5 imaginative doughnut designs we love

11 May, 2017

With National Doughnut Week in full swing, we’d thought we’d offer up a little extra inspiration for all the bakers getting involved! From the classic glazed ring to the jam-filled ball, these deep-fried dough treats are incredibly popular here in the UK, with numerous exciting varieties to choose from.

However, although we’ll always have a soft spot for the classics, doughnuts have come a long way over the past few years. So bakers, are you up for a challenge? For those of you who really want to stand out during Doughnut Week, we’ve picked out five imaginative doughnut designs that’ll really put your baking skills to the test!

1. Chocolate-glazed black cat doughnuts

 
Chocolate glazed black cat doughnuts

The classic ring transformed by a thick coating of dark chocolate ganache – these black cat doughnuts are sure to grab your customers’ attention! After frying your doughnuts, make your chocolate glaze using double cream, dark chocolate, icing sugar and black gel food colouring. To add the ears, push two whole almonds into the top of your doughnut, then coat the whole thing in the rich dark chocolate glaze. Finish your design using white and black icing to complete the effect!

2. Melted ice cream doughnuts

 
Melted ice cream doughnuts

Perfect for summer weather, these melted ice-cream doughnuts are sure to go down a treat this May! Coat one half of a ring doughnut in white icing, then pipe more icing around the edge to create the drip effect. Next, dunk a doughnut hole (a miniature doughnut ball) entirely in the white icing and place on one side of the doughnut, using a little extra frosting to cover the joints. Add the ice-cream cone on top of the doughnut hole, then cover with sprinkles, add a Glacé Cherry, and voilà! One delicious melted ice-cream doughnut ready to serve.

3. Unicorn doughnuts

 
Unicorn doughnuts

If you’re looking to stay on trend this Doughnut Week, then unicorn doughnuts are a must. Perfect for bakers with an artistic flair, these magical sweet treats are guaranteed to charm your customers!

Coat one half of a ring doughnut in thick white icing, and set aside to dry. Then, roll out white fondant icing, cut out two leaf shapes and mould them into curved ears. Next, roll out two 5cm pieces of white fondant before twisting them together around a cocktail stick to form the unicorn horn. Attach the ears using white frosting and insert the cocktail stick between them. Pipe spirals of pink, blue and lilac frosting beneath the horn, then use edible gold paint to add the inner ear detailing and decorate the horn. Finally paint on the black lashes for one marvellously mythical doughnut!

4. Marbled doughnuts

 
Marbled doughnuts

If you’re going for the ‘wow’ factor, these incredible marbled doughnuts are an explosion of colour. Simple, yet incredibly effective, create a runny white icing using icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract before adding at least two of your favourite shades of food colouring. Add the food colouring in small splotches using a toothpick, then simply pour the icing over the doughnuts to create the marbled icing effect. Finish with a scattering of sprinkles, if desired!

5. Fruity doughnuts

 
Fruity doughnuts

Want to really impress this week? Try whipping up a whole fruit basket of doughnuts! When it comes to fruit-inspired designs, we think the more tropical, the better. From yellow pineapples and vibrant watermelons to strawberries and tangy kiwis, why not match the flavour of your doughnuts to their designs as well? Swap your rings for filled doughnuts to add a sweet and fruity centre to complement the glaze.

Are you getting involved with National Doughnut Week this year? Let us know what you’ve been making via Twitter!

5 fantastic foreign breads from around the world

24 April, 2017

Here in Britain, we love a good loaf. From the classic white bloomer to the rustic sourdough, bread is staple here in the UK, not to mention a firm favourite. However, despite always having a soft spot for the loaves we know and love, as bakers, we also revel in experimenting with new recipes.

Over the years, we’ve been introduced to more and more varieties of bread, many of which originate from all over the world. Introducing punchy spices, unusual textures and vivid colours into our recipes, these breads provide a whole new taste experience for customers. So, which ones do we think need a little more attention? To help you broaden your baking horizons, we’ve picked out five fantastic foreign breads to experiment with this season.

1. Pão de Queijo – Brazil

 
Pão de Queijo, Brazillian cheese bread

Soft, doughy and bursting with rich, salty cheese, pão de queijo is a must-try for bakers looking to practise a few new techniques. Otherwise known as Brazilian cheese bread, these delicious cheesy puffs are traditionally eaten for breakfast and are a great  savoury snack option.

The best part, however, is that pão de queijo is also incredibly simple to create. Combine tapioca flour with milk, oil and salt, before adding eggs and cheese to form a sticky, stretchy dough. Bake until the dough has puffed and is turning golden brown, then they’re ready to enjoy! We love this pão de queijo recipe by The Kitchn, using parmesan for a delicate cheese flavour.

Best for: Serving as a delicious savoury snack or starter. Why not accompany these moreish cheese balls with a garlic and chive dip for an original appetiser option?

2. Challah – Israel

 
Challah, Jewish ceremonial bread

Traditionally a Jewish ceremonial bread, challah is certainly an impressive loaf. Rich, moist and with eggy hints, challah is sweetened with honey and egg washed to create a brilliant golden crust. It does, however, require a repeated process of kneading, proving and kneading again, so isn’t one to whip up in a hurry!

Challah is usually braided into a neat plait before baking, making it perfect for occasions. Fancy giving yours a modern twist? This thorough challah recipe by Tori Avey suggests adding raisins or chocolate chips into the mix, or topping with poppy seeds to add even more flavour.

Best for: Serving as a whole braided loaf. Perfect as a tear and share table centrepiece, challah is ideal for group events.

