Berliners and brownies

7 September 2017
Some readers asked for recipes for the Berliners and brownies I made recently. Here they are:


Berliners are made using a sweet, rich dough similar to bread dough. This recipe makes up about 30 small, or 24 medium sized doughnuts.  I use raspberry jam and dust them with icing sugar.

4 cups plain/all purpose flour
3 teaspoons dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons castor sugar
1 ½ cups warm milk. I use buttermilk but whole milk is fine as well.
4 eggs
125 grams/4 ounces butter, melted

Vegetable oil for frying -  I use sunflower oil.

Place all ingredients in a bread machine (use the dough setting) or in a mixer with dough hooks. To make by hand, mix ingredients in a bowl and knead for 10 minutes.

When the dough is mixed and kneaded, it should be left to rise for about an hour. Once risen, turn the dough out into a floured board. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin to about 1 - 2 inches in height.  At this stage you can bag them up for the freezer. When you want to cook them, they must defrost completely, return to room temperature and rise again before cooking.

If you want to cook the Berliners straight away, allow the dough to rise again for about 45 minutes then heat up the oil to 180 C in a saucepan. The oil must be at the right temperature when you put the dough in because oil will soak into the dough if it's not hot enough.  If the temperature is at the correct temperature, the heat will seal the dough and the oil will cook the Berliners without becoming greasy and soggy.

Berliners will burn if they touch the bottom of the pan so use a saucepan with enough oil for the dough to float free of the base.  They'll be ready when they are golden brown, this should take about 2 - 3 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon or tongs to turn them half way through the process. Allow to cool slightly, inject warmed jam into the Berliner with a long nozzle (recycled) sauce bottle or cut a pocket in the side with a sharp knife and spoon it in. Dust with icing sugar or castor sugar.  They should be eaten the same day they're cooked.

Father's Day Brownies

These are good rich brownies, made better by using the very best cocoa you can find. I used Dutch cocoa and I undercooked them.

If there is a secret to good brownies, it is to undercook them. Cooking them so they look cooked - like cake, will give you dry brownies.  I cooked mine for 20 minutes and they were still squelchy when touched. However, they continue to cook when you take them out of the oven and when you cut them, they'll be moist, rich and delicious.  This is the recipe I used.

I hope you enjoy these sweet treats.