It’s been a few weeks since my last post. It’s so cold here and I guess I’ve been in hibernation mode. I’ve never been super keen on cold weather, and this winter seems to be kicking my ass. I’m not as chatty as usual and I can’t seem to muster up the energy or enthusiasm to really do any of the things I normally love. The good news is that it’s almost March! Peace out, winter blahs.
I went to visit my mom last weekend and decided I wanted to make some kind of yummy treat. I was perusing recipes on various blogs Saturday morning, just waiting for one that really stood out. You know when you see a recipe and it looks so good that you actually start salivating a little bit? That’s kind of what I was on the lookout for.
I have a problem, though…
My problem is that I tend to gravitate toward elaborate, labour intensive recipes. I could have easily whipped up a batch of cookies in no time, but I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied if I wasn’t challenging myself. So, with that said, I found a few recipes for doughnuts and decided that was it – I had to make doughnuts! And not just any doughnuts, but some cream-filled doughnut bites. I’m not sure why that seemed like a great idea, considering I was mildly hungover and super exhausted, but it did. I’m obviously a glutton for punishment.
Now, I’ve never made doughnuts before, so there were definitely some challenges along the way. Making the dough was actually really easy, but I had some problems with the custard. I was originally working with a recipe that called for flour, but, had I been thinking instead of blindly following the recipe, I would have remembered that I prefer making custard with cornstarch. My first batch of custard was a big fail and I called it quits for the day because I knew I was too tired to try it again.
The next morning I woke up and started working on a new custard right away. It turned out exactly how I wanted it to! I think this was a definite lesson for me – to think about the components of a recipe and apply my own knowledge, and also to maybe stay away from cooking or baking when I’m tired and irritable ha
The cream-filled doughnut bites tasted great, though, and I will definitely make them again. I awkwardly moved through making them my first time, but now that I know what to expect I’m already thinking of different variations for the next time! Like using powdered sugar and a jelly filling. Or a chocolate cream filling. YUM!
- 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk (I used 2%)
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
- Canola oil, for frying
- Sugar (for rolling)
- In a medium bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the yeast with 3/4 cup of the warm milk and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add 3/4 cup of the flour and stir to create a smooth paste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the flour mixture rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of yeast with the remaining 1/4 cup of warm milk. Add in the rested flour mixture along with the tsp of vanilla and the 3 large egg yolks. Mix on low until the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Turn off the mixer and add 1 cup of flour, along with the 2 Tbsp. sugar and the 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix on medium until the dough starts to come together, about 30 seconds. Add the butter and mix on medium until it’s incorporated, about another 30 seconds.
- Remove the paddle attachment from the mixer, and switch to the dough hook. Start adding the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, and knead the dough on medium until it completely pulls away from the side of the bowl and is smooth and not too sticky, about 1 minute. The dough will be very soft and moist but not so sticky that you can’t roll it out. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
- After one hour, gently press down on the dough to remove any gas bubbles. The dough can now be rolled, or it can be chilled in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
- When you’re ready to make the doughnuts, roll out the dough and line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the dough in squares and then roll each square into a ball. Arrange the doughnuts on the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch between doughnuts. Cover the doughnuts loosely with plastic wrap and let them proof in a warm place, about 20-30 minutes.
- In a heavy-bottomed large pot or deep fryer, heat at least 2 inches of oil until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Working in batches, use a slotted metal spoon or spatula to carefully place the doughnuts in the hot oil. Fry, flipping once, until light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. When done, transfer to a the wire rack. Make sure to return the oil to 350 degrees F. between batches. Cover the doughnuts in sugar while they are still warm. Let the doughnuts cool slightly (about 2-5 minutes) before filling.
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs yolks
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- In a heavy saucepan, stir together the milk and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and egg. Stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch; then stir them into the egg until smooth. When the milk comes to a boil, drizzle it into the bowl in a thin stream while mixing so that you do not cook the eggs. Return the mixture to the saucepan and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the eggs don’ t curdle or scorch on the bottom.
- When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla, mixing until the butter is completely blended in. Pour into a heat-proof container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled.
- When the custard is chilled, whip the heavy cream until it reached a thick whipped cream consistency. Fold the custard into the whipped cream. Now it’s ready to pipe into the doughnuts!