Monday, 10 November 2014

Baked Chocolate and Pumpkin Doughnuts

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Have I mentioned work is back in swing?  Because it is.  Last week there were three consecutive parents nights to do! That, on top of an already hectic schedule and a cold that had resurfaced with a vengeance, meant that I was completely shattered when Friday finally came to a close.  I slept most of Friday evening and the majority of Saturday.  Luckily this seems to have helped deal with the cold.  That or the Hubby has caught it.  Either way, I am on the mend and the week ahead is less hectic as half of it is inservice days with no teaching (just courses).  Admittedly, there is an observed lesson to do today but that should not be too bad.  I hope.

Anyway, I am already missing my holidays so I feel like reminiscing about some of the fun I had this October break.  One such thing would be seeing my lovely Jess, who I had not hung out with since the wedding back in July!  Work made it hard to arrange things during term time so when my holidays came I jumped on the chance for a jaunt with my Jess.  Hence we went off to Edinburgh for lunch, shopping and a catch-up.  Lunch was lovely, though I lament the fact that the Pizza Hut has disappeared from the Omni Centre!  We enjoyed our Frankie and Benny's though, despite our somewhat creepy waiter.  Shopping was such fun, finding pieces for Jess's Hallowe'en costume, though I spent way too much on baubles in John Lewis.  I have such a weakness for Christmas decorations!  And cuddly toys, since I also ended up with a Toothless plush from Build-A-Bear!  Such frivolity!  As for the catch-up, it was riddled with work related ills from both parties.  It was an unfortunately short jaunt due to the awkward train schedule on a Sunday but a fun one nonetheless.  I am very much looking forward to the next one at the end of this month.  We are going to see Wicked! along with Jess's other friend Ameera.  

Now, a jaunt would not be complete without me bringing some form of baked goods with me!  And, as usual, I wanted to try something different.  I admit, there's been a bit of a gap between making these and writing about them so I can't quite remember how I settled on chocolate and pumpkin doughnuts but I did and here they are!  I do know they started out as just pumpkin in the recipe and adding chocolate was my own idea.  Possibly because chocolate and pumpkin has been a successful combination before on this blog.  I may have also been in a bit of a festive mood a la Hallowe'en.  The glaze was supposed to be orange, it just doesn't show up against the dark doughnuts, and I spent ages separating out Hallowe'en coloured sprinkles from my pot to decorate with. 

Making these reminded me that I really should make doughnuts more often.  The baked sort often take no time at all, and these were no exception.  It is one of those mix together dry ingredients then add wet ingredients recipes and the bake time is very short!  I did have to make my own pumpkin pie spice, as that is not a thing over here in the UK, but even that is done in a couple of minutes and now I have a mini supply to hand in a cute magnetic spice tin (another acquisition from my Edinburgh jaunt of which I intend to get more of) ready for any other pumpkin bakes I make.  Really, the hardest bit was the separating out of all those sprinkles and that's just something I decided to do and is not essential to the recipe.  My Hallowe'en ones did not arrive in time.  Hence why the sprinkles here are a bit sparse.  If I'd just had the colours I needed, these doughnuts would have a generous layer of sprinkles on top.  Alas, maybe next time?

Pumpkin Pie Spice - adapted from Betty Crocker
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1.5 tsp all spice
  • 1.5 tsp ground cloves
1. Combine all spices together.  That's it!  So easy.

Recipe - inspired by RainbowJewels via
Makes 6

  • 100g/3.5oz plain flour 
  • 30g/1oz cocoa powder
  • 55g/2oz brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (see above)
  • 1 egg
  • 120g/4.5oz pumpkin purée
  •  30g/1oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 100g/3.5oz icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 30g/1oz butter, melted
  • Sprinkles to decorate
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 and grease a six cavity doughnut pan with butter.
  2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda and pumpkin pie spice into a bowl and mix together.
  3. Add the pumpkin purée, butter, egg and milk and beat until batter is smooth.
  4. Spoon into doughnut pan, or pipe in using a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle (the latter is much easier).
  5. Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until doughnuts are springy to the touch. 
  6. Leave in the tin and make the glaze by combining the icing sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract and water together in a bowl.
  7. Dip the warm doughnuts in the glaze to coat the tops.  Shake off any excess.
  8. Dip in sprinkles and then leave to set on a wire cooling rack.
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