It's been a while since I've had my (mini baked) doughnut pan out of the cupboard. I'd planned to do something super Autumnal (think spiced doughnuts with maple frosting and candied bacon bits, which I still plan to product at some point), but instead I got distracted by chocolate. Who would not want a wrack full of mini chocolate (or more accurately cacao: raw, un-roasted cocoa powder, and crunchy, bittersweet nibs) doughnuts with a tart glaze sitting in the kitchen for you to snack on as you walk past on a cold, dark, Autumn/ Winter afternoon? I'm all into comfort baking now before it becomes time for all out Christmas.
I've been a Grazer for the best part of 6 years. I don't think I'll ever tire of getting boxes of their little snacks in the post, but more recently big, 150g Graze pouches from the new Graze Shop have been finding homes in my larder. Honestly I can't really tell the difference between cacao and cocoa powder in baking (but it is much more delicious when you're using it raw), but cacao nibs? Order yourself a bag and I promise that you'll become as obsessed as I am. I first tried a raw cacao nib at Rabot 1754, Hotel Chocolat's restaurant in Borough Market, and I now love handfuls of them (slightly sweet, slightly bitter, and unlike anything you've ever tasted) for a snack, and to decorate soft cakes like these doughnuts when you're after some crunch. They're also great for adding a bit of bite to a bowl full of guacamole.
You can visit the Graze Shop here, and if you're after some ingredient recommendations to fill up your pantry, obviously by way of I was you to order a bag of Super Cacao Nibs, but their Smoky BBQ Pistachios are also pretty great for a savoury snack or to add to savoury dishes or trail mixes. The shop also sells big bags of some Graze favourites: I love their Honeycomb Crunch, and their Jam Doughnut mix.
The mixture below will make roughly 12-15 mini doughnuts. I use Judge's mini doughnut pan, but regardless you should make enough for weekend snacks or afternoon tea - they're best enjoyed on the day you make them. I'd also pick up a roll of disposable piping bags (I used these ones) as I find they're best for filling the rings with batter quickly and neatly.
- 65g (4 tbsp) Plain (All Purpose) Flour
- 20g (5 tsp) Cacao Powder
- 50g (10 tsp) Golden Caster Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 60ml (4 tbsp)Whole Milk
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 tsp Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 6 tbsp Icing Sugar
- 2 tsp Fresh Orange Juice
- Small Handful Cacao Nibs
Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees (325 F). Combine all of the dry ingredients except for the icing sugar in a bowl, and in a separate jug combine all of the wet ingredients except for the orange juice. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until you have a smooth batter. Wipe a little extra oil into the holes of your doughnut pan, and spoon or pipe in the mixture until each hole is 3/4 full. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes until the doughnuts are risen and firm.
Prize the doughnuts out of the pan and leave them to cool on a wire rack as soon as they're cool enough to touch. Meanwhile, make the glaze by combining the orange juice and icing sugar until smooth in a small dish. Once the doughnuts are smooth, dip the shiny side into the glaze, then sprinkle the cacao nibs onto the wet glaze. Leave the icing to set for about 20 minutes before enjoying (if you can wait that long!)
If you're looking for another mini baked doughnut recipe, I've got a recipe for Mini Limencello Glazed Vanilla Baked Doughnuts, and to complete your sweets for an alternative afternoon tea why not try my Nutella Rugelach and my Strawberry Buttercream and Pistachio Mini Cakes. For savoury, why not try my Mini Crayfish Rolls or my Easy Asian Devilled Eggs? Now all you need to do is choose your tea and crack open a bottle of fizz!