare the tapioca pearls according to the pack. A whole bag cost me £1.70. They come in black or rainbow. Only make as much as you need for the day. They don’t keep well.

Bubble Tea
The pearls need to be boiled for 5-25 minutes and then rested for the same amount of time. You can boil the pearls in tea to give them more flavor and add some sugar or honey to them after as well.
Bubble Tea
Simple Bubble Tea
Powdered or already prepared iced tea
3-4 tbs pearls
Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea
1. Make the ice tea and pour it into a glass and drop the pearls in. Enjoy!
Lavender Bubble Tea
1 pot brewed Ceylon tea
1 cup sugar
1/2 water
2 tbs dried lavender
3-4 tbs pearls
1. Brew the Ceylon tea and place it in the fridge to get cold.
2. Make a lavender simple syrup by boiling the water, sugar and lavender in a saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour into a suitable container and place in the fridge to cool (I used a french press so I could separate the lavender later).
Bubble Tea
3. Once everything is cool pour a small amount of sugar syrup in a glass and top up with tea and pearls. The sugar syrup can be kept in the fridge for awhile.
Bubble Tea
Raspberry Green Bubble Tea
Iced green tea
Raspberry Coulis
3-4 tbs Pearls
Bubble Tea
1. Make the green tea according to box or brew some green tea fresh and refrigerate.
Bubble Tea
2. Once chilled pour the tea into a glass with a few tablespoons of the coulis, stir and top with the pearls.
Bubble Tea
I think my home attempt was successful and I will continue to make it inbetween trips to the various outlets! Has anyone else been for bubble tea this summer or tried to make it themselves?
-

*By officially I mean I made it up

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Cadbury Cream Egg Twisted Cupcakes

Posted by on Apr 24, 2011 in Chocolate, Cupcakes, Holidays | 22 comments

Cadbury Cream Egg Twist Cupcakes
I had to make one more batch of Easter cupcakes because I’ve been visited by the appliance fairy! The appliance fairy works at Appliances Online for her day job, but grants wishes in her spare time! She brought Helen from Fuss Free Flavours a mixer. I commented on her blog post and the fairy brought me Mini Cupcakes by Leslie Fiet.
Mini Cupcakes
If you would like a wish granted from the appliance fairy leave a comment below making a wish! One of them may be granted! Visit their website for some inspiration.
Cadbury Cream Egg Twist Cupcakes
The frosting on these cupcakes are a little dark for Easter but I really wanted to do something with a Cadbury egg this year and I’ve already seen a lot of cupcakes with yellow frosting so I styled mine as a Twisted candy bar.
I made a vanilla cupcake and topped it with vanilla frosting mixed with the centers of cream eggs and twisted with some chocolate frosting.
Cadbury Cream Egg Twist Cupcakes
Buttery Vanilla Cupcakes
adapted from Mini Cupcakes by Leslie Fiet (makes about 18)
Ingredients
Wet
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tbs vanilla
1 tbs vanilla paste

Dry

2 cups self raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Cadbury Cream Egg Twist Cupcakes
1. Line a muffin tray or mini muffin tray with paper liners and preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. In a large bowl beat the wet ingredients together with an electric mixer on low speed.
Cadbury Cream Egg Twist Cupcakes
2. In a small bowl stir together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat on low for a minute. Turn on high and beat for 30 seconds. The lumps should disappear.
Cadbury Cream Egg Twist Cupcakes
3. Fill each case three quarters full and bake for 20 minutes (17 minutes for minis) and set aside to cool.
Twisted Frosting
adapted from Cakespy via Serious Eats
10 Cadbury Cream Eggs (chilled)
Vanilla Frosting (homemade or store bought)
Yellow gel coloring
Chocolate Frosting (homemade or store bought)
Cadbury Cream Egg Twist Cupcakes
1. Cut the cream eggs in half and scoop out the centers into a medium sized bow. Save the chocolate shells to eat later. Mix the centers with 1 cup of vanilla frosting. Add yellow food coloring if desired.
Cadbury Cream Egg Twist Cupcakes
2. In a piping bag with a star tip place the yellow frosting in and push it to one side. Place the chocolate frosting on the other side. When your piping and squeeze the bag the two colors will swirl.  
Cadbury Cream Egg Twist Cupcakes
As it’s been so hot I put my cupcakes in the fridge so the frosting doesn’t melt. The cupcake recipe I used is very fluffy and not overly sweet due to the tart fruit puree. The super sweet frosting balances it out a little.

Happy Easter!

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