Going nuts for donuts! (version 2.0)

Who could forget the fabulous month where Daring Bakers‘ introduced us to the joys of home made donuts? I certainly couldn’t! Which is why I found myself craving the yeasty golden goodness of these treats in the chilly lead up to Easter this year. I had a few issues with the recipe from the October challenge and wanted to see if following the advice of other Daring Bakers would further improve the results of this already astounding recipe. Turns out, they do. Sorry for the anti climax.

But what could be anti climactic about risen dough? Look at this baby rise! I followed the instructions to the letter this time and resisted adding any more flour, despite the extreme wetness of the dough. Sometimes I think that there is nothing more joyous than coming back after an hour and seeing that beautiful crown of dough peeking over the rim of the bowl!

I didn’t have the luxury of using the S family kitchen with all its adult supervision and granite benchtops, not to mention tiled floors. So I was extra careful in my own kitchen (particularly after the poached pears debacle! My stove top is still recovering…). I kitted myself out with numerous bath towels to smother any small fires that may arise and was generally much more careful than I would otherwise be.

This is one well risen dough! Look at that honeycomb of air bubbles…

I patted the dough out onto my baking mat. It was still much too wet to roll out, although it had dried a little during the rising process.

I cut the dough into donut shapes using concentric circles

and banished them to their oily doom!

Muahaha!

Mmmmm… golden fried goodness

After dipping them into the sugar cinnamon mixture they came out looking perfect!

Light and tasty and just pretty damn good!

I think the long cold rise over night in the fridge gives it a greater depth of flavour

And so my second foray into donut making was a great success. But do you think I stopped at just sugar cinnamon donuts? Of course not!

So I made sugar cinnamon strawberry jam donuts!

These babies went down even better than the original recipe donuts. I’m sorry I don’t have a middle shot to show you, but the insides are filled with strawberry jam. Mmmmmmmmmmmm….

The only alteration you need to make to the recipe is to cut one round without a hole in the middle, let the donut cool and cut a slit into the side of it. Insert a piping nozzle and squeeze strawberry jam inside. Fill up as much as you want!

The recipe can be found here.

So my lovelies, what is your favourite flavour of donut? Do you like them plain, or do you go all out with jam and cream?

Happy Easter To You!

Firstly, before you read any further , I want to wish you happy easter and offer you a cupcake

HAPPY EASTER!

Now, on to business. Ever since I was a little girl i’ve always been a fan of movies that contain singing and dancing. I’m sure it all started with Disney and the Disney Princesses who I have, of course, still watch outgrown. Ok, i’ve never been a good liar, I will happily sit down to a marathon of The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Mulan and Beauty and the Beast. But what girl wouldn’t?

However, for the sake of my job (in answer to the ever popular question from teenagers “miss, what’s your favourite movie?”) I have had to come up with some more adult sounding favourite movies.

1. Rush Hour

2. Any of the following: Grease, The Wizard of Oz, The Holiday Inn, The Easter Parade, Moulin Rouge, any kind of musical (i’m always living in hope that they will make Wicked the movie)

Thankfully, many musical movies end up being tied to a particular holiday. Exhibit A:

The Easter Parade

After all, what is a holiday without Fred Astaire? The addition of Judy Garland only elevates this movie from amazing to absolutely amazing! And so, every year when Easter rolls around, you will find me humming the tune to the Easter Parade. Humming because the only lines I can ever remember when singing it are

“here’s a hat that is trimmed with lace – happy easter”

and

“happy easter to you”

I clearly have a very short attention span.

Thankfully, one thing that can keep me focussed is baking, while watching The Easter Parade of course! So what did I bake for easter? Well, firstly I made some pretty little Easter Cucpakes

Here they are baking in the oven. Lookin’ pretty cute!

And here they are all iced with chocolate eggs.

The yellow and white ones are vanilla, the pink ones are musk and the blue ones are violet. Who says I can’t diversify?

For the cake and icing I used this Magnolia Bakery recipe which is always a winner. I also added a few drops of flavouring to each icing mixture t make them all different.

But something was still lacking. There had been a little idea for a big easter cake growing in my mind over the past few weeks. The cake version of the easter bunny basket. I used the same recipe as for the cupcakes above and it made two good sized cakes that could be cut in half to make four layers.

So first comes the basket.

This was my first attempt at basket weave and I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the results. A little wonky but nothing some more practice wont fix.

Then come the decorations!

And a better shot of the easter bunnies and eggs with better lighting and a better camera!

And the vanilla-y chocolatey innards!

It’s not really wonky, I carved the sides a little so that it would look more slopey like a real basket would. Ho hum.

So, all in all, it was a pretty happy, delicious and relaxing easter. How was your easter my lovelies? Did the easter bunny visit?

Dear Blog, Happy Birthday! Love Katie

Who doesn’t love birthdays? My own love for these annual celebrations has been well documented, as has my fervent belief that all birthdays should be celebrated with cake. Preferably coloured pink. So what did you think I would bake to celebrate the first birthday of this beautiful little blog?

A pink birthday cake of course!

Note to self: be less predictable.

As I pondered the possibilities of decorating this cake, the work of Yayoi Kusama came to mind. Kusama is a famous Japanese artist who has a penchant for spots with a dash of craziness. Of the very psychedelic variety. See exhibit A:

I first stumbled upon her after buying a t shirt in Japan with her face on it. I had no idea who she was, or even if she was a real person, until a Japanese girl in an art gallery asked me if I was a Kusama fan. Smile and nod.

She brought an exhibition to the MCA in Sydney a few years ago which was clever and playful and ticked all the right boxes. So, while not quite as ground breaking as her work, I thought I would break out the polka dots for my blog birthday cake.

First came this chocolate cake and ganache

Apologies for the blurriness.

Then came the spots.

A spot over here and a spot over there and a spot in my ear and a spot in my hair

Well that was just overkill. There were no spots in my hair or ears…

All in all, not a bad effort! Apart from the lumpy ganache, but hey, its not THAT obvious is it? *whistles*

And with a bit of double cream and a cute cake fork, what better way to celebrate a birthday?

So, happy birthday blog, and thank you for keeping me sane over what was one roller coaster of a year! Here’s to many more exciting years together ¬†xoxo

So, my lovelies, what is your favourite kind of birthday food?

What is this and what do I do with it?

I’m an impulse shopper. I’m not addicted to shopping, I don’t think about it all the time, I don’t fantasize about buying pretty things (all that often…) but I do buy plenty of things on a whim.Thats how I ended up with the item below

On a trip to Dijons wholesale to buy some hard to find ingredients for my culinary exploits I came across this strangely labelled bottle. A jokingly pointed to it on the shelf and after reading the label “Gelatinous Mutant” we had a bit of a giggle. Then I popped it in the shopping basket. I still don’t know what it is, and I still don’t know what to do with it.

As far as I can see it is some sort of jellied coconut strips? Either that or jellified tadpoles, but I don’t think thats very likely… well, at least, I hope it’s not!

But in the interests of my curiousity and the overcrowding of my pantry, could one of you lovely readers let me know what on earth this stuff actually is and what I can do with it? I’m hoping to make some sort of delicious dessert?

(i’m also secretly hoping that the “mutant” part might give me special powers like in X Men)