Black Forest Giant Doughnut

Today is #NationalDonutDay. I can only assume from the spelling that it applies to those in the States and yet here I am baking a Black Forest Giant Doughnut. Any reason to eat doughnuts is good enough for me!

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut chocolate sponge with swirls of cream and cherries.

I have been wanting to bake a Black Forest Gateaux for ages, so took the opportunity of making a Black Forest Giant Doughnut. Indeed if you do not have doughnut moulds – mine were from Lakeland are were very reasonably priced – I see no reason why this recipe shouldn’t work using 7-8″ sandwich tins.

This has the absolute lightest of sponges and I opted to add a little Kirsch (cherry liquer) which is absolutely optional.

In season I would have used fresh cherries, that had been macerated in a little liquer and sugar, as they are not quite in season yet, I opted for tinned cherry pie filling. Morello cherry jam would also work well here. This is a very adaptable recipe. Use whatever you have to hand, or can easily get hold of.

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut.
Black Forest Giant Doughnut deliciously easy to make and assemble.

Hopefully if our cherry tree is laden with as much fruit, as it had blossom I will remake this Black Forest Giant Doughnut and add an extra photo. Meanwhile back to the bake in hand.

Even though this is a giant doughnut I would happily bring it out for dessert after dinner, or serve with afternoon tea on a sunny day in the garden. Mostly I would encourage you to share this delicious bake. It is simply too good to be kept hidden away.

Two slices will be popped around to our neighbours in a little while. The sheer joy of pleasure and surprise when I turn up, unannounced, with baked goodies is THE most important aspect of baking for me. Sharing is at the very heart of what I do and who I am. If a small gift can bring a smile to someone’s face, well that brightens my day.

Recipe: Makes one Black Forest Giant Doughnut serves 8

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter –  plus a little extra for greasing the moulds

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

Scant pinch of salt – no more than 1/4 tsp

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

6 Large Free Range Eggs

75g/3oz Cocoa Powder

125g/4oz Plain White Flour

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

For the filling/topping:

200ml/8fl oz Double Cream

1 x 410g Tin Cherry Pie Filling – note morello cherry jam and fresh cherries can be used instead.

Optional – 1tbs Kirsch

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

  • Grease the inside of both doughnut moulds well with soft butter.
  • In a large bowl add the butter and sugar.
  • Whisk/beat until pale and creamy. Approx 5 minutes, this helps create a very light sponge.
  • Add all 6 eggs and the vanilla extract to the bowl – I always crack my eggs into a separate bowl first.
  • Sift the flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder into the bowl.
  • Whisk/beat on a slow speed until all the ingredients have come together.
  • Using a large spoon give the chocolate sponge mix a good stir to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Divided the cake batter in half and spoon into each of the 2 doughnut moulds.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Two halves of a giant doughnut ready to be baked.
  • Place the doughnut moulds on to a baking tray, ensuring they don’t squash each other (I actually switched trays after this photo was taken).
  • Put the tray into the centre of the oven and bake the doughnut halves for 30-40 minutes.
  • The doughnut halves are baked when they spring back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the doughnut halves from the oven.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Each half of the giant doughnut is beautifully baked.
  • Carefully place each silicone mould on to a cooling rack.
  • If adding Kirsch carefully prick each mould lightly with a cocktail stick, being careful not to puncture the silicone mould.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Lightly prick the sponge all over so that the Kirsch can be absorbed.
  • Spoon half a tablespoon of Kirsch over each half of the doughnut sponge whilst it is still hot.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then turn each of the sponges out onto the cooling rack. Cool fully before decorating.

