I very rarely advocate the use of specialist equipment in my recipes, even less so something that was purchased in a flight of fancy in an evening of late night internet browsing, but dear reader, I can assure you that you won’t regret this one. My Small Boy and I have recently acquired a terrible midweek habit of popping into the shop near the train station on the way home from school to kill a little time, and emerging with a bag of donuts. Like all good traditions, I’m not sure how or when it started, but ‘the weekly donut’ is now a part of my parenting style, and try as I might, I cannot bring myself to discontinue it. And so, for want of some self control or an ounce of discipline, I have made it my mission to make our own, on a flight of fancy that I will start with standard donuts and work my way back to healthier ones once I’ve mastered them. So here we are; me standing in my kitchen late last night, knocking together a batch of donuts to bake in my new and very fun looking silicone donut trays. At the time of writing, they are on their fourth outing in two days, so they are, in my opinion, well worth the investment. If a little niche, but everyone has to have a little fun sometimes. The first dozen of these disappeared in less than a day! The Biscoff biscuits for the topping can be replaced with ginger nuts, or digestives, if you prefer.


Makes 12 from 14p each. (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients.)


300g plain flour, 9p (45p/1.5kg)

2 tbsp baking powder, 3p (69p/170g)

200g sugar, 21p (£1.04/kg)

2 tsp cinnamon, 2p (65p/100g)

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, <1p  (79p/42g)

1 tsp vanilla essence, 10p (£1.25/60ml)

1 large egg, 15p

350ml whole milk, 21p

To top:

100g white chocolate, 59p

50g icing sugar, 8p (75p/500g)

4 tbsp milk, 4p

3 biscoff biscuits, 10p (£1/250g)


First preheat your oven to 170C and make sure there is a shelf in the middle of it, as this is where you will want your donuts to go to bake them at their best.


Grab a large mixing bowl and measure in the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, if using. Give it all a good stir to evenly combine. Break the egg into the centre, then measure in the vanilla, and the milk, and beat to form a smooth batter.


Place the donut moulds onto a baking tray to stabilise them, as they can be a bit wobbly when full. Carefully spoon the batter into each mould until it is two-thirds full – they rise well. This takes a little time to do neatly, but I find it quite mesmerising.


When filled, place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 16 minutes exactly. Remove from the oven and very gently prod one; it should feel firm to touch but soft and springy. Place the whole mould carefully onto a wire cooling rack for ten minutes to cool, then remove each donut carefully and place on the rack to cool completely.


When the donuts are cool, make the icing. Don’t try to ice them while they are warm, you’ll end up with an unsatisfyingly sticky mess and a lot of wasted icing!


Bring a pan of water to the boil and place a mixing bowl on top – make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl as the chocolate will burn, and white chocolate is particularly susceptible to it. Break the chocolate into the bowl, or tip it in if using chocolate drops, and add the milk. Heat through for a few minutes, stirring, then turn off the heat as it starts to melt and continue to stir. Remove the bowl from the top of the pan and add the icing sugar, stirring briskly to incorporate it. Set to one side for a moment, on the right hand side of the cooling rack with the donuts on. Place the baking tray under the cooling rack to catch any drips, as the next stage is messy!


Crumble the biscuits into a small bowl, and set this to the right of the icing, like an assembly line.


Pick up a donut and dunk, rounded side down, into the icing, then lightly into the biscuit crumbs. Turn back up the right way and return to the wire rack. Repeat until all the donuts are iced. Allow to set – approximately one hour, depending on how warm your kitchen is – and then enjoy!


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All text copyright Jack Monroe.


My new book, Tin Can Cook, is available to preorder now.

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Click here for A Girl Called Jack and here for A Year in 120 Recipes.

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