Some people celebrate with champagne. I go for doughnuts. I need a special occasion for deep fat frying. This week I have one. Love, Cake is one year old! So what’s going to happen on this blogiversary? I’m going to express my heartfelt gratitude. Get out the deep fryer. There will be plenty of fat but I'll try not to get too schmaltzy.
When I was a magazine food editor, developing recipes was a collaborative process. After I cooked something there were plenty of helpful colleagues available for feedback and/or encouragement and a boss to give her final opinion. Nowadays, it’s just me in my kitchen at home. Muttering to myself. Baking in my pajamas. Doing what I love to do and sharing it with you. It’s a strange transition. Sometimes Gus has a thought, but when he tells me something vague like, “the flavors need to be more round,” I mostly just ignore him. Husbands. Geesh.
Putting myself and my work out into the endless internet void is interesting. Without the safety net of a team, it’s a bit scary. It’s kind of like asking someone out on a date. Will you read my blog? Will you like me? It’s just me. It’s all a little embarrassing.
But I have to say that I’m touched by the response I’ve gotten. You’ve been so sweet and encouraging! I’ve discovered that the people who read blogs, including other bloggers, are great people. It seems that all the internet scorn is reserved exclusively for Kim and Kanye. Don’t even get me started on leather jogging pants.
So thank you. Thank you for spending some of your valuable internet time with me. Thanks for bearing with me while I got (and continue to work on) my blog legs. Thanks for being so kind. I’ve gotten more out of this year of blogging than I could have ever hoped and I am very grateful for your support. Now I just have to learn a little bit more about search engine optimization. That’s for next year. For now let’s just dance and eat doughnuts.
Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts
Makes about a dozen
Just a note about yeast. I use active dry yeast. Rule lovers will tell you that you must proof active dry yeast in a little warm water before you start with your dough. I hate that step. I never do it. And I’ve found that Red Star brand yeast doesn’t mind. It dissolves in my doughs and never complains. Other yeasts (I’m talking to you, Fleischmann) rise perfectly fine but don’t dissolve evenly, leaving little bumps in my finished breads. The bumps taste fine but don't look very pretty. Go with Red Star if you can. Or dissolve your yeast before proceeding.
Oh (apparently I have a lot to say about these doughnuts) I glaze my doughnuts with ganache. I think it tastes better than the classic confectioners’ sugar and milk business. But that means the glaze doesn’t set completely. So don’t try to stack these guys.
Ok. Phew. Here we go.
For the dough:
3/4 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 to 3 tablespoons if necessary
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
oil for frying
For the glaze:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 ounces milk or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1. Prepare the dough: In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium until little bubbles appear around the edge just before boiling. Transfer the milk mixture to a measuring cup and top it off with enough water to bring the level back to 3/4 cup. Add butter to warm milk to melt. Let the mixture cool to between 105° to 110°F. Add eggs and vanilla to warm milk mixture.
2. Using the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer on low speed. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the milk mixture. As soon as the dough comes together, scrape the paddle clean and switch to the dough hook; knead the dough on medium-low speed about 3 to 5 minutes more. At this point you can knead in one or two more tablespoons of flour if the dough is too sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (and up to 12 hours).
3. Tip the cold dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it for a minute or so to push out the air and warm it up a bit. Let it rest at room temperature, covered, for about 30 minutes then knead and roll it out to a 1/2 inch thickness. Line two baking sheets with clean dishtowels. Flour the towels. Using a 3-inch round doughnut cutter, cut out 12 circles and transfer to prepared sheets. (You can reroll the dough once to get a few more doughnuts.) Now lightly cover these babies with plastic and set in a warm, draft-free place to double in size. This could take 30 minutes or 2 hours, depending on how warm your house is and how cold the dough was. It’s best to keep an eye on it and watch the dough rather than the clock.
4. When you’re ready to fry line a rimmed baking sheet (or a few plates) with paper towels. Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy pot to 350°F -360°. If you don’t have a thermometer, throw a few pinches of flour in the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready. Transfer 1 dough circle to a large, flat slotted spoon and very gently lower the circle into the oil. Add 1 or 2 more doughnuts and fry them for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels with the slotted spoon.
5. Make the glaze: Bring the cream and the coconut oil to a simmer over medium-high. Immediately pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Let stand 1 minute then whisk until smooth. When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, dip in the glaze. Sprinkle the tops with sprinkles if you like.