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Mini Cadbury Cream Egg Brownies

IMG_7033If I had to pick one thing I’m most looking forward to at Easter it’s definitely the Cadbury Creme Eggs. I love the creaminess inside the chocolate shell. I wish they make this ginormous egg so I can eat the filling with the spoon.

As you’d expect, these brownies are incredibly sweet, but if you’re a fan of creme eggs that probably won’t worry you. They are very fudge, rich and gooey – possibly the naughtiest brownies I have ever made.

Ingredients

185g unsalted butter

185g dark chocolate

85g plain flour

40g cocoa powder

100g cadburys mini creme eggs (100g bag)

3 large eggs

275g golden caster sugar

Preheat oven to 160C.

Melt the butter and dark chocolate together either in the microwave or in a bowl over boiling water.

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Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in the golden caster sugar.

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With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy, like a milk shake. This can take 3-8 minutes, You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume.

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Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together with a rubber spatula.

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Hold a sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and sift the cocoa and flour mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly. Gently fold in to the mixture.

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IMG_7017Then cut the cadburys mini creme eggs in half then just add them into mixture making sure they are evenly spread!

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Pour the chocolate mixture into a square 20cm baking tin and level the mixture so its flat.

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Place in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. ( I like mine to still be slightly gooey and fudgy in the middle so tend to bake for 20 minutes maximum.)

Remove from over and leave in tin to cool.

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Once the tin feels cool, gently remove and place onto a wire rack to cool further. Cut into squares and serve.

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Hot Cross Buns

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For as long as I can remember, Easter has always been celebrated with some hot cross buns in my family. Hot cross buns are small, spiced, sticky, glazed fruit buns with pastry crosses, which are traditionally eaten on Good Friday.  Served as a classic Easter treat, the buns can also be enjoyed at any time of year.

Ingredients for the buns:
300ml full-fat milk, plus 2 tbsp more
50g butter
500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
1 egg, beaten
75g sultanas
50g mixed peel ( I left this out as I’m not keen on peel)
zest 1 orange
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Ingredients for the cross:
75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

Ingredients for the glaze:
3 tbsp apricot jam

Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature.

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Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a free standing mixer bowl.

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Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg.

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Mix well using a dough hook attachment until everything comes together and you have a sticky dough.

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With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest and cinnamon. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

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Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.

Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece) Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface.

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Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.

Heat oven to 200C. Mix the 75g of flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.

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Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

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Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks.

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While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.

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American Pancakes

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I am a big fan of English pancakes (crepes), but not for me the once-a-year treat, I eat them often usually with lemon & sugar, but this year I fancied making American Pancakes ready for Shrove Tuesday. You know the ones, those thick, spongy American pancakes that are eaten with warm maple syrup and crispy fried bacon. You can easily cook these pancakes by dolloping the batter onto a hot griddle (smooth or ridged) or in a heavy based pan.

The pancakes are light and fluffy and great to make for this coming Shrove Tuesday or even just for a weekend brunch. Try adding a large handful of fresh blueberries or chocolate chips to the batter before cooking.

Ingredients

135g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp caster sugar

130 ml milk

1 egg

2 tbsp melted butter

To Serve

Maple syrup (ideally the real stuff)

Butter

Blueberries

Bananas

Chocolate Chips

 

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl.

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In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.

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Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a whisk beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Then let the batter stand for a few minutes.

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Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it’s melted, add a ladle of batter. It will seem very thick but this is how it should be.

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Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen a little.

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Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan.

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Serve with lashings of real maple syrup, crispy bacon and extra butter if you like. You can experiment by adding bananas and chocolate chips or some fresh blueberries.

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Chocolate Chip and Oreo Cookie Squares

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These Chocolate Chip and Oreo Cookie squares are nothing short of heavenly. I think the chocolate chip cookie base with a layer of Oreo truffle which is then topped with milk chocolate is the perfect combination.

Ingredients

115g unsalted butter, softened

65g granulated sugar

100g light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

190g plain flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

350g chocolate chips

30 Oreo cookies

100g cream cheese

2 teaspoons shortening (Trex)

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line an “8×8″ pan with foil and grease.

Cream butter and both sugars until combined using a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment.

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Combine flour, bicarbonate of soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside. Turn mixer on low. Add the egg then mix in vanilla extract.

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Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

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Mix in 150g of chocolate chips.

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Press the chocolate chip dough into the prepared pan. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

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Bake bars in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden.  Let cool completely.

