"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Lost in Translation: The Donut Muffin, Two Ways

by Julie on March 9, 2012

in Sugar and Spite, Travel, Sweet!

Late night with donut muffins

I like to think I eat pretty well. But sometimes the situation calls for a donut.

The Drama Teen is more afflicted with the donut jones than I am. She found this recipe for donut muffins in a magazine at her grandparent’s house during a holiday trip to England and would not be put off. Not by the lateness of the hour.  Not even by the metric measurements, which had me shaking my head violently.

“Right,” said Grandma Chris, slapping hand to thigh in the English manner of resolve. She stood up and went into the kitchen.

“You’re not making these now for her are you?”

“I am.”

“Because you don’t have to, you know…”

“I know.”

“Don’t put yourself out for the girl,” I said “She can get a donut tomorrow…”

Chris fixed me with a look that said, “Don’t be a git. Put on this apron.”

Now I will say this. If you own a kitchen scale, these are totally easy to make, take less than an hour, and your children will love you forever.

But first you have to translate the following, or allow your English relative to do it for you:

Donut Muffins (From GoodFood Magazine)

140g golden caster sugar, plus 200g extra for dusting
200g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml natural yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
140g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
12 tsp. seedless raspberry jam

These came out of the oven and everyone fell on them while still warm. And even I have to admit they were pretty awesome.

Ah, but when you try to recreate them on this side of the pond, using American measurements, the results are not so great. Not bad, just kind of meh.

So meh I figured I did something wrong and tried it again. Nope. Meh still.

This after I spent half an hour trying to translate metric measurements into cups and teaspoons. I don’t think I got it quite accurate. Maybe I should have a kitchen scale after all. And maybe caster sugar is different from regular, American-style granulated sugar?

You try it and let me know…



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Luuuuuuukey-Luuuu March 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Teh donut muffins!!!! There’s no meh involved; seriously, zero meh.

And, yes, caster sugar is different – but don’t ask me how. I’ve been here too long.


Mazzy March 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm

For mehless donut muffins next time, ask to borrow my scale. Or go to a corner store and look for a shifty looking drug dealer type. I’m sure they can ”teach” you the equivalent of grams to anything. Lol! Safer just borrowing my scale.


Virginia March 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Caster sugar is different. It’s finer, smoother, less gritty. I’ve heard you can achieve the same effect by ‘whizzing’ it first, but who can be bothered?? Some recipes just work better in their place of origin. Gives you something to look forward to next time you go there…


Julie March 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Yes but how, pray, does one “whizz” sugar?


Maria Weston March 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Apparently castor sugar is just super fine sugar. You can make your own in a food processor by pulsing said American sugar until it’s super fine, but not powdered. There is some concern that the sugar could “sand” the inside of your food processor, so if that’s a problem, use a coffee grinder or spice grinder instead.

I’m surprised that they use metric on the other side of the pond. I thought pounds, ounces and such were still used over there. But what do I know? :p


alice March 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm

My scale changed my life, I highly recommend getting one. I think mine was $20 and now all of my breads turn out fabulous and everything is super easy to make. I also end up with fewer cups and things to clean. (Bonus: you can choose to measure in grams or ounces so there’s no pesky conversion issues)


Julie March 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm

OK, now I’m seriously thinking I need to get me a scale…


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