Because A Friday Treat is the Perfect Way to End the Week!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Jam Doughnut Muffins

Just what is the correct spelling? Doughnut? Donut? Wikipedia says both but I’m going with doughnut, it just looks better (and let’s just ignore the fact that I went to Wikipedia for this question rather than, say, a dictionary). Anyway, happy new year to all! I hope everyone has enjoyed the first week of 2012, I for one have largely spent it huddled indoors hiding from the weather. Although on Wednesday I did go for the first bike ride since I broke my foot in November, which was very exciting. I cycled 16km, got home, felt great...and then realised I couldn’t lift my legs high enough to climb the stairs. Don’t worry, the numbness was soon replaced by pain!

So here we are with the first Treat Friday of 2012 and I’ve gone with Jam Doughnut Muffins. Why muffins rather than just plain old doughnuts? Ultimately because any sort of baking that involves a deep fat fryer just seems unnecessary to me. Most baked goods are full of fats and sugar, do you really need to deep fry them too? I realise that there will be many saying “yes, of course you do!” but I have to disagree in this case, these muffins are excellent all by themselves – without being deep fried.

The original recipe from which I adapted my own was just for doughnut muffins, no jam included. As you may have realised by now however, I love adding some sort of fruit substance to a lot of my baking because a) I really like fruit and b) I think it really cuts through the sweet richness of cakes and biscuits perfectly. If jam isn’t your favourite in the world then, by all means, leave it out. As per usual you are not only allowed but encouraged to adapt this recipe to your own tastes.

Now I know that to look at, this recipe seems fairly long and complicated but I promise you it’s not when you put it into practice! The steps themselves are all really simple and it’s completely worth it. To look to my younger sister for a review, upon eating her first muffin she eloquently said: “Hmmmm...*head nodding*...mmmm...*more head nodding*...mmmmmm” Obviously there are just not the words. 

Some final tips before you get started:
  • Try and use fresh nutmeg that you grind or grate yourself! It has so much more flavour than the pre-ground stuff (although if this is all you can get hold of, that’s fine)
  • As with all muffins, only stir until just combined. No-one likes a tough muffin.
  • I’ve abandoned muffin cases for this so just make sure that your muffin tin is really well greased.
  • Don’t be afraid to go crazy with the amount of cinnamon sugar you decorate with. It’s this that really adds that doughnutty flavour.
  • Try not to go mad with the jam filling! I promise that a small teaspoons worth is enough, no-one wants it squidging all over the place!
  • Make sure the filling and topping are added almost as soon as the muffins are out of the oven and can be handled without burning your fingers.
Jam Doughnut Muffins
For Muffins:
175g Butter (Softened to room temperature)
200g Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
350g Plain Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Bicarbonate of Soda
Pinch of Salt
½ tsp. Freshly Grated Nutmeg
½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
250ml. Whole Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

For the Topping:
4 tbsp. Butter (Melted)
100g Caster Sugar
1 tsp. Gound Cinnamon
150g Raspberry Jam

1)      Preheat oven to 180◦C, lightly grease a 12-hole muffin pan.
2)      Cream together the softened butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs and mix, a little at a time.
3)      In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the milk and vanilla extract.
4)      Add half of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, sugar and egg mixture. Stir until just combined before adding half of the milk mixture, stir and repeat with the rest of the dry ingredients and milk.
5)      Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin until each hole is around 2/3 full.
6)      Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
7)      While the muffins are baking, melt the butter for the topping and in a separate bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon.
8)      When the muffins are cooked and still warm, take each one and using a knife, cut out a round piece of cake to make a hole in the top of the cake.
9)      In the hole, place 1 tsp. of jam before replacing the cut out piece of cake. You may have to slice a bit of cake off the bottom of the removed piece of cake before you do this to make room for the jam.
10)   When replaced, brush the top of the muffin with melted sugar and generously sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Enjoy!



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