This week I’ve been bombarded with heart images with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. I hope you guys aren’t sick of heart shaped desserts yet because I haven’t started on mine so I’m doing a little catch up.

I bought these tiny adorable heart sprinkles and I knew I wanted to make some baked donuts. I thought it’d be really cute if I could make heart shaped ones but given the nature of baked donut batter, I didn’t think I could create them without a mold. So I did a search and found this Heart Donut Panfrom Wilton.

The pan was perfect for my needs. It says they make regular sized donuts, but they are actually smaller than a regular donut but bigger than a mini. Since they are smaller than a regular donut, they are still super cute. The recipe provided on the back was easy peasy. No machine needed. Just a bowl and spoon.

The donuts came out in a perfect heart shape. I know sometimes you can bake in heart molds but after the batter puffs up, the dessert loses the heart shape.  These donuts maintained their heart shape on the outside and even had a heart shaped hole on the inside. You can’t really see the inside heart as well because my chocolate frosting wasn’t as perfectly heart shaped.

These donuts were nice and moist and have a light chocolate flavor. They don’t taste like fried yeast donuts, but they taste good and they are cute.

Baked Chocolate Heart Donuts (Taken from the back of the Wilton Heart Doughnut Pan package)

(Yields approx 12 donuts. The recipe says 24, but I only got 12..)

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk (I replaced this with sour cream)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla; mix gently until just combined. (Dough will be thick) Fill each doughnut cup approximately 1/2 full. (I put the dough into a piping bag and piped it because the dough is very thick)

Bake 4-5 minutes or until the tops of the doughnuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing. Repeat with remaining batter. Finish doughnuts with desired toppings. (I topped my donuts with chocolate ganache and sprinkles)

As you know, Baby Bro’s girlfriend recently came back from her annual winter trip to Taiwan. You can read about part 1 and part 2 here. She’s continuing to send me photos with some notes of her trip so that I can share them with you all.

I was really excited to see these pictures from The Landis, which held the wedding reception for BBG’s older sister. I’ve been to a few reception banquets in Taiwan and the setting is always so pretty and the food so delicious.

Here is a little party favor/gift for each guest:

And of course, the food:

The first one is a cold platter with lobster. A cold platter is almost always the first course in a chinese banquet meal.

These appear to be sticky rice balls (tang yuan)

I believe this is quail.

Shark fin soup

Chicken soup:

Shitaki mushrooms stuffed with seafood

Eggrolls

Fish. Another must for a chinese banquet.

Rice wine soup

Mango pudding

Fruit platter. I spy my beloved guava.

Here is the dessert all dished out.

A delicious looking slice of cake:

I bought these fancy looking muffin liners a while back and have been trying to find an opportunity to use them. They remind me of the muffin liners used by gourmet bakeries.

When I was making my nutella banana bread last week, I had some leftover batter and thought I’d make a few muffins for an easy transportable breakfast. I wasn’t originally going to post this because my muffins did not come out pretty at all, but I thought I’d put it up anyway.

My  batter was more runny than usual because I had an extra banana lying around that I threw in there. While this created a super moist cake bread, it created a not-so pretty muffin. My muffins came out looking like lumpy chef’s hats. The batter wasn’t firm enough to create the ideal muffins for these cupcake liners. Which is a shame because these cupcake liners were not cheap.

I have a few remaining so I’ll have to find a different recipe and try out these liners again.

Nutella Banana Muffins
(Yields 12 oversized muffins)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons nutella

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line muffin pan with liners

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda, and flour. Mix in nutella. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full

3. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Baking time depends on the size of your muffins. Mine took about 40 minutes because my batter was really runny and my muffins were oversized.)