We had had a stormy day, it was scary. I felt the roofs were shaken, as if they're going to get blown away. The rain was pouring hard, and we were kept inside, unless it's the time to feed the chooks (= chickens). And today, it is a beautiful day. Very much the opposite situation from yesterday. This is the time we appreciate sun with its glory and shine. With Spring is around the corner, our fruit trees are in buds, daffodils are flowering, tulips and freesias are opening, magnolia tree starts flowering, honey bees and bumble bees are buzzing around happily, little birds are enjoying nectar of Chinese lanterns-including native bird, Tui-, kereru are happily flying here and there, it is just beautiful.
Spring also means that our chooks start laying more eggs. We pretty much collect 10-20 eggs a day and most of them to give away. Some young chooks which just start laying this year lay smaller eggs, and some old chooks tend to give us bigger eggs which sometimes contain of twin yolks inside. The sheep have all finished their lambing season and now lambs are running around the paddock. We've also lost many old sheep (including Lucey) and some newborn lambs which were overdue, and we're adding the paddock inhabitants with yet two bobby calves. Enough the pleasure for the kids.
I am feeling quite like the Spring itself, the vibrant sensation of moods gives me more crave to chocolate. Perhaps the joy of what's stores ahead: beautiful days with lots of work in the garden to prepare Summer displays gives this energy. I have not had chocolate for a while. I don't know quite sure why. I just don't think I want it, but now I do. Making doughnuts, the midgets from Spain, combined with the richness of chocolate pots, oh, a heavenly thing to do!
I just love the flavour of cinnamon and nutmeg in sugar to complete the presentations. The chocolate pots are another bonus. Either scooped while enjoying doughnuts or dip the doughnuts in, they're just great combination.
Spanish Cinnamon Doughnuts with Chocolate Pots
Source: Delicious. ABC. August 2006.
2 cups (500ml) milk, 2 cinnamon quills, roughly broken, 450g good-quality dark chocolate [at least 70% cocoa solids] chopped, 395g condensed milk, 300ml thickened cream, whipped, grated nutmeg or cocoa powder, to dust
Heat milk and quills over low heat until just boiling. Set aside. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth, then remove. Strain milk into chocolate and whisk well. Whisk in condensed milk. Divide among six 200ml glassed and chill for 2-3 hours.
Top chocolate pots with cream and nutmeg, and serve with doughnuts. Serves 6.
½ cup (110g) caster sugar,
½ tsp vanilla extract,
20g unsalted butter, melted,
½ cup (125ml) milk,
1 ¼ cups (185g) plain flour, plus extra,
1 tsp baking powder,
canola oil, for deep-frying (I used rice bran oil),
2 cups (450g) white sugar with 3 tsp ground cinnamon and ½ tsp nutmeg (I used caster sugar)
Whisk sugar, vanilla, egg, butter, and milk. Add combined flour, baking powder and ½ tsp salt, and stir until smooth, adding extra flour if needed to form a thick batter. Strand for 1 hour.
Half-fill a heavy-based pan with oil and heat to 180C. (If you don't have a deep-fryer thermometer, test a cube of bread-it'll be golden in 30 seconds if oil is hot.)
Fry teaspoonfuls of batter for 2-3 minutes until golden. Drain. Toss in sugar mixture.