Tag Archives: doughnuts

Pump Street Bakery, Orford

Orford ness is one of our favourite places. We go there at least once a year, for a very long walk, a picnic, and chats. Even my youngest can manage to walk around the red and blue walk (not green though, it’s never been open when we’ve been there, we always time it wrong).

(For those on Fitbit, you can rack up about 15,000 steps, or six miles  walking those routes.)

What we like to do is get up really early and head out without breakfast, fantasising about what we’ll eat from the Pump Street Bakery, when we get there. The fact that such an amazing bakery exists in what is a tiny village in the middle of nowhere astounds and delights me. And makes me very jealous. I wish we had one where I live in Suffolk.

This is a tiny bakery, that is crammed into an old house. There are very few seats. But it is glorious. Please don’t miss it if you venture anywhere near Orford (which is a very pretty village). We’ve sampled the Bear’s Claws, the doughnuts, the brownies, the Eccles cakes and the almond croissants so far. You have to try the Eccles cake to believe that currants can be held in a puff pastry and be a thing of eye-watering beauty.

We have breakfast – cappuccinos (very good) with pastries dipped in them, perched on the benches outside.  I want to try a gibassier next time I’m there. I’m afraid the pastries are so good, I completely forget to photograph them, so the picture above is a photo of my feet on Orford ness beach. Probably my favourite beach in the world.

Not to be missed.

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Chocolate ganache – a great filling for doughnuts or eclairs

Continuing with my slight eclair obsession…I’ve been wanting to try a darker chocolate cream, as opposed to my white chocolate cream, for some time now in an eclair. Except I trialled it in a doughnut, first. But you could use this in anything that needs a gooey chocolate filling. It tastes like chocolate ice cream. Except not cold..

The recipe for the doughnuts is here, and of course you’ll notice immediately that these are not deep fried doughnuts. This honestly doesn’t matter. The doughnut here is simply a receptacle for the chocolate. Just like it really doesn’t matter what a drug mule looks like, they’re there to just, you know..

The topping you see above is just melted dark (70%) chocolate – about 50g – with a teaspoon of vegetable oil.  And sugar sprinkles of course. I’m not a man fan of them to eat. The conflicting textures confuse me: soft doughnut, soft cream, crunchy, sugary, balls. But the children love them.

For the chocolate ganache filling, all you do is (for 12 small doughnuts) put about 100ml of double cream and 50g of dark, 70% cocoa chocolate, in a bowl over some boiling water. Stir until the chocolate is melted. It should be thick. Chill. Then add about another 100ml of double cream and whisk until really thick. I then added two teaspoons of icing sugar, because I was after a very particular taste – just sweet but not sickly and without the sugar it was simple too ‘dark’. But do taste as you go. Put in an icing bag with an appropriate nozzle – depending on what you’re doing, eclairs, doughnuts etc. Chill the icing bag and the cream for half an hour. Then use.

White chocolate cream

A mini doughnut, with all sorts of gloriousness, on it and in it

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about eclairs. Which I am, now, well into. Not so much eating them (although I’m getting there…) but making them. I have just gone mental for piping stuff. I think eclairs are going to be the new macaroons which were the new cupcakes which were the new doughnuts which were probably the new eclairs.

I am slightly obsessed with thinking of new fillings and toppings. Not that I’ve got that experimental yet. But give me time.

It was my youngest child’s birthday last week, and I made her these small celebration cakes (okay, okay, they’re cupcakes, but cupcakes are so over aren’t they? I daren’t mention them…). And some bourbon biscuits with her name stamped on them. And some mini chocolate eclairs with white chocolate cream in them.

Mini eclairs with white chocolate cream.

They were delicious. But they still looked like ‘normal’ eclairs, so with a dark chocolate topping and a white cream filling. Not that eclairs have to look like this, but I wanted them to.

The white chocolate cream was amazingly good and people couldn’t quite work out what was in it but it just tasted so good.

Have I mentioned how good it tasted? So good that today, whilst making the mini doughnuts you see above, glazed with chocolate and dipped in sprinkles, sliced and with white chocolate cream PIPED inside (for I wanted to use up this wonderful stuff), I almost, almost, just stuck the icing bag straight in my mag and squeezed in the style of, probably, Homer Simpson.

