Twist and Shout – With Chocolate

In a continuing search for places to use chocolate I found Chocolate Torsades. The name derives from the French ‘tornado’ for ‘twist.’

There really isn’t a recipe for this. I used my creme patisserie recipe from the eclairs, (I had some left over.) I also had a leftover sheet of puff pastry, and of course lots of existing chocolate. (Still trying to exhaust the old stock.)

French Chocolate Torsades (Puff Pastry Twists)

INGREDIENTS
• 4 egg yolks
• 1/2 cup of sugar
• 2 tablespoons of flour
• 1 1/2 cups of milk
• 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla
• 1 tablespoon of butter
• 1/4 teaspoon of salt
• 1 sheet Puff pastry (270 g)
• Chocolate chips dark or milk
• 1 egg for egg wash
• Sparkling sugar

METHOD
For the custard

  1. Whisk eggs and milk together and add to all other ingredients (except vanilla) to a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil whisking constantly
  3. Cook until thickened (it will look lumpy, its ok)
  4. Sieve lumpy mixture into a bowl and add 1 tsp vanilla, mix thoroughly
  5. When incorporated, cover with plastic directly on the cream and cool.

    For the Chocolate Torsades
  6. Preheat oven to 410 degrees (215 Celsius)
  7. Roll out puff pastry about 14 inches long or just use the store bought roll
  8. Spread a thin layer of the vanilla custard on top
  9. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top
  10. Fold in half and cut into strips
  11. Twist each strip a few times to create the twist
  12. Whisk one egg in a small bowl and brush the tops of the twists with the egg wash
  13. Place chocolate torsades on baking sheet with parchment paper
  14. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar
  15. Bake at 400 degrees (215 Celsius) for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Long Chocolate Buns

I saw a picture of an elongated bread roll, like a hot dog roll, but slashed with a lame and the slashes were filled with lemon curd before baking. Well, I couldn’t find the recipe so decided to create my own. This is the first time I have stepped out of my chemist-trained-recipe-following comfort zone.

I also decided, since I don’t really care for lemon curd, I would instead roll chocolate ala pain au chocolat but using an enriched bread dough instead of puff pastry. This was also an excuse to use some of the 11# of chocolate I bought a couple of weeks ago.

The QC department suggested a less bitter chocolate (64% cacao) and sparkling sugar topping (good suggestion.) QC will have to live with 64% as I do have 11 pounds. Manufacturing suggested no chop the chocolate so small. Something the size of chocolate chips should melt fine and be easier to handle.

Chocolate Filled Bread Buns

INGREDIENTS
• 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
• 1 cup barely warm milk
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoons salt
• 2 eggs, one for dough, one for egg wash
• 1 tablespoon orange zest
• 165g, about 1 cup (4-6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chopped fine (pulse in a food processor)

METHOD

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter, sugar, salt, egg, and orange zest. Stir until blended and fragrant.
  3. Add 3 cups of flour and mix until the dough comes together. It will be sticky! On a lightly floured surface knead the dough until soft and elastic (about 8 minutes), adding more flour to keep the dough from sticking if necessary. Do not add too much flour! The dough will become more workable the longer you knead. Or, if you have a standing mixer, knead the dough with the dough attachment for 5-7 minutes, or until elastic.
  4. Transfer the kneaded dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm area until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.
  5. Punch dough down, divide into 12 equal portions, and shape each portion into a round ball. Flatten into an oval then roll to ¼ “ thick rectangle.
  6. Place a stripe of chocolate ½ “ from long end of rectangle. Roll to cover chocolate and place a second stripe of chocolate. Roll up and seal edges and all seams.
  7. Place rolls a on baking sheet coated lightly with cooking spray. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for another 20 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  9. Slash diagonally 4x with lame.
  10. Brush 1 egg wash over the rolls. Sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar.
  11. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Un-Hasty Pudding

Well, it ain’t instant pudding, but is sooooo much better!! I made this pudding a couple of times before, each time seemed better than the previous.

If you have read some earlier posts you know I have an 11 lb bag of new chocolate just waiting its turn. I decided to use some of the 70% I had opened (finished it!) to make this home made pudding. It takes a little time and most of it is hands on, but it is so worth it. If you like chocolate and if you don’t mind whisking constantly for a few minutes, try this. It’s delicious. I forgot where I found the recipe and frankly, I don’t care.

