maple bacon and/or espresso dark chocolate doughnuts

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Doughnut worry. Listen to me and everything will be dough-kay. This is nut a drill, but as long as you follow these easy steps we’ll all get out hole.

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Go here. Buy one of these.

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Wait patiently. In the interim check out my mad left-handed egg-cracking skills. If you’re super bored waiting for your doughnut tray maybe you can practise cracking eggs with your less-favoured hand, so one day, like me, you can crack TWO EGGS AT ONCE. I’ll show you that some other time.

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Once you’ve got your tray, you’re ready to make some dough. Nuts.

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When the suckers are in the hot box you have one of two vices to choose from: bacon or coffee. Then either mix up a batch of super smooth and chocolatey glaze:

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Or introduce Mr Maple to Colonel Cream Cheese and Dr Bacon to Mrs Hot Plate:

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When everything is cool put the icing/glaze/bacon on the rings of cakey goodness:

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Admire your handiwork:

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If you’re some kind of super-demon of willpower, brew up a good cup of tea:

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Doughn’t look back:

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For the doughnuts:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Makes six.

For the espresso dark chocolate glaze:
3 tbsp coconut oil
1.5 tbsp agave
4.5 tbsp cacao
1 tbsp freshly brewed espresso

For the maple cream cheese frosting:
1/2 cup spreadable cream cheese
3 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
2.5 tbsp icing sugar

For the bacon:
3 rashers of short cut bacon

Directions:
Combine dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Stir together. Oil doughnut tray. Fill doughnut tray. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until spongy on top.

If you are making maple-bacon doughnuts cut bacon into small bits. While the doughnuts are baking add them to a small pan and fry until crunchy – this will take a while. Maybe 20 minutes. If the bacon starts jumping out of the pan turn down the heat.

Take doughnuts out of oven and let cool.

If you are making espresso chocolate doughnuts: melt coconut oil. Then add agave and cacao. Stir. Pour in espresso and stir again. Let sit for a short time. Do not refrigerate.

When the bacon is cooked transfer to plate or bowl and let sit as well.

Dip cooled doughnuts in glaze or ice with knife. Let glaze cool or, if using maple icing, add cooled bacon bits to icing.

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(Incidentally vegan) cranberry hot cross buns with mandarin cardamon glaze

IMG_7769I actually wrote this post over a week ago, but my, oh my, have I been busy. Sorry ’bout that, but narrative theory is, like, intense sometimes, and I’m kinda a slow reader. As an apology, here’s a picture of a vintage duck-shaped measuring cup I bought recently. There’s supposed to be a whole set nestling together, but the op shop only had the 1 cup. Also pictured: some terrariums I made and a tile my friend, Sally, gave me aaaaages ago.  IMG_7694

Anyway. First thing’s first: whenever I say buns in this post I want you to imagine me wiggling my eyebrows suggestively at you. OK, cool. Here we go.

Buns. Fresh buns.

No, but seriously, how good are they? Like, ten, right?

I’ve never made hot cross buns before. In fact, every year I find myself thinking that hot cross buns really aren’t worth buying, because when I was a student (last time) they seemed pretty expensive for what they are and quite frankly not that exciting. And again, like the fruit cake thing, I was turned off by the poorly executed citrus rind in so many commercial buns. But look, now I’m adult enough to have to pay for a parking permit to park on the street in front of the house I live in, so maybe I’m old enough to enjoy buns.

*eyebrows*

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And I do, I totally do. This year I even found myself buying buns and they were good. 10 points to Hufflebuns! But, you know, I still thought I could do better.

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So here we are: cranberries, mandarin, cardamon pods. Slightly hungover from the first proper sprawling house party I’ve been to in years. Slightly hungover from a night of primarily tequila-based drinks for the very first time and trying to figure out how to get the glaze on my buns without a pastry brush. Maybe I have time to shower and go buy one right now while the buggers are still rising.

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Buns. Adulthood. New recipes and new hangovers. Time might be ticking away too quickly to settle for sub-par buns. But also: you’re never too old to get drunk on something new. You’re never too old or too young to appreciate a pair of hot little buns like these.

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*eyebrows*

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BUNS

Ingredients:
2 cups water
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup SR flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Boil water, and combine with sunflower oil and sugar. Allow to sit for a few minutes to cool off. While still warm, but not scadling to the touch, add yeast and plain flour. Stir and allow to sit for one hour. When the hour is up and the dough has risen, add SR flour, salt, spices and cranberries. Knead until dough is elastic, and spices and cranberries are well distributed. Break off golf-ball sized pieces and roll into, well, a ball. Arrange on oiled tray. Leave to sit, covered with clean teatowel, in a warm place for an hour.

CROSS

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of plain flour
4 1/2 tbsp of water

Directions:

Combine flour and water to form thick paste. Spoon into ziplock bag/piping bag and use to draw crosses on your buns.

GLAZE

Ingredients:
1/3 cup mandarin juice (about 1 mandarin worth)
3 tbsp water
12 cardamon pods

Directions:

In small saucepan bring water, juice and cardamon to simmer for fifteen minutes. When cool and buns are ready for oven, brush over buns.

Cooks buns in medium over for 20-30 minutes, brushing occasionally with any leftover glaze.

Makes about 28.