But I didn’t. Time, still, for that.

So here’s how you make white chocolate cream. An idea I got from here.

For the eclair recipe here, I’d recommend 300ml of double cream (or whipping, which I will try next time, but I used double) and 100-125g of white chocolate. I only ever use Green and Black’s white chocolate as it’s fantastic.

Break up the chocolate into individual pieces and put in a heat proof bowl.

Heat half the cream in a pan, until boiling. If you use another sort of white chocolate, you may want to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract into the cream. But the Green and Black’s already has vanilla in it, so I don’t. When it’s reached boiling point stir it around for a few seconds, then take off the heat. Pour it onto the chocolate. Give it a count of 15/20 seconds then whisk together.

Chill for an hour or until needed.

When you are ready to make the eclairs, add the other cream (the one without the chocolate in it) and add to the cream with the chocolate in it. Or vice versa, just introduce them! Now whisk until firm, you know, so it’s pipe-able.

Put in a piping bag with a nozzle and pipe into your eclairs. If the piping bag happens to get stuck in your mouth, squeeze, swallow and then hide the evidence.

Doughnuts, but not deep fried

Hello! Doughnuts that are delicious. But not deep fried.

A new year ritual in southern Italy, is to make zeppole, or doughnuts. They are unbelievably delicious and my aunt would make them (whatever time of year I went, because I would nag her) and lay them out on dishcloths (to soak up any excess oil) – one cloth on the bottom, one on the top. As such she built up a sort of doughnut grid system after a while. I was immensely skilful because I would take them out strategically – whilst she was frying the next batch – so that the cloth didn’t sink to reveal any tell tale dips.

By the time she discovered there were gaps, it was too late. I was gone, out into the street to play ‘fazzoletto’. Innocent, greedy, slim days, when all excess calories were worked off playing outside til long after the stars were out.

My aunt would coat hers in cinnamon sugar. I’m not sure how I feel about cinnamon. It makes me feel claustrophic sometimes, all cloying and needy.

Anyway. Years ago, I bought a mini doughnut tray from Lakeland. Don’t go looking for it now though as they discontinued it some time ago; probably because it realised that, although the tray was perfectly good, the recipe that came with it produced pretty crap little cakes. They didn’t taste like doughnuts at all, just very average tasting, round little sponge cakes that weren’t even very brown.

Nevertheless, I kept the tin, and the recipe. And today, whilst my children and I were swinging in the pod chair in the garden, I had the idea of making some more.

Except this time, I thought, I’ll cook ’em and then shallow fry them for a minute or two. And what do you know. They are brilliant. I think they’d make great little accompaniments to a home made ice cream or served with chocolate ganache you can dip them into. Although, for me, nothing beats a simple doughnut simply rolled in vanilla sugar.

If you want to try these, you can get a similar-looking tray from here. (Update note: I now have two of these Judge tins and they are better than the original one I bought from Lakeland!)

This is how you make them. They are ridiculously easy and quick, so warm the oven up the moment you decide to make them.

For 12 mini doughnuts you need:

75g  plain flour
half a teaspoon of baking powder
quarter of a teaspoon of salt
55g caster sugar
60ml of milk (I used semi skimmed)
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon of olive oil
half a teaspoon of vanilla extract

Put the oven on at 160C.

Grease the mini doughnut tray. Little fingers love doing this. Let them get on with it as it’s annoying.

Mix all the ingredients together, thoroughly, then pour into the doughnut tray. The mixture will come about three quarters of the way up.

Put in the oven. Cook for fifteen minutes. Take out the incredibly unpromising, anaemic looking doughnuts. (Test they are cooked: if you press them they should spring back.)

Heat up a frying pan with some sunflower oil.  You need only enough to coat the bottom, like a puddle’s depth. I have a cast iron frying pan (which I seasoned from scratch, because I am HARDCORE) so this retains the heat beautifully. Then  you just fry the doughnuts, about 1-2mins per side. Put on kitchen paper and as soon as you can, throw them around some vanilla sugar.

If you eat these warm, and you should as there is nothing nicer, they will probably give you rampant indigestion.