A dab of whipped cream would have helped the picture, but we couldn’t wait.

Chocolate Pudding from Scratch

Makes 4 cups; serves 8

INGREDIENTS
• 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
• 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 3 large egg yolks
• 2 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Use a serrated knife to chop the chocolate into fine flakes; set aside.
  2. Whisk the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt together in a large, heatproof bowl. Slowly whisk in the cream, a little at a time, until you have a smooth mixture.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks into the cream and cornstarch mixture.
  4. Pour the milk into a 3-quart (or larger) saucepan. Add the sugar and warm over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Bring the milk to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Watch for the surface of the milk to vibrate and for bubbles to form around the edges of the pot.
  6. To temper the eggs, slowly pour most of the hot milk into the bowl of cream and egg yolks. Whisk until well-combined, then pour everything back into the pot.
  7. Bring the mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. (It should look like lava boiling up!) At this point, the pudding will look much thicker.
  8. Cook for 2 minutes more, whisking constantly and vigorously. Get your whisk into all corners of the pot.
  9. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Add the chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted. Whisk vigorously until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
  10. Transfer the pudding to a storage container and press plastic wrap or wax paper directly onto the surface of the pudding. Cover with a lid and refrigerate.

A Day In The Life – Act I

So, I started the morning with Pain Au Chocolat, (making, not eating.) I have some opened chocolate I need to use before I open the new bag. To me, baking is a hobby so I like to make everything I can from scratch. I don’t use mixes or other short cuts…. except for puff pastry. In the past I made puff pastry a few times and must admit that what I make is not nearly as good as what is available in the super market.

I buy two brands of puff pastry. Trader Joe sells a box with two 10”x10” sheets. TJ’s is good when you don’t want a huge puff when baked. If you knock it before baking it will puff less than 100%, which is what I used for todays pastry. Pepperidge Farms puff pastry also comes in two sheets per box, but each sheet is conveniently individually wrapped. This pastry puffs 200% if baked without knocking, a little less if you do. Pepperidge Farms is available year round, while TJ’s is only available from roughly Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Buy a few boxes and put them in the bottom of your freezer. I do.

Using Trader Joe’s puff pastry makes Pain Au Chocolat a snap. There is the added benefit it is also delicious.

Pain au Chocolate


INGREDIENTS
Puff pastry (Trader Joe’s)
Chocolate ( I used Guittard’s 63%)
Confectioner’s sugar

METHOD

  1. Roll out puff pastry
  2. Dust with confectioner’s sugar
  3. Cut into 2” wide (Trader Joe’s Puff Pastry – cut 5 long strips, then cut each in half)
  4. Lay chocolate at one end, roll one time, press down gently and roll again, press gently again
  5. Add second row of chocolate and roll one last time, press gently
  6. Chill overnight or at least 2 hours.
  7. Brush with egg wash
  8. Bake 360 deg 20-25 min on parchment lined baking sheet

Straight Down the Middle

As we near the end (of some peoples playing season,) one of my golf buddies invited our foursome and families over for a patio dinner before the weather starts turning cold(er). I offered to bring a cake along to the dinner. This is what I made this morning

It’s my extreme chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.

The trees are gum-paste cones made by wrapping thin gum-paste around a form, then set to dry overnight.

Of course, I rarely hit it straight down the middle!!

Ahh… ahh… Choux

No, I don’t have a cold. It is cold here, below freezing at dawn, but it warming to the high 40’s to mid 50’s in the afternoon. When the sun is out it is beautiful. When its raining… well there is nothing like a 40 deg rain to keep one inside and baking.

Normally, I make my cream puffs with choux, creme pat and chocolate ganache. I thought this time I would make a lighter pastry with sweet chocolate and vanilla whipped cream filling, and with deference to the season, decided to stack them like a snowman. (Full disclosure: I saw them on the final of The Great American Baking Show and thought they looked amazing and I never have a problem with the baked choux sticking to the parchment paper like Amanda Faber did. Hmmm.)template

I drew a template of circles 1.75″ and 0.75″ diameter on one side of a piece of parchment
paper. The paper was then placed, pencil side down on a double thick cookie sheet and set aside.

