Chocolate Jam Doughnut Muffins and a Taste Test
When I saw the recipe and accompanying pictures for baked jam doughnut muffins over at Lavender and Lovage, I knew it was only a matter of time before I tried them myself. As ever, Karen’s photographs are beautiful, but it was the recipe itself that enticed me. I love doughnuts, but never buy them as they are, somehow the epitome of junk food. I’ve been wanting to try some of these baked doughnut style muffins for ages, but as soon as I come across a recipe, I lose it again. This time I bookmarked it.
Although my cupboards are overflowing with my own home made jams at the moment, I wanted to try these doughnut muffins with a very special jam I was recently sent by the queen of jams herself, Vivien Lloyd. Following on from my blackberry chocolate jam, I was keen to see how the real thing compared, in this case a raspberry chocolate version. A taste testing was in order.
The first thing I noticed was the deep red colour, just a little darker than you’d expect a raspberry jam to be; it looked enticing. On opening the jar a zingy aroma leapt out – raspberries in their full fruity glory. The consistency was perfect, it stayed where it was put – not too runny, but not too firm either. It was the taste I was keen to try however. Getting the balance between fruit and chocolate is a tricky one; you want to taste both and not have one overwhelm the other. Raspberry was the first flavour to hit my tongue and it was glorious, but hot on its heels came the chocolate, adding depth and strength to an already delicious jam.
Mine was a very different sort of jam. I’d sieved the blackberries for a start as I find blackberry seeds rather more annoying than raspberry ones. Despite this, I think I will try them whole next time as it’s nice to get some texture. My jam has a soft sett, so was runnier than Vivien’s, but the real difference was in the flavour. The aroma wafting up from my jam was pure chocolate and that was the taste that first hit the palate. The blackberry came through very soon after, but the balance was the opposite to the raspberry jam. I was very pleased with my jam which is quite delicious, but it doesn’t have the subtlety I now see would be desirable. I’ve been lucky to learn from a master.
I found there was too much mixture for the suggested six muffins in Karen’s recipe and ended up making eight very large ones. I used only a fraction of the butter and sugar for coating at the end as neither CT nor I like our bakes to be overly sweet and I didn’t want them to be tooooooo unhealthy! As it tuned out, it was plenty.
This is how I made:
Chocolate Jam Doughnut Muffins
- Added 1 tbsp cider vinegar to 175 ml milk and left for a few minutes to turn into “buttermilk”.
- Sifted 300g flour (half wholemeal, half white) into a bowl along with 2 level tsp baking powder and ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda.
- Stirred in 150g vanilla sugar (golden caster sugar infused with vanilla pods) and a pinch of salt.
- Made a well in the centre and broke in a duck egg.
- Stirred from the middle outwards, gradually adding 80 ml sunflower oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract and the buttermilk until everything was just mixed. It’s important not to over stir a muffin mixture as it may make the muffins heavy.
- Filled 8 silicone muffin moulds to about ⅓ full. Nestled a large teaspoon of raspberry chocolate jam in the middle of each one, then topped with the remaining mixture.
- Baked in the middle of the oven at 180℃ for nearly 25 minutes, when the muffins were well risen, firm and golden.
- Allowed to cool for a few minutes, then turned out onto a wire rack.
- Melted 25g unsalted butter in a little pan and weighed out 25g vanilla sugar (golden caster sugar infused with vanilla pods) into a small shallow dish.
- Whilst still warm, lightly brushed the muffins with melted butter then rolled them in the sugar to lightly coat.
Disappointingly the jam sank and looked nothing like Karen’s lush blob of jam in the middle of hers. However, I won’t let this put me off making them again as they were delicious warm and equally good cold. The butter and sugar coating gave a crusty texture to the outside which contrasted well with the soft and fluffy inside. As I suspected it would be, the jam was the star of the show and worked exceedingly well (apart from sinking). CT, the doughnut connoisseur, felt these were a good substitute for the cheap and cheerful version he snaffles when allowed out on his own.
I wasn’t quite sure, if the jammy smile was a cheeky chappy or a ghoulish face just right for Halloween – I’ll let you decide.
I am so glad I remembered to bookmark this recipe as it’s one well worth having. I’m sending it off to Bookmarked Recipes, normally found at Tinned Tomatoes, but this month it over at Feeding Boys and a Firefighter.
I’m also sending this over to Supergolden Bakes for Cook Blog Share.