Cream Egg filled Donuts

I’ve had the idea of wrapping a ball of chocolate inside a donut for a while now.  I mean what could be better?  You wrap it inside the dough and then while you’re cooking the donut, the ball of chocolate inside slowly melts and… *sigh*  Anyway, the plan was originally to use a chocolate truffle, but then I had this bag of mini cream eggs bashing around the cupboard and had a brainwave.  I mean, I love cream eggs, but am I the only one who thinks the mini ones are a bit pointless?  Well, no more!  I’ve found the perfect use for them!

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Cream Egg filled Donuts (makes eight)

Ingredients

  • 75 ml of warm milk
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar (plus a couple more mixed with cinnamon for coating)
  • pinch of salt
  • 25 g melted butter
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 sachet of instant yeast
  • 150 g plain flour (plus a little extra for kneading)
  • 300 ml oil for frying
  • 1 pack of mini cream eggs
  1. If you’ve got a bread maker then throw all the ingredients in (flour on top, liquid on the bottom) and set to program 6 (or whatever the dough program is on your machine).  If not then you’ll have to mix the yeast with the milk and sugar and wait for it to form bubbles, then mix and knead in a bowl with the other ingredients.
  2. The dough will be sticky and hard to work with – but persevere!  Turn it out onto a surface with plenty of flour and knead until it’s more manageable.  Then separate into balls.  Unwrap your cream eggs and wrap each one inside each dough ball, making sure they’re sealed up.
  3. Pour the oil into a pan and heat it up (be careful!).  You’ll know it’s ready when you can drop a little bit of bread into it and it sizzles and crisps.  Turn down the heat – if it’s too hot then the balls will cook on the outside but not on the inside – and one by one drop the balls into the oil.
  4. Once golden, take them out, dry the oil off with a paper towel and then roll them in  plenty of cinnamon sugar.  Yum!  They’re best eaten while they’re still fresh and warm so you can bite in and enjoy the cream egg at its most gooey 😉

Happy Easter everyone! 🐰

Chocolate-Speckled Easter Cake

When I said to Sunny that I was going to bake an Easter Cake last week he pulled a face and went, “Isn’t it a bit early for Easter Cakes?”  I pulled a face right back.  I mean – come on – we’ve both been scoffing mini eggs and creme eggs since they appeared on supermarket shelves way back in January.  Hey, you gotta make the most of them while they’re around, right?

Anyway, I’m pretty chuffed with how the cake turned out.  It’s a chocolate sponge (obvs) with buttercream frosting, crowned with a Wheetabix chocolate nest-full of mini eggs (in hindsight, Shredded Wheat would have probably looked better).  I had some frosting left over from Mother’s Day, so I used a bit of food colouring to turn it a sort of duck egg green, and then stirred in some grated chocolate to create a speckled egg effect.

Chocolate-Speckled Easter Cake

Ingredients

  • 175g Butter
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 190g Self Raising Flour
  • 100ml Milk
  • 35g Drinking Chocolate Powder (I’ve always used drinking chocolate over cocoa powder for my chocolate cakes – I prefer the taste!)
  • 3 eggs
  1. Set the oven to 180° and grease a deep cake tin (I used a reasonably small one).
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl, then gradually whisk in the eggs.
  3. Stir in the flour and drinking chocolate powder, and then gradually add the milk to form a light and fluffy batter.
  4. Bake for one hour, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool completely, then slice into three layers and sandwich with buttercream.

*The quantity of buttercream you’ll need will depend on the size of your cake.  To make the butter cream, generally speaking, for every 100g of butter, you use 200g of icing sugar.  

*To make the nest: stir melted chocolate into crushed Shredded Wheat or Wheetabix, then while wet, form into a nest shape on top of the cake.  I used two Wheetabix Bricks and half a big bar of Dairy Milk Chocolate.

What are your favourite Easter chocolates?  I’ve gone through about twenty family sized bags of mini eggs already.  🙂

Swedish Semlor

I know, I know!  January is supposed to be a time for shelving the snacks and substituting cake for kale and spirits for smoothies, blah, blah, blah…  But guess what?  January is OVER.  It’s done for another year, thank God, and I don’t know about you but this time of year I’m always in need of a few pick-me ups to get me through to Spring.

Over in Sweden ’tis the season for scoffing Semlor.  These cardamom-flavoured buns stuffed with plenty of whipped cream and almond paste (marzipan) are traditionally eaten between Shrove Tuesday and Easter, and they’re really good (…unless you’re trying to lose weight!).  They’re also relatively easy to make if you’ve got a bread-maker or a dough hook.

Semlor – (Fat Buns)

For the Buns:

  • 125ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 1/2 a packet of instant yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 20g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp of orange zest
  • 225g strong white flour
  • An egg (beaten) to glaze

For the filling:

  • 100g of grated marzipan
  • 100ml milk
  • Squirty cream 🙂
  1. Heat the milk until warm, then remove from the heat and add the butter.  Allow it melt into the milk and then cool to lukewarm.
  2. Peel open the cardamom pods and remove the seeds.  Grind them into a powder.  Grate the orange peel.
  3. Once the milk and butter have combined and cooled slightly, pour them into the bread machine/mixing bowl.  Add the dry ingredients (including cardamom and orange zest) on top.  If you’re using a bread machine, set it to the dough programme (number 6 on mine).
  4. Once the dough is done separate into six equal balls, cover with cling film and allow to rest until they’ve doubled in size.
  5. Brush with the beaten egg and then cook in a preheated oven (180°C) for around twenty minutes or until golden brown.  Be sure to turn them once or twice to get an even colour!
  6. Once cooled, slice the tops off the buns and scoop out a little of the inside into a bowl.  Combine with the marzipan and milk to make a paste.  Fill the buns with the paste and then the cream – then replace the tops.  Dust with icing sugar to finish.
  7. Scoff and worry about your waistline later.