Decorating your Black Forest Giant Doughnut:

  • In a medium bowl add the double cream and whip until it holds a firm peak.
  • Fill a piping bag with a large star tip (I use Wilton #1M) with the whipped cream).
  • Place one half of your doughnut, flat side up on a cake stand or plate.
  • Reserving 8 whole cherries to decorate the top, spoon the cherry pie filling on to the bottom half of the doughnut – DO NOT over fill.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Spoon slightly less filling than I have, this splurged a bit when the top was put on!
  • Pipe the cream in a swirl pattern on top of the cherries.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Beautifully piped whipped cream in the centre of the giant doughnut.
  • Place the top of the doughnut on to the base. Wipe away any excess cherry syrup – notice that in my finished photos there isn’t a doilie 😉
  • Pipe 8 swirls evenly around the top of the doughnut and top each with a reserved cherry.
  • Pipe stars around the outside of the middle of the doughnut, this creates a tidy, professional finish.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut the piped cream stars around the middle give a finished, professional look.

Serve your Black Forest Giant Doughnut cut into generous slices, with a smile and a lovely hot drink!

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut a real treat.

Perfect with candles as a birthday cake. Did I mention I had Black Forest Gateaux every year, for my birthday as I was growing up. It was not hard for me to take this delicious classic recipe and turn it into an amazing giant doughnut.

Such a stunning, yet easy to accomplish bake. A slice of Black Forest Giant Doughnut is bound to evoke memories of the retro gateaux and break out smiles once tasted and devoured!

If you have enjoyed this Black Forest Giant Doughnut Recipe here are some others you may like to try:

Raspberry and Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Delicious Raspberry and Cream Giant Doughnut

Black Forest Cupcakes

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Cupcakes with mascarpone.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes fruity deliciousness.

I really want to encourage you to buy a doughnut mould. This is not a sponsored post, i very much doubt that Lakeland even know I exist! That said, the moulds creat such a beautiful rounded doughnut shape, are incredibly easy to use and inepensive to buy. Perfect as a gift or for putting on your own birthday list.

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens this weekend, I hope you laugh lots, have plenty of fun and enjoy feasting on your amazing creations with friends, family and neighbours.

If you know someone who’ll be spending Saturday evening, or Sunday aftenoon alone, why not invite them round. Even if it’s just for a cup of tea and slice of cake, you will make someone else feel valued and cared for and they may even make you smile in return!

Sammie xx

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Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

In practically every cook book that I own and there are a lot of them, roast chicken features as an easy, everyday roast. I completely agree that it is easy, but, I want to take my roast to the next level. Start with a great, free range bird, fresh herbs and tangy lemon and what you get is my Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken.

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken taking your roast to the next level.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love roast chicken, as long as it’s a good bird. By that I mean free range or organic. Not only am I concerned for the welfare of the chicken during its life, the additional antibiotics and fast growing make me shudder at the thought. So buying well bred, slow growing birds not only ensures a better quality of life for the chicken, the resulting taste, when cooked, couldn’t be more different to a standard, supermarket chicken.

I have mentioned before our decision, as a family, to eat less meat, but what we do eat must be good quality. And yes that means paying more. Making the meat go further helps with the cost, but ultimately it is our personal choice. With less additives/antibiotics and a happier lifetime, each chicken we eat is cooked with respect for the bird and I aim to waste nothing.

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken, this meat is finger licking good.

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken makes an already tasty bird, utterly delicious.

I grow a lot of our own herbs in tubs and in the garden. Rosemary and thyme are probably the most frequently used herbs and being hardy I can still pick them in the winter, along with bay and sage. Most supermarkets sell freshly potted herbs at a great price. Next time you are doing your weekly shop, grab a couple of pots, plant them into larger tubs, or the ground (only plant mint in a pot – it’s a thug in the ground!).

As you can see from the photo above, my thyme is just starting to flower. Pretty, tiny pink flowers that are fine to leave on the stalks and add extra interest when used as a garnish.

So let me encourage you to buy, or should I say invest in a slower growing free range/organic bird and a pot of fresh herbs. I buy all of our meet from Graig Farm in Wales and have done so for the last few years. The chicken used for this recipe came from them and the taste was noticeably better than a mass produced, supermarket bird. The only way you’ll know is by tasting the roasted chicken.