Choux Pastry

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ c (65 grams) AP flour
  • ½ tsp granulated white sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp (55 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ c (120 ml) water
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tbl water to glaze (optional

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400o F (200o C) and place rack in center of oven.
  2. In a bowl whisk the flour with the sugar and salt.
  3. Place the butter and water in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.cooling-choux
  4. Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture, all at once, and stir until combined. It will look like mashed potatoes. Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about 1-2 minutes). The dough will film the bottom and sides of the saucepan and make cleaning a pain.
  5. Transfer the dough to an electric mixer and beat on low speed to release the steam from the dough (about 1 minute). Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs (dough will piped-chouxseparate and then come together) and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste (dough will fall from a spoon in a thick ribbon).
  6. Place the dough in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe disks, alternating sizes onto the parchment lined baking
    sheet. (Hold the bag at a 90-degree angle and pipe disks.) Alternate sizes so you don’t end up with all large or small disks. If baked-chouxdesired, with a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the dough with the lightly beaten egg.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350o F (180o C).
  8. Remove from oven, pierce an end of each éclair with a small skewer to release the holes-in-chouxinterior steam.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

METHOD

  1. Place a metal mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the bowl from the freezer. Add the heavy cream, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar, and beat with an electric mixer for 4-5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form / it’s scoop-able with a spoon and holds its shape.
  3. Place leftovers in a container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Sweet Vanilla Whipped Cream

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Pour the cream into a well-chilled bowl and add the sugar and vanilla.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk, beat the cream to the desired consistency.
  3. For soft peaks, the cream will be just thick enough to hold its shape in soft billows.
  4. For stiffly beaten cream, the beaters or whisk wires will leave distinct traces on the cream and stand in firm peaks when the beaters are lifted.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Fill large puffs with chocolate whipped cream and small ones with vanilla.
  2. Pipe a swirl of vanilla whipped cream on top of the large puff
  3. Place small, filled puff on top of large one using the swirl of whipped cream as a binder.
  4. Drizzle with ganache
  5. Top with a berry, if you have any. A dab of whipped cream piped on top would be good also.completed-choux-dessertchoux-showing-filling

 

Do You Know the Way to Canelé?

do-you-know-the-way-to-san-jose-sheet-musicA canelé is a small French pastry flavored with rum and vanilla with a soft and tender custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust. It takes the shape of small, striated cylinder up to five centimeters in height with a depression at the top. Originally a specialty of the Bordeaux region of France, today it is widely available in pâtisseries in France and abroad.

I had my first canelé in Seattle while visiting Neil and Maureen this past December. It was delicious and I knew I would make them soon. I started researching recipes and equipment when I returned home. Traditional canelé molds are copper to facilitate heat transfer and provide an even caramelized crust. At about $24 each, I decided to opt for the modern silicone mold version ($15 for a sheet of 8 molds.) Supposedly, the crust is more difficult to caramelize and more likely to be uneven.

Adapted from ChezPim, basically her recipe and technique with some of my words and comments.

Ingredients

  • 500g (2c) whole milk
  • 50g (3½ tblsp) butter
  • 1 vanilla bean or 3-4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 100g (¾c +1 tblsp) AP flour
  • 250g (2c) un-sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 large fresh eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¼c rum (optional)
  • 20g (¾oz) beeswax cut into small chunks (using a hot knife will make your life easier)
  • 20g (¾oz or 1½ tablespoons) butter, cut into small chunks

Method

  1. Make the batter – 2 days before you plan to bake the canelés.
    1. Place the milk, butter, and vanilla bean (cut in half and scrape the seeds into the

      canale-liquid-ingredients

      Liquid Ingredients

      pot) over medium heat and bring to a boil. If you want to be precise it should be 183F. Remove from heat and let cool down while you get to the other ingredients. Measure and then sift together the flour, powder sugar and salt.

    2. Use your fingers, or a spatula and press the eggs and yolks through a strainer into the dry ingredients to mix them without incorporating air.
    3. When the milk/butter/vanilla mixture is just a bit warm but not so hot ~120F or so, remove the vanilla bean halves. Don’t throw them away

      Dry Ingredients

      Dry Ingredients

      though, instead put them in another bowl of about the same size. Pour the warm milk mixture into the bowl containing the dry ingredients, and gently stir together until well-blended. You’ll see plenty of lumps in the batter, but that’s fine for now. I use a wooden spoon to mash the large lumps against the side of the bowl to break them up.

