Chino's is a soon to be archive of all my personal recipe testing results and hopefully a place to draw in some eager clients! I can supply pre-ordered cakes, pastries and desserts and also a wide range of seasonal finger foods which are all flexible in order to suit your personal or events needs!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Breakfast Muffins

Nothing is nicer than to wake up in the morning with fresh, steaming fruit muffins and a cup of tea! It is often trickier to get these right than you think - getting the balance right so they aren't dry, or soggy, or overly fruity or starchy. I've tweaked this recipe from Australian foodie Donna Hay, I've just changed a few of the quantities to make them perfect!

You will need:
2 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
300g fresh fruit (Berries (fresh is best, but frozen works more or less, mashed banana and drained, stewed apples work well. You can compliment your fruits with spice eg. apple and cinnamon, banana and nutmeg..YUM!)
Regular sugar, for sprinkling

1) Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, make a well in the centre.
2) Mix all wet ingredients (excluding fruit) in another bowl, pour wet mix into well in dry mix and stir until just combined, you do not want to overmix and work the gluten too much - it will make your muffins tough.
3) Fold through your fruit of choice
4) Line 12 muffin cases and fill to the top with mixture - don;t be scared to fill these right up to create the beautiful crusty muffin top everyone eats first!
5) Sprinkle the tops of each soon-to-be muffin with granulated sugar and with spices if you like, my favourite is cinnamon or nutmeg.
6) Bake in a 180°C fanforced oven for 35 minutes until tops are brown and delicious looking! When in doubt, check with a skewer. Leave them to cool in muffin tray for 5 minutes and enjoy! Makes 12.

Baked Doughnuts

First blogged recipe and how I wish it was a brilliant cake or torte but since the implementation of my father's new weightloss program I thought about revamping the humble fried doughnut. This is a baked version, and those who say there's no difference, think again! It is a more dense version, bit more like bread than cake, as it were, with a likeness to a cream bun. However, with the addition of icing and sprinkles, and the added 'health' perks I would happily sit and enjoy them with a cup of tea, or as part of a petits-four spread. I thought about calling them dough-buns but it just didn't sound any good. So, without further ado, I present, baked doughnuts.

1 cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon of butter
2 1/2 cups plain flour
7g dried yeast
1 cup castor (or superfine) sugar
See below for icing options!

1. Heat the milk with the butter either on the stove, or in the microwave until its warm. Skin temperature is good, but make sure it does not boil!
2. Combine sifted flour, yeast and sugar in a medium bowl. Sifting is an important part to make sure the yeast is distributed evenly through the flour and sugar.
3. Make a well in the sentre of the flour mix and pour in the milk mix, stir with a butter knife until a dough roughly forms.
4.Turn out onto a LIGHTLY floured work surface. Do not over-flour surface as to avoid drying out the dough. Knead until the dough is smooth, this will take about 6-8 minutes. If you are fortunate enough to own a Kitchen Aid I would highly recommend the use of the large bowl and the dough hook. Leave on a low speed, stopping to re-adjust dough position every now and then, for about 5 minutes.
5. Pop dough into a lightly oiled bowl and leave in a warm place (in winter, put your oven on 50⁰C and leave the door ajar), leave to prove for about an hour or until doubled in size.
6. Punch down dough and knead until smooth (about 2 minutes). Roll out until 1cm thick and cut into circes using a 10cm cutter. Place on lined trays and cut the inner hole from the doughtnut using an apple corer or smaller cutter. I find it easier to cut smaller hole once they've already been placed on the tray to avoid mishaping during transit!
7. Let sit in a warm spot for another half hour until doubled.
8. Cook in a 200⁰C oven for 12 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.

For Cinnamon Doughnuts:
Brush baked doughnuts with melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar (4tbs castor sugar with 2 tbs of ground cinnamon). You might also consider adding a teaspoon of cinnamon in the dough, added in the flour phase to help you with extra flavour!

For Chocolate Glaze:
Melt 20grams of milk chocolate with 20grams of dark chocolate and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add approx. 2 tsps of milk until desired consistency is reached.

For Strawberry Glaze:
Put half a cup of icing sugar in a small bowl, and add milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until glaze consistency is reached (shouldn't be more than 2 teaspoons!). Add 1/4teaspoon of strawberry essence, and a tiny bit of pink food gel/paste.

Decorate as you like! I like to use 100's and 1000's, chocolate sprinkles, metallic cachous, shredded or dessicated coconut, icing sugar or anything else that comes to mind! These would be fantastic at christmas with a white glaze icing and a glace-cherry in the middle, or at easter with a little chocolate egg!