Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Flavours Column: Apple Cider Donuts

These little babies were photographed during the apple orchard shoot that Greta (Greta Kenyon Photography) and Shaye (On My Hand) organised a few months back and I've been working at perfecting the recipe since - that's a lot of donut testing. We spent the afternoon at Ataahua styling and taking photos of apple punch, honey, caramel, donuts and a delicious apple and oat stack that's about due to be featured in the upcoming Magnolia Rouge. Yay! Watch this space for that recipe but in the meantime, make these!

Styling: On My Hand
Photo: Greta Kenyon Photography

Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Published in the Bay of Plenty Times, Weds 24th July 2013

Donuts and apple cider, a genius American combination. These light, doughy, baked donuts are gently spiced and have a good hint of apple tang. They take just 8 minutes to bake and are a great alternative to traditional cakes and cupcakes, with less sugar. I purchased donut pans from Culinary Council in Gate Pa (my go-to place for anything kitchen related) and they produced perfect round donuts. If you don’t want to be the proud owner of donut pans like I am, use a muffin pan instead although I don’t think the end result will have quite the same donut charm. These are great as is and even better warmed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! 

Thanks to On My Hand - Props, Styling & Flora for the styling (without Shaye most of my photos would look incredibly average) and to Greta Kenyon Photography for capturing my sweet treats so beautifully.

1 ½ cups Apple Cider (I used Cider House Scrumpy)
75g wholemeal flour
75g cake flour*
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 egg
70ml canola or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
50g white sugar
25g brown sugar

Boil the apple cider in a pot over high heat until it reduces down to half a cup (around 10mins) then leave to cool. Preheat oven to 200°C and grease your donut pan. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk the egg, oil, vanilla and sugars together – add the reduced cider once it’s cool. Pour wet ingredients over the dry and mix until just combined. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe into the donut pan (if you don’t have a piping bag use a zip-lock bag and snip the corner), filling the donut holes about 2/3 full. This recipe yields around 8 donuts. Bake for 6-8mins, until they spring back when touched. While the donuts are still hot toss them in a bowl of cinnamon sugar (made by mixing white sugar with cinnamon).

*Weekly Tip: Cake flour gives a lighter, softer texture. Make your own cake flour for this recipe by sifting 60g plain flour with 15g cornflour.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Flavours Column: Peanut Butter Pie!

Aaaagh. This pie is really really good. I didn't think peanut butter as a dessert flavour was going to be my thing. Turns out it is. I'm pretty sure this pie would be almost everyone's thing at dessert. Except if you're allergic to peanuts, then I'd recommend you avoid it. Bummer.

Photo: Swift & Click

Peanut Butter Pie
(Published in the Bay of Plenty Times, Weds 3rd July 2013)

It’s Independence Day tomorrow and as I have family in America, including an adorable niece and nephew who are growing up with cute American accents, I thought we’d make July ‘American inspired’ dessert month! I’m all for embracing new food cultures and even though we have plenty of American themed burger joints to indulge ourselves in, there is much more to American cuisine than the golden arches. The desserts over the next weeks only touch on this so I encourage you to do your own foodie research.

Our first American dessert is this indulgent Peanut Butter Pie. It tastes like a Snickers bar - rich, creamy, gooey, peanutty. Most Peanut Butter Pie recipes online use ‘Cool Whip’ (whipped frosting) as an ingredient but I’m happy to say that this one doesn’t. Eating Cool Whip is a little like eating plastic. Eating this pie, thankfully, is not. 

Thanks to Rach from Swift & Click for the photos!

Photo: Swift & Click

Peanut Butter Pie
(Adapted from Parsley, Sage & Sweet)

2 packs Oreo Cookies
6 TBSP melted butter
125g milk chocolate
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
220ml cream
250g Philadelphia cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
120g icing sugar
1 x 380g can caramel condensed milk
Squeeze of lemon juice

Throw the Oreos into a food processor and whiz to crush. Pour in the melted butter and whizz again. Press into the bottom and sides of a 23cm cake tin to form the crust. Melt the chocolate and spread over the base, sprinkle with nuts and chill in the fridge. Whip the cream and keep chilled. Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until combined. Beat in the icing sugar then the caramel condensed milk and lemon juice, beat until smooth. Mix in a third of the whipped cream then fold in the rest. Pour into the base and chill for at least 2hrs or overnight. To make serving easier, freeze the pie for 30mins before slicing. Top with extra whipped cream, nuts and drizzled chocolate.

Weekly Tip: Make your own caramel by boiling an unopened can of regular condensed milk in a pot of water for 2.5 hours. Make sure the can is always covered by water (otherwise it might explode - hot caramel all over the kitchen = not a good thing!) and cool before opening.