Tag Archives: doughnuts

A theme park named Efteling

When you think of theme parks there are the usual contenders that roll off the tongue.
Disneyland- be it Paris or Florida, Legoland – and then the New Irish entry- Tayto Park. Rarely Efteling Park.

Roller coasters are the main attraction for families in Efteling for the most part, and to be honest, that was the reason we were going.  But the only other rollercoaster theme parks we had ever visited were Disney and Lego land Windsor.  And they have both gone down extremely well with all family members. So I got the tickets with some trepidation for Efteling.

I had found out about this park from a Facebook Group, and read the reviews at length.  The park was about 1.5hours away from Maastricht, so we were planning it as a day trip. The cost of the tickets were €37 each, with parking extra at €10.  BUT by buying the tickets in advance (we did it the night before) we got a substantial discount.

We arrived a little later than expected due to an accident on the road.  As an aside travelling by car/ foot or bicycle in The Netherlands is EXTREMELY easy, so the road delay was unusual.

The parking was VERY well stewarded, and we were only a 10 minute walk from the park.  There are maps in many languages, and although I knew from the reviews, and from their website, that it IS all in Dutch! I was concerned about tickets, especially the parking one, but the gentleman at the gate had excellent English and was VERY helpful at putting my technophobic mind at rest.

Herself had plotted out route, so we marched swiftly to a roller coaster at the rear of the park.  A wooden roller coaster, two “racing” dragons, with full turns and twists. I had downloaded an app for the Efteling Park on my phone, and it was VERY handy for checking queue times.


Love this idea for an ATM!!!

We came off the ride, shook.  We probably should of, in hindsight, done a less violent ride first! However, it was done,  and we pulled ourselves together.  It was AN excellent experience to be fair.

And that was the way the day went, we looked at the app, went to the closest ride with the shortest queue time.  I did all, except one.  It looked just terrifying.

We had brought sandwiches, but purchased some hot dogs and doughnuts to munch which were VERY good, and reasonable.  We were lucky with the weather, which always helps.


We meandered around the park, there were some excellent rides, some not so good, but lovely trees etc and things to look at.  On MY to-do list was a “pagent” for all the world.  We had visited, a couple of times, the French park- Puy Du Fou. ( Which isn’t a park with rollercoasters, but lots of pagentry- romans, birds, jousting etc.) They had supplied the horses and birds for a good v’s bad pagent that we had to get tickets for, even though they were included.  I just LOVED it, despite there being technical difficulties with the English. Of course, there were horses, fire, water, goodies and baddies!

All in all, it’s worth the trip.  Will we go back? Maybe, but not next year.  The roller coasters and rides were excellent, shorter queues as compared to Disney and Legoland. but the lack of English explanations were difficult at times.


More doughnut trials- and my homemade custard recipe

I promised doughnuts, and delivered them on two occasions over the last couple of weeks.  (Note to self- for the sake of our waistlines- not to be made for a further 6 months!)

It was the eldests’ choice to pick two flavourings from the Justin Gellatly book-

New books to try

New books to try

.  Nigel was making the doughnuts from Richard Bertinet’s Dough, so it was a mix of the tried, and untried.

Doughnut dough

Doughnut dough

In Richard’s classes he makes a point of NOT filling his doughnuts, instead dips them in the jam.  But I promised, and had also got a “filling” nozzle, so was all set to try it out.

I made the required selection of crème patisserie.   One a burnt sugar version.  The other a malted version.

Neither of them thickened very much, and I may have not let them cook sufficiently before whipping in some double cream.  But in the heel of the hunt, the mixture was delicious, yes, but too runny, definitely.  I also needed to wait for the doughnuts themselves to cool further- but we were under time pressure.  But they were eaten anyway.  Obviously.

Brown Sugar Custard Doughnuts

Brown Sugar Custard Doughnuts

Malted Custard Filled Doughnuts

Malted Custard Filled Doughnuts

So this weekend I decided to try a tried and tested recipe I use for homemade custard, which cheats slightly as it uses a spoonful of cornflour to help with the thickening.  This makes it strictly more of a pastry cream.

Homemade custard

Homemade custard

And at the end of the day we, or rather, I, decided not to bother filling thesedoughnuts at all! So we had them this time with the custard/ cream/ jam on the side.  I’ll fill them next time.  Promise.

A whole pile of

A whole pile of “nuts”

Homemade Pastry Cream (Fool proof Custard)

175mls whole milk

125mls cream (I use double cream)

40g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, split

3 large free range egg yolks

20g of cornflour

  1. Put the milk, cream and 1 tablespoon of the sugar into a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the pan.  Heat until almost simmering, at the shivery stage if you know what I mean.  Then take off the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until creamy, then sieve over the cornflour and mix this in thoroughly.
  3. Gradually pour the hot creamy milk onto the sugary yolks, whisking all the time as you do, then pour into a clean saucepan, this is important- the saucepan you heated the milk doesn’t work here unless you’ve washed it.
  4. Stir the mixture over a low heat until the custard thickens, (using a whisk, and a wooden spatula to make sure you get all the edges), enough to thinly coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil as it will curdle.
  5. Remove from the heat and strain the custard again through a fine sieve into a cold bowl (unless you are serving it hot right away). Leave to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.





The Sugar Trap

I have THE sweetest tooth.  I have known for quite some time that it is my fatal flaw. And a funny sweet tooth at that.  Sometimes I long for a moro bar, sometimes only a tiffin will hit the spot. But mostly it’s baked goods.  Like a custard slice of a piece of cheesecake.  Or the Bertinet Recipe Doughnuts. I think its a good thing that I don’t live anywhere near a good bakery, or else I’d be twice the size I am.

Doughnut heaven

Doughnut heaven

So essentially if I want to eat something really nice, I have to bake it. This, however, also has it’s downside, in that I am baking a WHOLE cake, and guess who’s going to eat it?

But we love to get together as a family to bake, so we won’t be removing that family time completely from our lives.

This week Jordan brought home a letter from school asking that the parent and child come up with a 10 point healthy eating plan.

Here’s mine!

1. Don’t feel overly guilty.  Tomorrow is another day.

2. Sleep.  Very important.

3. Start the day with a good, healthy breakfast, that way if things go south, the whole day isn’t a disaster.

4. Exercise. Anything at all is a start, washing the kitchen floor is a good way to start the morning.

5. Try to eat smaller portions.  This is the most important point for me.

6. Eat slower, let your brain catch up with your eyes.

7. Eat a variety of colours in your food… and I don’t mean skittles or jellybeans!

8. Don’t skip meals. Not good at all!!

9. Let green be your friend. Lots and lots of green vegetables.

10.  Enjoy your food, life’s too short!