First, a little request. If you like Love, Cake, and I hope very much that you do, please consider dropping her a nomination for the 2015 Saveur Blog Awards. You can nominate Love, Cake by clicking here. Thank you!
Ok. Now, imagine a guy with a body like Vin Diesel and a face like Rodney Dangerfield. If you dare. Let me explain. I’ve been thinking a lot about jobs lately. My current job, which is to finish the manuscript for my gluten-free cookbook, is flying by far too fast. I’m deep in it right now. That's where this week’s doughnut recipe comes from. And my friend Merritt's excellent book called First Jobs comes out next month. Hearing her stories has made me reflect on all the jobs I’ve had and loved over the years. My first job out of college is still one of my favorites. And that guy, Mr. Rodney Diesel, made me love it even more.
I spent my very first summer as a New Yorker camped at the information desk at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A dreamy summer job where the gorgeous, overflowing flower arrangements could make you weep and a steady stream of friendly folks asked me questions on their way to the can. The best. I sat next to a sweet girl who told me that her best friend Annie had just gotten a big part in some princess movie. (I often wonder if she and Anne Hathaway are still buddies.) And my manager Carolyn yelled at me weekly for my inappropriate outfits. I was 21. I didn’t understand that Urban Outfitters wasn’t the place to outfit a new urbanite with a professional-looking wardrobe.
The people kept me busy and highly entertained. Couples betting on whether the art was real. Angry New Yorkers balking at the price of the suggested admission. (It’s just a suggestion!) A young Joseph Gordon Levitt in need of direction. Craig T. Nelson searching for a map. But my favorite visitor was neither famous nor irate. He remains vivid in my memory and my heart.
Tattoos. Jeans. Receding hairline. I’m pretty sure he was wearing a mesh top, which is a questionable decision considering the museum could get a bit nippy. He wanted to know where he should go. I was happy to help. Armed with my pink highlighter, I pointed out some favorite spots on the map. Arms and Armor and the Egyptian monuments on the first floor were always crowd pleasers. I used them to gauge overall interests. Do I have a history lover? Or maybe something more current? Photographs? Modern art? I ran down my list of questions, marking up the map as I went.
Each time I told him about a room, he asked the same weird question. Over and over and over again. “Is the art in there?” or more like "Is thea ahht in thea?"
“With the European paintings? Yes, sir. There is most certainly art in there.” “Would you like to check out The American Wing?”
“Is thea aht in thea?”
“How about Drawings and Prints?”
“Is thea aht in thea?”
“Greek and Roman?”
“Is thea aht in thea?”
You get the picture.
He seemed skeptical. But we made progress. We made a plan. When I stood up to hand him the map, it all made sense. Down by his right was a child. Too short to clear the counter, I hadn’t seen her little face before. She hadn’t made a peep throughout the whole exchange. I smiled at her and he nodded in her direction, “'Cause I want 'er to experience the aht.” Ah. I see. Sweet dad. I hope that she did. And I hope that I helped.
Mocha Glazed Baked Doughnuts
I’ve given you the recipe for a simple glaze. You could also just gently toss the warm doughnuts in cinnamon sugar. No recipe necessary.
4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon psyllium husk powder
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 teaspoons whole milk
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 6-cup doughnut pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, potato starch, psyllium husk powder, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda. Add the butter, egg, sour cream, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
2. Transfer the batter to a plastic zip-top bag and cut the corner to make about a 1/2-inch opening. Squeeze the batter evenly into depressions of the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into a doughnut comes out clean, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool slightly, then carefully tip the doughnuts out onto the rack to cool completely.
3. In a shallow bowl, combine the vanilla and espresso powder. Then add the sugar, cocoa powder, and the milk and whisk to make a smooth glaze. Add a little more milk if necessary.
4. Dip the top of each of the cooled doughnuts in the glaze. Let stand until the glaze has set. Or don’t. No biggie.