    4. Strain the lumpy batter (through a fine-mesh strainer) into the bowl you put the vanilla bean in earlier, pressing the lumps through until you get a

      Batter

      Final Batter

      totally lump-free batter. Add the rum and stir until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (no need to press the plastic right over the surface of the batter) and place in the fridge to rest for 48 hours. Stir once after 24 hours and put it back in the fridge to continue to rest the second 24 hours.

  2. Coat the silicone molds:
    1. Place the molds in the hot oven for a few minutes to warm.
    2. Melt equal amounts of beeswax + butter in a small pan set in nearly boiling water.

      melted-wax-and-butter

      Melted Wax and Butter Mixture

    3. Stir occasionally until melted. Keep mixture warm as it will set up quickly,
  3. With a pastry brush, (don’t use a good one, it will be ruined. I bought a silicone bristle brush from which the wax can be cleaned,) paint the hot beeswax + butter mixture on the warm mold. Brush mostly on the side of the molds, the wax will drip a little down to the bottom on its own. If you brush all the way to the bottom you’ll end up with a thick pool of wax on the bottom of the mold. Brush a thin coating such that you can see the mold through it.
  4. After coated, freeze the molds for ~10 minutes, you want

    Coated Silicone Mold

    Coated Silicone Mold

    them to be very cold when they go into the oven. Keep the batter cold too, this will keep the moist, custardy interior.

  5. When you’re ready to bake, fill each cavity almost to the top. Place the mold on the middle rack of your preheated oven.
  6. Bake them for 15 minutes at 450F (preheated at 475F) then lower the temperature after you put the molds in the oven) then an additional 40 minutes at 375F, turning the molds every 15 minutes to ensure even baking.
  7. The canelé batter will expand over the molds, but only

    Baking Caneles

    Baking Caneles

    slightly. If you see the massive poufs (Pim’s word, but a good one), especially around the first 10-20 minutes take the whole baking sheet out of the oven and put it outside for a few minutes, the poufs should calm down and settle back into the molds. When the batter settles back into the molds, put them back in the oven to continue baking. (Make sure you pause the timer when the molds are outside the oven and restart it when you put it back so you could keep track of the actual baking time.)

    caneles

    Baked Caneles

Summertime, And The Livin’ is Easy

It’s summertime again. Actually, it is the end of May and summer is still 3 weeks away but if you live in South Florida summer began months ago. I needed a cake for a dinner party this weekend and said to myself, “Self, what springs to mind when you think about summer?” After a moment, I replied, “Well, after a long hot winter I want to fall into a cool, refreshing cake that shrieks summer.” I decided on a Watermelon Cake. It doesn’t taste like watermelon (it is actually a white cake dyed reddy/pink) but sure looks like one. IMG_1421[1]

Bake the cake in a greased and flowered Wilton Egg Pan (because I own one.) Fill the pan to within an inch of the top and be sure to put a cookie sheet under it while baking as it will overflow the pan. My oven is slow so I baked it for an hour at 350 F. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Trying to remove the cake while warm will destroy it.

After the cake is completely cool, (I know, the cake is very cool, but in this case I mean the temperature) cut the excess cake along the edge of the Egg Pan to make a perfectly flat side then turn it out onto a wire rack. If necessary loosen the edges of the cake from the pan with a flexible spatula.

Frost the cake with a heavy IMG_1422[1]layer of white crusting butter cream frosting (I made a double recipe of the below) and place in the freezer. When the frosting is set, about an hour, coat with another layer of white frosting making it as smooth as possible, returning to the freezer. This makes the thicker white watermelon rind. While the twice white frosted cake is again setting add some green food coloring to the remaining frosting. This green should be the background green of the watermelon, not the dark green lines. Add a little additional milk to reduce the viscosity, or to the non-scientists among us, reduce the “thickness.” After the frosting on the cake is set, smooth a layer of the light, thinner green frosting over the entire cake and return to the freezer. After the now light green cake is set, remove from the freezer and smooth the surface. I like to use a latex gloved hand wetted by holding it under the faucet. A bowl of water would also work but then you have to clean another bowl. You will have to clean and re-wet your hand a few times to smooth the entire cake. Once the light green frosted cake is smooth, guess what? Return it to the freezer to set.
IMG_1427[1]Remove the smooth light green frosted cake from the freezer and paint the dark green stripes. I used Duff green airbrush dye and a 3/8″ brush (because I own them.) If you are the artistic type with a good eye and imagination this is no biggie. If you are the more analytical, fallen chemist type, set your iPad with a picture of a watermelon next to your cake and copy to the best of your limited artistic ability.