3. Pan de Muertos – Mexico

 
Pan de Muertos, Mexico's Bread of the Dead

Now, you’ve probably heard of Mexico’s infamous Day of the Dead festival, but have you heard of the accompanying pan de muertos? Pan de muertos translates as bread of the dead, which we have to admit, doesn’t sound very appetising, but it is in fact absolutely delicious.

This soft, sweet bread is flavoured with orange zest and aniseed, then covered in a sticky orange glaze and doused in granulated sugar. Sounds incredible, right? To make sure your pan de muertos is as authentic as possible however, don’t forget to add your dough shapes on top. Resembling bones and tears, these shapes characterise the bread of the dead. Try out this pan de muertos recipe by The Spruce to give this delectable bread a go yourself!

Best for: An elevenses snack or afternoon treat. This sugary snack has enough flavour to be eaten on its own, but also pairs very well with Nutella for a chocolate orange sensation!

4. Bao – China

 
Bao - Steamed Chinese Meat Buns Baozi in a bowl

Bao, or baozi, doesn’t really look like your typical loaf, and the truth is, it’s not. Originating from China, this Asian delicacy is steamed, hence the miniature buns’ pale colour. However, despite their anaemic exterior, these doughy buns actually have a succulent centre.

Bao typically has a moist, savoury filling, making these buns a surprisingly delicious treat. We’ve opted for this rich char siu bao recipe by The Woks of Life, which is steamed buns stuffed with BBQ pork. Why not put your own spin on this Chinese recipe by introducing some of your favourite fillings to create your own signature bao?

Best for: A delicious appetiser option. Try serving a variety of bao with a number of fillings for a more exciting dish!

5. Paratha – India

 
Indian Paratha Bread

India is renowned for its wide variety of flatbreads, but have you ever tried your hand at paratha? Traditionally made from whole wheat flour and made using a lamination technique, the flat paratha dough is cooked quickly on a skillet before serving.

Although this flatbread is fantastic plain, it also lends itself well to the addition of aromatic spices and punchy flavours. This masala paratha recipe by Spice up the Curry, is a great example, featuring a delicious concoction of turmeric, red chilli, coriander, garam masala, ajawain and cumin seeds!

Best for: Serving as a delicious side dish, or pairing which a tangy chutney for a filling lunch option.

What are your favourite foreign breads? Let us know which ones you love to make via Twitter!

#BritishSandwichWeek: Our 5 favourite sandwiches to serve!

20 April, 2017

A whole seven days dedicated to celebrating the trusted sandwich. British Sandwich Week runs from 14th May to 20th May 2017, and creates an opportunity for professional cooks to capitalise on the popularity of this culinary delight. Interestingly, the sandwich is a British invention, and since its creation in the 18th century, it has become a firm favourite for food lovers everywhere.

Did you know, 11.5 billion sandwiches are consumed in the UK ever year – enough to cover the world approximately 44 times!

Although the first ever sandwich, created by the fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, was a simple concoction of meat placed in-between two slices of bread, now the sandwich has been transformed into something bigger, better and bursting with all types of filling variations. There are even dessert sandwiches!

To show you the full variety of sandwich types out there, in this blog we’re counting down a selection of gourmet and classic sarnies to serve. Which one will be our favourite?

Did you know that the reported average price for a sandwich in the UK is £2.07

5. The American: Reuben sandwich

 

reuben-sandwich

Originating in Nebraska, the Reuben sandwich, aptly named after its creator, is an overload of succulent corned beef, covered with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut, and drizzled with Russian dressing. Be sure to grill on deliciously soft rye bread, and top off with a tangy pickle for extra crunch! It tastes amazing.

4. The veggie classic: Halloumi, sun-dried tomato and rocket sandwich

 

halloumi-sandwich

Salty, grilled halloumi coupled with sharp sun-dried tomatoes, and finished with crispy rocket; this veggie sandwich is full of contrasting flavours that complement each other perfectly. Add mayonnaise, black pepper for extra seasoning, and serve on two chunky slices of tiger bread!

Why not serve as an open sandwich and top off with more halloumi?

3. The sweet: Ice cream sandwich

 

ice-cream-sandwich

So, it turns out, a sandwich can be anything placed in-between two foods, as we’ve recently discovered thanks to the latest phenomenon – ice cream sandwiches. Perfect as temperatures rise, the staple ice-cream sandwich is made up of flavoursome ice cream, sandwiched between two chunky cookies. Already, however, we’ve seen an array of incredible variations, from scoops of sundae packed within crunchy s’mores, and even ice cream layered between two heavenly doughnuts!

2. The unusual: Picnic loaf

 

Picnic loaf

Want a showstopper of a sandwich to amaze your customers? Taking a little more time to prepare but guaranteeing attention, the eye-catching picnic loaf is a sandwich created within a loaf of bread. An ideal snack for a picnic, this alternative sandwich suggestion locks in flavour, offers easy transportation, and is synonymous with summer, thanks to its go-to fillings. The picnic loaf’s trademark is the hollowed-out loaf, filled typically with roasted vegetables, mozzarella, and Italian meats. Serve by the slice and with a side!

1. The favourite: Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel

 

salmon-cream-cheese

And our favourite sandwich, although we’re now privy to all of the above, remains the classic smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel! Dress the smoked salmon with lemon juice, soften the delectable cream cheese, and place on a toasted bagel. What we love about this is its simplicity: it’s easy to throw together, uses few ingredients yet is bursting with flavour and texture! We love it.

What’s your favourite sandwich to make for your customers? Share your suggestions with us via Twitter, and hashtag #BritishSandwichWeek.

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