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Place Oreos and cream cheese in a food processor and run until the mixture forms a sticky mixture.

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Place the Oreo mixture on top of the cooled cookie and press with your hands to flatten into an even layer.

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Heat the remaining 200g of chocolate chips with 2 teaspoons of Trex in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds, stirring in between each, until melted and smooth.

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Pour over the top of the Oreo truffle layer and spread evenly. Chill in fridge until set, a few hours.

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To minimize the chocolate cracking when cutting, let the bars come to room temperature before cutting.

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Valentines Vanilla Cupcakes

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Why spend money on chocolates when you can treat your valentine to homemade cupcakes? Bake up some sweets for your valentine this Valentine’s Day with these tasty love-themed cupcake decorating ideas.

The best part about these cupcakes, though, is the decoration. There is no limit when it comes to decorating. With so many ways to make them and so many flavors and colors to use, you can make any boring vanilla cupcake something extra special.

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Ingredients for the vanilla cupcakes:

110g unsalted butter (at room temperature)

225g caster sugar

2 large eggs

150g self-raising flour, sifted

125g plain flour, sifted

120ml semi-skimmed milk (at room temperature)

1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract

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Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole muffin tray with the appropriate size cupcake cases.

In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, this should take about 3-5 minutes using a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minuets after each addition.

Combine the two flours in a separate bowl. Put the milk and vanilla extract in a jug.

Add one third of the combined flour to the creamed mixture and beat well, then pour in one third of the milk and vanilla extract and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them about two thirds full to allow the mixture to rise when cooking. Bake in the oven for about 20 minuets (regular size case) or 15 minutes (mini size cases).

Remove from the oven and carefully place them onto a wire rack to cool.

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To decorate:

Ingredients

Icing sugar

Red, Pink and White royal icing

Roll out the white royal icing on an icing sugar dusted surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out with a round cookie cutter and apply to the cupcakes. Alternate the colours if you wish.

Roll out the red and pink royal icing to 1/8 inch thick. Using small heart shaped cutters or a sharp knife, cut out a few heart shapes. If you have small letter shape cutters, you can cut out the words ‘I Love You’ or ‘Be Mine’ and using a little icing sugar mixed with water stick them onto the circular icing. Alternatively you could just sprinkle some pink edible heart decorations on top of the white icing.

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Triple Treacle Chocolate Cookies

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These treacle cookies are soft, chewy, full of chocolate and hold a hint of wonderful flavours. Chocolate is used three times within; coco powder, chocolate chips and big chocolate chunks making these perfect for chocolate lovers. To achieve the crackled appearance on top of the cookies, and to release some of the gooey melted chocolate, once removed from the oven tap the top of the cookie firmly using the back of a spoon.

Ingredients for the cookies:

110g unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg

200g brown dark sugar

100g granulated sugar

85g Black Treacle

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

310g all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda

170g dark chocolate chips

140g dark chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks

Ingredients for the Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

150g granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute. Allow to cool.  Add the egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, black treacle, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and salt and whisk until all combined and the batter is smooth.

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Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and stir to just incorporate. The batter will be thick.

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Fold in the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.

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Preheat oven to 180C and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and stir to combine.

Using a cookie scoop, form a ball of dough and then roll through the cinnamon-sugar.  Place on baking trays, spaced about 2 inches apart (to allow the cookies to spread).

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Bake for about 7- 8 minutes, or until tops are just set. Try not to over bake otherwise you will lose the gooey chocolate and soft and chewy texture.

Once removed from the oven, gently tap the top of the cookies with the back of a spoon to flatten them. This will create the crackled appearance and allow some of the melted chocolate to ooze out.

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Leave cookies to cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes before moving them to a rack to finish cooling.

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Nutella Swirl Peanut Butter Blondies

IMG_6644These blondies will definitely satisfy Nutella and peanut butter lovers. They are made from brown sugar, peanut butter and melted butter which makes them super soft, yet gooey. Milk chocolate chips are then added and Nutella is then swirled on top to not only give the blondies a great appearance but to add depth, richness, and a pop of chocolate.

This recipe is ideal, you will only use one bowl and they’ll be ready in 30minutes!

Ingredients: 

110g unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg

175g light brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

150g plain flour

150g milk chocolate chips

1 tablespoon peanut butter

75g Nutella

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking tin with aluminium foil and grease.

In a microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.

Wait a minute before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

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Add the flour and stir until just combined.

