I really was eating doughnuts for days. Well 3 days, which is a lot when you think of just one doughnut as a decadent treat. I had to enlist help to finish them; a difficult chore, those poor people.
I don’t know why but I’d been really really craving doughnuts, really. Yes, really. I’ve had 70 doughnut recipe and picture tabs open on my laptop for about a month now and yet I couldn’t justify making them/I couldn’t be bothered. And then I’d go up to town and think, today is the day I will buy and eat a doughnut but I’d get distracted by other things and the doughnut never happened (I know it’s hard to believe that something else could be more important and distract me from that task but crazy things do happen). Anyway I made these doughnuts on a day that wasn’t special, I had no plans, or no parties, I was seeing just one friend in the morning (who initially told me she didn’t want to come back and eat doughnuts) and yet I created 28 little doughnut ball babies. All for me. That friend I saw, yeah, her doughnut resistance didn’t last long. She came back after a brisk walk in the park to the promise of warm, golden, sugary puffs of goodness. I had everything prepped and ready, we just needed to get frying. I cannot tell you the power trip I got from deep frying. I don’t know why, it doesn’t give me power to do anything except put a risen dough ball in a pan and take it out 2 minutes later but I never deep fry so it felt dangerous and different.
I tried really hard at the end of that paragraph not to write ‘doughnut’ again because I felt like I’d written it every other word. I did good.
Please no-one tell me I have spelt it wrong.
Because I haven’t.
I got the doughnut recipe from the St John Bakery genius via the Guardian website:
500g Strong White Flour
65g Caster Sugar (and more for coating after frying)
7.5g Dried Active Yeast (I adapted this from 15g Fresh Yeast)
Zest of 1 Lemon
125g Softened Butter
Sunflower Oil for frying
So because I used dried active yeast I started by mixing this with a little warm water and a tablespoon of sugar and leaving it to rest and froth up for 5 minutes.
Then I placed this and all other ingredients (without the butter and oil) into a mixer and beat it for about 6 minutes. Next, I scaped down the sides and then started mixing again, this time adding the butter until I had incorporated it all. You must keep mixing until the dough comes away from the bowl and you have a smooth and elastic dough.
Place this dough into a bowl, sprinkle with flour and cover in a tea-towel (the dough is pretty sticky, don’t be alarmed). Leave this in a warm place for about 2-3 hours, until it has doubled in size. Once risen, knock it back, cover the bowl in clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight (or for at least 4 hours).
Once this prove has occurred you can divide your dough into 25(ish) even pieces. Place these balls onto a floured baking sheet and leave to prove again for another 2-3 hours to double in size.
Now fill a deep fat fryer/deep, heavy-based saucepan with the oil and heat to 190 C. Fry the doughnuts for about 2 minutes on each side. Be suer to keep checking the temperature (mine definitely kept wavering). Once the doughnuts are done, place them on a couple of pieces of kitchen paper and then roll in sugar.
For one, I did a chocolate honeycomb and for the other I did an apple and salt caramel.
Chocolate Ganache filling:
200g Double Cream
200g Dark Chocolate, broken into small pieces
In a bowl over a pan of simmering water, heat the cream gently. Just before it boils, take off the heat and add the chocolate. Leave to stand for 30 seconds or so and then stir until all the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth and truffle-y mixture.
125g Dark Chocolate
1 tbsp Golden Syrup
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and to it add the chocolate, butter and syrup. Melt until smooth and glossy and then add the vanilla.
200g Caster Sugar
5 tbsp Golden Syrup
2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Grease a square tine with butter. Melt the sugar and syrup together until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture turns an amber colour. Turn off the heat and immediately tip in the bicarbonate of soda and beat in with a wooden spoon. The mixture should foam up. Pour this into your greased tin and set aside to cool.
3 Apples (I’m not sure what I used, ones beginning to go old in the fruit bowl and so needed using. Not wasting.)
40g Caster Sugar
1/2 tbs Cornflour
25g Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
To make this filling, peel and core the apples first and then chop into chunks. Then throw all the ingredients into a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until the apples are soft and mushy. Then use a hand blender to blend until you have a smooth puree.
Salt Caramel Glaze:
100g Caster Sugar
35g Unsalted Butter
50ml Double Cream
(generous) Pinch of Salt
For the glaze, melt the sugar in a heavy based saucepan until it reaches a deep golden brown colour (try not to stir it). Once this has been achieved, take it off the heat and immediately whisk in the butter. Slowly add the cream whilst continuing to whisk and then mix in your salt.
So for some doughnuts, after I had rolled them in sugar. I cut a little hole in the side and used a piping bag to fill them with chocolate ganache. I then dipped one side of these into the chocolate glaze. When the honeycomb had cooled I smashed it up into tiny pieces and sprinkled them on top of the chocolate doughnuts.
For the others, I again cut a small hole and this time used a piping bag to fill the insides with the apple purée. One half of these were then dipped in the salt caramel sauce.
Some were left plain …
All were eaten.