BTW, here is a tip I found online: to disperse the chocolate chips and not have them settle to the bottom of the cake batter mix them into the flour mixture being sure the are well coated with flour. This seems to help them “float” in the cake batter as it bakes.

Here is another tip: don’t let the cake with the thick frosting warm up in the car ride to your party. Soften or melted rind signficantly affects the overall impression of the cake.

Recipe: Heavenly White (Watermelon Colored) Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites ( or substitute)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • Red dye

Directions

  1. Measure sifted flour, baking powder, and salt; sift together three times.
  2. Add chocolate chips and mix being sure the chips are well coated with the flour mixture
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 1/2 cup sugar gradually, and continue beating only until meringue will hold up in soft peaks. Add red dye to approximate a watermelon color.
  4. Cream butter or margarine. Gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Add red food dye until the same watermelon pinky/red is achieved. Mix in flavorings. Add colored meringue, and beat thoroughly into batter.  Pour into well greased and floured Egg Pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 60 minutes. Check the springiness of the cake after about 45 min. Guess when it is done (when the depression caused by your finger is anti-depressed, or springs back up.) Leave the cake in pans until completely cool, then trim the bumpy puffed up cake above the rim of the Egg Pan and remove and transfer to a wire rack.

Basic Crusting Butter Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid high ratio shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon of meringue powder
  • 1 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Extract (or extract of choice)
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Green food color (add after cake is frosted with the white frosting)

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla and milk. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating on a slow speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. Keep bowl or covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Don’t overwhip or it will bring air to the icing and is impossible to smooth. If you have a kitchen Aid use white attachment, not whip attachment.

 

A Berry Good Tip

A few weeks ago Fran found a tip on how to keep berries fresh in the refrigerator. If you are like me and am annoyed when the berries you buy on Saturday are all white and fuzzy by Monday try this. I know everyone else in the world new and uses this tip but it worked so well I had to post it.Blackberries

Wash the berries in a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water. Swish them around for a couple of minutes to wash all the dirt and bugs (just kidding) and unseen mold spores out. Then wash well, at least a couple of minutes. The berries will be clean with no odor of vinegar and the ones I did this way lasted 2 weeks and are still good.

Here is another suggestion: mash some berries and layer with vanilla ice cream in a tall thin glass. This will create a parfait and as Donkey in Shrek said: “Parfait’s gotta be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet! “

Baked Almost Donuts

About mid-morning yesterday I realized the banana I had for breakfast several hours earlier was not going to sustain me until lunch. Suddenly I had a donut craving. IMG_1145Remembering that I had a mini-donut baking pan I searched AllRecipes for a baked donut recipe, assuming it would be healthier (and easier) than frying. I chose a recipe for “Donut Muffins” and planned on baking them in my donut baking pan. I started assembling all the pans and ingredients but couldn’t find the ^#&%#* donut baking pan.

Finally I realized the recipe directions were inaccurate. I should have planned 15 minutes for preparation and 15 minutes for baking and 20 minutes to find the ^#&%#* donut baking pan. Ultimately I had to settle and use mini-cupcake pans. Also, the recipe says it makes 24 servings. In my humble opinion this recipe makes 24 delicious mini-muffins which are one serving, unless there are two people home, when it could then, under duress, be 2 servings. I strongly suggest not making these if there are more than 2 people home, there won’t be enough. You could always double up the recipe, if you really wanted to.

 Donut Muffins

24 Servings, Prep Time: 15 Minutes, Cook Time: 15 Minutes, Time to find the ^#&%#* donut baking pan: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat convection oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Search every cupboard, drawer and cabinet for the ^#&%#* donut baking pan.
  3. Failing to find it, grease and flour 24 mini-muffin cups.
  4. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup margarine, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, then mix in the baking powder and flour until just combined. Fill the prepared mini muffin cups about half full.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. While muffins are baking, place 1/4 cup of melted margarine in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Remove muffins from their cups, dip each muffin in the melted margarine, and roll in the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Let cool slightly and serve.