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Stir in the milk chocolate chip chips.

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Add the peanut butter and stir until evenly dispersed.

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Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.

To create the marbled pattern shown, drizzle the Nutella over the batter in three parallel lines, evenly spaced. Next rotate the pan 90 -degrees. With a toothpick, starting at the top of the pan, drag the toothpick through the Nutella 5/6 times.

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Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until done. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.

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Allow the blondes to cool in the baking tin for about 40minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. You can then cut into squares to serve.

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Chewy White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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These cookies are LOADED with white chocolate chunks, what more could you ask for? Well maybe a soft chewy and buttery cookie exploding with chocolate..

Ingredients:

280g Plain flour

1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cornflour

1/2 teaspoon salt

170g unsalted butter

150g light brown sugar

100g granulated sugar

1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

100g white chocolate chips

80g white chocolate chunks

Toss together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cornflour and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.In a saucepan melt the  unsalted butter, remove from the heat while you measure out the sugars.

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In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown and white sugar together until no sugar lumps remain.

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Whisk in the whole egg, then the egg yolk.

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Finally, whisk in the vanilla extract. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula.

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The dough will be very soft, yet thick.

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Fold in the chocolate chunks until they are evenly dispersed within the dough. This may be a bit difficult due to the melted butter but try your best.

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Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours. Chilling is mandatory, as it will give you a thick and chewy cookie. If the cookie dough is used at room temperature it will spread.

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Take the dough out of the refrigerator and leave or 10 minutes to soften slightly.

Preheat the oven to 170C degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Using about 3 table spoons of dough, roll into balls and space out on a baking tray.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will look soft when you remove them from the oven but don’t worry they will continue to cook on the baking tray. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. When cooled, drizzle melted white chocolate on top.

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These cookies will stay fresh for 7 days if stored in tupperware at room temperature. Rolled cookie dough may be frozen for up to 3 months. You can then simply remove and bake for 12-14 minutes from frozen when needed.

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Cake Batter and Sprinkle Chocolate Bark

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The possibilities are endless, when making your first batch of bark. It’s such fun, simple, quick, and rewarding.  It could be made for children’s parties or even as a sweet snack.

Chocolate bark is actually a sheet of chocolate that is usually covered with nuts, sprinkles, dried fruits, sweets or even additional pieces of chocolate. It’s rustic looking in the sense that it is just thrown together and then broken into various sizes of chocolate shards to serve.

My Cake Batter Chocolate Bark is even better and couldn’t be easier.  A simple white and milk chocolate bark is flavoured with cake batter and then decorated with colourful sprinkles. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.

Ingredients

180 grams high quality milk chocolate, chopped
360 grams high quality white chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (15 g)  cake mix
sprinkles of choice

Instructions

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Chop milk chocolate and melt either in the microwave or a double boiler.

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Pour melted milk chocolate onto your parchment paper until desired thickness is achieved

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Freeze for 20 minutes to set.

Chop the white chocolate and melt either in the microwave or a double boiler.  Whisk in cake mix slowly, stirring well until smooth.

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Remove pan with set chocolate from the freezer and pour white chocolate on top.

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Spread until to get an even thickness. Toss sprinkles on right away.

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Freeze for 20 more minutes. Once set, break or cut into pieces. Store in the refrigerator.

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Mini Iced Doughnuts

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These mini doughnuts have a fluffy, cake-like texture that leaves everyone begging for more. Not only cute but baked rather than fried, these diddy doughnuts are a healthier option too. They’re easy to make, easier to eat and lots of fun to decorate because they provide a great excuse to use up all kinds of sprinkles!

Ingredients: (makes 20 mini doughnuts)

75g plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

55g caster sugar

60ml milk

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp vanilla extract

Silicone mini doughnut mould (can be purchased from Lakeland)

 

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Lightly brush the doughnut pan with cooking oil.

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Take a large roomy bowl and sift the flour, baking powder and salt into it. Add the sugar and give it a stir round to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, beaten egg, olive oil and vanilla extract together and add this to the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly.

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Using a teaspoon or jug carefully fill each of the doughnut cups around ¾ full with the batter. Place in the oven and bake for about 8 minutes, or until firm, but springy to the touch. Cool slightly.

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Turn the doughnuts out and place onto a wire rack to cool. Mix up some icing sugar or melt some chocolate and dip the doughnuts face down and place onto a wire rack and sprinkle away!!

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