Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daring Bakers Challenge: BOMBOLINI

It’s official. I am a convert. I love doughnuts. To be more precise I love love love bombolini.

This month’s challenge was really fantastic and definitely took me a little outside my comfort zone. Until now I’ve always thought doughnuts were stale cardboard tasting vehicles for trans fats. Definitely not something I would make at home. You have to make some ASAP. Definitely consume bombolini warm if possible.

Raspberry Jam Bomboloni

Hands on prep time - 35 minutes

Rising time - 1 1/2 hours plus overnight

Cooking time - 10 minutes

Yield: About 32 Bomboloni


Water, Lukewarm 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon

Active Dry Yeast 3 ¼ teaspoon (1.5 pkgs.) / 16.25 ml / 10 gm / .35 oz

Honey 1.5 Tablespoon / 22.5 ml

All Purpose Flour 3 cup / 720 ml / 420 gm / 14 ¾ oz

Milk 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml

Egg Yolk, Large 6

White Granulated Sugar 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 75 gm / 2 2/3 oz + more for rolling

Kosher (Flaked) Salt 2 teaspoon / 10 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz

Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml / 42 gm / 1.5 oz

Canola Oil 3 cup / 720 ml / (Or any other flavorless oil used for frying)

Raspberry Jam, Seedless ¾ cup / 180 ml / 300 gm / 10.5 oz (or any flavor jam, preserves, jelly)


In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, mix the water, yeast, honey and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (160 gm) of the flour. (Alternatively, whisk the ingredients by hand.) Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 1 hour.

Return the bowl to the mixer, fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining 1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (260 gm) of flour, along with the milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and the salt. Mix at low speed until blended, then add the butter and knead at medium speed until silky but sticky, about 5 minutes; the dough will not pull away from the side of the bowl.

Using an oiled spatula, scrape the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

In a large saucepan, heat the canola oil to 360°F/180°C. Line a rack with paper towels. Fill a shallow bowl with 1/2 inch (12 mm)of granulated sugar. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough a scant 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Using a 2-inch (50 mm) round biscuit cutter, stamp out rounds. The original recipe said to not re-roll the dough, but I did and found it to be fine. Fry the rounds, 4 to 5 at a time, until they are browned, about 4 minutes (mine only took about a minute each – try to go more by sight). Be sure to keep the oil between 360°F and 375°F 180°C and 190°C. Drain the bomboloni on paper towels.

Roll them in the granulated sugar.

Filling Directions:

Fit a pastry bag with a plain donut tip (or a 1/4-inch (6 mm) tip) and fill with the preserves (you can also use a squeeze bottle). Poke the tip three-fourths of the way into the bomboloni and squeeze in the preserves, pulling the tip out slightly as you squeeze to fill them as much as possible. Serve warm.

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chocolate & Banana Cupcakes

At 6 a.m. on Saturday I was inexplicably wide awake and after about ten minutes lying in bed staring at the wall I remembered the squidgy banana in the fruit bowl and I decided to start baking. This recipe is a corrupted version of Nigella's Banana Bread, is incredibly fast and easy, and makes exactly 12 cupcakes.

Chocolate & Banana Cupcakes


150g plain flour
25g Dutch process cocoa
2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, melted
100g sugar
2 eggs
1 big super ripe banana, mashed
50g dark chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla

150g dark chocolate
120g pure cream


Preheat oven to 170C and line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake papers. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside. In a large bowl beat together the butter and the sugar until blended and then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the banana, melted chocolate and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture a third at a time and stir well. Fill the cupcake papers 2/3 full and then bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack and then top with ganache.

To make the ganache chop up the chocolate into small pieces, or even better whizz it in the food processor. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it reaches boiling point and then remove from heat and pour it over the chocolate, whisking until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is thoroughly combined. It may be quite runny so continue to whisk every few minutes until the ganache is a consistency appropriate for spreading.