Thursday, 20 October 2011

National Baking Week with Baking Mad - Doughnut Muffins & Vegan Mint Cake

Not only is it the week of my blogoversary, but it's also Mr O's birthday and National Baking Week. That makes it the ideal week to bake something special to celebrate all 3 events!

Baking Mad are also celebrating National Baking Week, and asked me to try out some of their recipes and blog about them. It took me a while to choose, but I eventually settled on 2 quite different ones: The delicious-sounding jam doughnut muffins (edit - now know as duffins!) and Eric Lanlard's indulgent-looking vegan mint chocolate cake.

I made the muffins earlier in the week. I didn't have any buttermilk, so I substituted this for half plain yogurt and half water. I also made a combination of lemon curd, strawberry jam and Nutella filled muffins to please all the family. They turned out perfectly, although they didn't rise as much as I expected. They were absolutely delicious whilst still warm - really light and fluffy - and they tasted a bit like freshly cooked American waffles. They tasted pretty good cold too, and I found they froze and defrosted well.

I decided to halve the vegan chocolate cake ingredients, as I wasn't sure how well it would keep. I was a little worried about making the cake, as I expected the recipe to contain dairy-free spread or vegetable oil, but the actual cake is fat-free. The mixture made quite a runny batter, which again was a little disconcerting! The cakes rose quite well and looked quite light, but needed a little persuasion to come out of their tins!

I couldn't find vegan cream for the ganache icing, so I had to improvise using dairy-free spread and a splash of soya milk along with the chocolate. I also added quite a bit of peppermint extract, to get a good minty flavour.

The cake had a unusual chewy texture, but tasted good with the mint-chocolate ganache smothered all over it! I think the cake would benefit from the addition of some margarine or oil, as I reckon this would make a softer textured cake (sorry Eric!)

Myself, Mr O and the children all enjoyed both the muffins and the cake. I'm not sure I'd make the cake again, but I'll definitely be making the muffins again soon. 

For more recipes and tips on baking and cupcake making, visit the Baking Mad website.

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