With free delivery on all orders over £100 and a new customer discount, it is well worth taking at look at their website here. I generally buy our meat in bulk and then fill the freezer. I find buying larger joints of meat works out more economical and bigger cuts of meat, especially on the bone, taste so much better. I realise there are 5 of us in our house, so let me reassure you that they sell a wide range of meats, in different cuts and sizes. Also if there’s something you’d like and they don’t list it, give them a ring. Graig Farm’s customer service is excellent and they will always try to accommodate each individual customer’s requests.

Recipe: Make one 2.2kg/5lb Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken, serves 8

1 2.2kg/5lb Chicken – preferably organic or free range – ours was from Graig Farm

1 Fresh Unwaxed Lemon – scrub in hot water if waxed

Approx 10 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

1tbsp Olive Oil

Sea salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to season

Optional – 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon – again preferably organic or free range

Method: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6

  • Remove the chicken from the fridge 1 hour prior to roasting.
  • Take the giblets out of the cavity and pat the outside of the chicken dry with kitchen roll.
  • Sprinkle a generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper into the chicken’s cavity.
FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
As the chicken cooks the lemon and thyme flavours gently permeate throughout the meat.
  • Cut a lemon in half lengthways and insert into the chicken cavity.
  • Push the fresh thyme into the cavity with the lemon.
  • Place the chicken in a roasting dish that is just big enough to hold the bird.
  • Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil all over the outside of the chicken.
  • Sprinkle over sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • If using, lay the strips of streaky bacon across the bird, as shown in the photo below.
  • Tuck the giblets down the side of the bird. Roasted these will add massive flavour to any gravy or stock.
FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Covered in streaky bacon that will baste the bird as it is cooking adding extra flavour.
  • Next tightly cover the chicken in aluminium foil.
  • Place the Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken into the middle of the oven and roast for 1 hour 40 minutes.
  • After the roasting time has elapsed remove the chicken from the oven.
  • Take off the aluminium foil and cooked bacon rashers – cook’s perk!
  • Baste with the juices and place back into the oven for a further 20 minutes to crisp up the skin.
  • NOTE: the cooking times are based on 20 minutes per pound of meat, plus an extra twenty minutes. So for a 5lb chicken like this one, the roasting time is 1 hour 40 minutes, plus an extra 20 minutes – adjust your timings to fit the weight of your bird.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven at the end of it’s cooking time.
  • Press a sharp knife into the thickest part of the chicken’s thigh. The chicken is cooked if the juices are clear. If there is ANY hint of pink pop the chicken back into the oven and retest after 15 minutes.
  • Once cooked take the Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken out of it’s roasting tin and place on a board or serving platter. You can use the leftover juices in the roasting tin to make a lemon and thyme flavoured gravy.
  • Cover the chicken loosely with aluminium foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes (or up to an hour).
FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken who’s ready for dinner?

Serve the Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken with traditional roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables, or in the summer with hunks of good, homemade fresh bread like this Large White Bloomer,  and a crisp green salad.

A delicious twist on a favourite roast, this Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken will awaken your taste buds and leave you wanting more!

If you’ve enjoyed the recipe for this Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken, here are few few more you might like:

Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Roast Chicken Noodle Soup a great way of turning leftovers into a fantastic meal!

Chicken Herb Burgers

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Chicken Herb Burgers ultimate summer barbecue food!

Chicken and Four Cheese Lasagne

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Chicken and Four Cheese Lasagne delicious comfort food.

Do you love Roast Chicken?

Do you have an opinion on oraganic versus standard? Only polite answers please.

It has been amazing to see so many of you putting up photos on Twitter and Instagram where you have made my recipes. I honestly cannot express the gratitude I feel, when you place your trust in me. Ingredients cost money, which is why I test each recipe thoroughly to ensure you have the best possible chance of success when following them.

Seeing your makes and bakes keeps Feasting is Fun at the heart of what this blog is all about. Having fun whilst making and baking in your kitchens and then feasting and sharing with family, friends and neighbours.

That makes me smile!

Sammie xx

This is not a sponsored post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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