Ever since I saw an episode of Chuck Day's Off on the Cooking Channel on donuts, I've been wanting to make donuts.
I promptly borrowed my neighbor's deep fat fryer (portable)and set up my limited counter space so I had a kind of assembly line going. The key to frying and not burning your apartment or house down is to have something like this set up so there's no question on the order in which things should proceed.
But what about the dough? Using this Chuck fellow's recipe, I was able to have wonderfully yeasty, but not overwhelmingly so, munchkin-sized donuts:
What's the recipe? Well you can google it, or I can just list it here:
Donut Extravaganza (courtesy of FoodNetwork Canada)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (5 ml)
2 cups warm milk (approx. 105C) (500 ml)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (125 ml)
1/2 teaspoon salt (2 ml)
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1,25 L)
1/2 cup butter
Oil for deep frying
Powdered sugar for garnish
In a food processor sprinkle yeast over the warm milk; stir to dissolve and let stand for 5 minutes. Add sugar, salt, beaten eggs and vanilla. Blend thoroughly. Add flour and then using a stand mixer with a dough hook, beat until smooth. You can also kneed the dough by hand for about 5 minutes. Add butter and blend until thick. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/2-inch in thickness. Cut the dough into 1 inch-round doughnuts using a circular cookie cutter (or alternately, a can). Cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for an hour in a warm place. Deep fry at 360F (185C) for 1 to 1 and a half minutes until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
I made the chocolate caramel and lemon creme filling that the recipe came with, and when shared it was unanimous that the lemon creme was the favorite among the eaters.
There is nothing like warm, fresh donuts bursting with creme filling. It's actually a little obscene, come to think of it. Obscenely good that is!
As I settle into my new workplace, the debate on whether to be the "baker girl" or just someone who quietly bakes outside of work has raised itself in my mind. Yes, I have debates with myself on a regular basis. I decided I wouldn't be "baker girl," but if asked nicely, I would bake for my colleagues. Why not? It's a way to keep the chops...chopping?
Well, the baking chops were called upon for an impromptu surprise party for my boss and chocolate cupcakes were the ask. And there's nothing like a birthday than chocolate cake of some sort with a lovely, rich butter cream frosting. I mean, it's quintessential birthday fare, right?
As I knew that my previous dalliances with Chocolate Stout Cake were pleasant ones, I turned to SmittenKitchen for her modified Chocolate Stout Cake recipe. The amount of batter equals to two dozen regular cupcakes, or 48 mini-cupcakes. I used a regular cupcake tin.
As for the butter cream - here's my take on boozy butter cream:
1 cup (2 sticks), room temperature unsalted butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons whiskey
1 tablespoon Bailey's
In a large bowl, cream the butter until it's light and fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar gradually, beating the sugar into the butter. Add the whiskey and Bailey's. Continue to beat until the ingredients are well incorporated and the butter/sugar/alcohol mixture is double in volume. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
I have to admit, my boss was really happy with the cupcakes. As were my colleagues - only crumbs remained.