Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mini pumpkin donut muffins

A while back I tried a baked donut muffin recipe that has been making its way around the web, which I absolutely loved. The mini baked donut muffins are baked so they don’t taste like yeast fried donuts, but they strongly resemble the cake-type donuts.

I’ve been wanting to go back to the recipe for a while, but I also wanted to play around with it. I had been thinking about trying a pumpkin version, and then I found another baker who had the same idea and already made a pumpkin version! I found the recipe on The Craving Chronicles.

These doughnut muffins required a couple more steps than the original sugar doughnut muffins they are adapted from, but they have a nice pumpkin flavor. They are a bit more dense and wet, but they are quite tasty and I love the spices. I liked these as much as I liked the original version.

If I have time, I might play around with this some more, and see if I can make a slightly less dense and less wet version. It was hard to get these to stand up because they were dense.

When they finished baking, they looked like tiny pumpkin muffins. I was trying to decide what to do with them to decorate. I ended up dipping the tops in chocolate ganache, but they came out kind of messy and I couldn’t seem to properly coat the tops. Maybe next time I’ll leave them plain or dip them in a sugar cinnamon mixture.

I made a few modifications to the recipe. Here is the recipe with my modifications:

Mini pumpkin donut muffins (adapted from The Craving Chronicles)

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (I will probably reduce this next time)
1/2 cup fat free milk

Directions
1. Preheat oven 350°F. Spray  mini muffin tin with baking spray that contains flour.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices .

3. In a large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined!

4. Spoon batter into muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate ganache coating

Ingredients
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

1. Heat heavy cream in a small pot. Once it begins to boil, remove from the stove.

2. Pour heavy cream into bowl of chopped chocolate. Stir and mix until chocolate is completely melted.

3. Let ganache cool for a few minutes before dipping the tops of the donuts in chocolate ganache

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cali Baguette Express

Cali Baguette Express
9225 Mira Mesa Blvd, #106
San Diego, CA 92126,
(858) 695-8888

Cali Baguette Express has been on my to-do list for quite a while.  I first read about it on CAB Cooks.  I recently thought about it again after seeing a post from foodies: a southern california food blog.

I’m not sure why, but I imagined a store with a drive thru, so I was surprised to find it in the middle of one of those plazas where all the storefronts look the same and the businesses have the same letterheads displaying their names.

Once inside, we were greeted warmly by the owner. I was hoping for some eggrolls, but I saw the display case was empty. Unfortunately, we had come too late for eggrolls. So instead, we opted to order some bahn mi sandwiches.

BF got #13, which was spicy beef. I got a #6, which was bbq pork. The sandwiches were freshly made.

I was surprised to find my bread still hot and crispy. I love fresh french bread. There was a decent amount of bbq pork in my sandwich, though I could have used more herbs and pickled vegetables. I wasn’t as big of a fan of the beef. There was something in the sauce the beef was marinated in that I didn’t particularly like.

Here is the pork:

Here is the beef:

The sandwiches were pretty good.  I’d come back here again, though next time I’m going to come earlier so I can try out the eggrolls.

Cali Baguette Express on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mini Apple cider donuts

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of recipes out there for apple cider donuts.  I’ve never eaten apple cider donuts, so I decided to try making some this weekend.

I used a recipe I found on The City Sisters. The recipe is for baked mini donuts rather than fried ones. I plan on trying a fried version in the new future. The baked donuts recipe gave me a chance to use my mini donut pan again.

I love how easy these baked donut recipes are to whip up. I only used a whisk and no mixer. I had to make a few changes to the recipe. For one thing, I didn’t have any apple butter. I tried to buy some, but couldn’t find any. So I replaced it with apple sauce.  I also didn’t have any maple syrup, so I used agave nectar. I also didn’t sprinkle the pans with sugar. Instead, I waited until the donuts had cooled and then used some melted butter and dipped the donuts in a cinnamon sugar mixture.

These mini baked donuts came out wonderfully. They were so soft and the donuts have a great apple cider taste with a hint of autumn spices. To my surprise, they taste even better the next day because it lets the apple flavor really sink in.

I love these donuts even without the cinnamon sugar topping. But they don’t look so pretty plain so I added the cinnamon sugar mix.

Mini Baked Apple Cider Donuts (adapted from recipe found on The City Sisters)

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 large egg
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup agave nectar (or maple syrup)
1/3 cup spiced apple cider
1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Topping:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray mini donut pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

3. In another bowl, whisk together egg, brown sugar, applesauce, agave nectar, cider, yogurt, and oil.

4, Add in dry ingredients and stir until combined.

5. Fill each mini donut halfway.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Let donuts cool slightly for a few minutes.  Use a plastic knife, gently pry around edges of the donut until donuts pop out.

6. Let donuts cool completely. Then melt 1/4 cup butter in a small glass bowl. In another small bowl, combine 2/3 cup white sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.  Dip top of donuts in melted butter and then dip in the sugar mixture.