Saturday, 14 November 2015

Cinnamon Apple and Salted Caramel Duffins.

I don't think this recipe could be any more Autumnal if I tried; a scrumptious little bundle of doughy joy, wrapped in a lovely cinnamon sugar blanket and brimming with a salty caramel centre and sweet, juicy cinnamon apple compote; how delicious! I am a huge fan of duffins and there crisp, sugar coated doughnut exterior; encasing a soft, fluffy muffin interior as you really do get the best of both worlds and to be honest, aren't both worlds bloomin' gorgeous! These duffins are utterly wonderful and moreish and you can honestly cram them full of any delicious filling you like but, my choice seasonal Autumn filling at the moment is most definitely cinnamon apple and salted caramel and I am sure you will love it too. So remember, the next time you head out on a chillly Autumn walk; wrapped up in your coziest attire and crunch your way through of a pile fiery orange leaves; leave one of these lovely little duffins waiting for you to tuck into back at home and I can assure you; with a duffin in one hand and a hot chocolate in the other you'll think wow, isn't this Autumn really rather magical.

Makes 10-12 duffins chock-full of cinnamon apple compote and salted caramel; aren't you lucky!

For the duffins:
210g plain flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
165g caster sugar
1 large egg
188ml buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
65ml sunflower oil
For the sugar coating:
150g Unsalted butter, melted
200g caster sugar
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
For the cinnamon apple compote:
Granny smith apple peeled and diced into very small cubes
20g butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
20g brown sugar
A splash of water
For the salted caramel filling:
250g light soft brown sugar
150ml double cream
1/2-1 tsp. sea salt (depends on your taste, I go all out!)


1)  Start by preparing the cinnamon apple compote. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat, add the brown sugar, cinnamon and tiny splash of water and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. 
 2) Add the apples and cook until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
3)  Next prepare the mind-blowing salted caramel! Heat the brown sugar, ½- 1 tsp. salt and cream in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Bubble for a few minutes, then leave to cool. I find it easier to fill the duffins while the caramel is still a little warm though as when it is completely cool it becomes very thick and harder to work with.
4)  Now prepare the duffins. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/ Gas mark 4 and sieve the plain flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. Add the freshly grated nutmeg.
5)  Next, whisk the buttermilk, large egg and sunflower oil together and add the vanilla extract. Pour the liquid ingredients slowly into the dry ingredients and stir using a spatula until just combined.
6)  Take a 12-cup muffin tin and use a little oil to lightly grease each hole in the muffin tin. Spoon the duffin mixture into the muffin tin holes, filling them two thirds full. Alternately, use a cookie scoop and you get the perfect dollop!
7)  Bake for 20 minutes until golden and well-risen and until the surface of each duffin springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. 
8)  While the duffins are baking, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low-heat, pour into a bowl and set-aside. Now, add 200g caster sugar to another bowl stir in 1-2 tsp. cinnamon to create cinnamon sugar.
9)  Remove the muffin tray from the oven once the duffins are cooked and gently lift the duffins out onto a wire cooling rack. Immediately dip the duffins into the melted butter and then roll in either the sugar or cinnamon sugar to liberally and evenly coat them before allowing to cool completely on the wire cooling rack.       
10) Once cool, use a cupcake corer, apple corer or sharp knife to gently remove the centre  of each duffin, creating a hole. Finally, fill each duffin with 1 tsp. salted caramel and top  with a mini tower of 1 tsp. glossy apple compote and devour and enjoy immediately!