Is that title a bit of a stretch? Monday, Mondoughnut… You can see what I was doing there…
Buuuut it’s Monday: the day when you hit the snooze button that one extra time before wrangling your cosy body out of bed in the morning, the day for staring blankly around the room like an idiot instead of performing the basic task you set out to complete, the day, I am thinking, for doughnuts.
I would actually recommend this as a weekend project- a Sunday spent doughnutting means delicious gooey treats to put a little shine on your Monday. Alas I was too busy eating gourmet farm fare and tasting amazing artisan vinegar and caramel sauce at Maggie Beer’s farm to write about these doughnuts yesterday. We also turtle-spotted if that makes up for your doughnut-free Monday? Anyway, pencil these babies in for next weekend and round off today with an extra glass of red/scoop of ice cream/shot of coffee (choose-your-own-adventure style).
So let’s pretend it’s Sunday already; and we’re making doughnuts! I am not traditionally a doughnut ‘fan’. I never go to any of their games, I own none of their merch, I… no, I kid. But bakery trips when I was younger were all about the fruit flans- my sister was the kitchener kid. And I’m still not completely on the doughnut bandwagon- I’m kind of clinging on one-handed, trying to run along behind it, unsure and undecided. I’m hoping that, in this metaphor, the doughnut enthusiasts inside the wagon are not throwing their stale, icingless scraps at me while I run.
I don’t think I’ll ever choose a doughnut over a tart (that would be pure folly), or cake, or even most biscuits. But sometimes it’s fun to deep fry stuff, and sometimes it’s fun to make over-the-top ‘American’ treats: sometimes, dang it, it’s fun to make doughnuts. And these doughnuts, in particular, are worth making.
These are quite the treat. They were, in fact, specifically designed for this month’s Our Growing Edge blog round up hosted by Caroline from Shrinking Single, all about remembering to treat yourself! They are sweet- they are smothered in white chocolate and stuffed with cherry curd, of course they are sweet- but the sourness of the cherries is a fantastic partner to the deep, caramel sweetness of the ganache. And the milk crumbs add the crunch, and the prettiness, which you need in doughnuts. They’re good, my friends, I promise.
sour cherry doughnuts with white chocolate caramel ganache and pink crumbs
Now, when you have a peek below you will be confronted with quite the list of steps. I’m not going to lie, these doughnuts are a little involved but before you give in to the temptation to mutter ‘piss off Jordan, I’m going to Krispy Kreme’, heed this: I am now studying patisserie at TAFE and they are telling us a lot about the shit that goes into mass produced ‘food’ (spoiler: it’s defs not good). So wouldn’t you rather make your own delicious creations you can enjoy guilt (ahem) free? And also, there are a few steps, yes, but none are really that difficult- most can also be made in advance and chill out- literally- in the fridge til you need them.
The basic doughnuts here come from the queen of doughnuts, the milk crumbs come from the queen of American desserts, Christina Tosi, and the rest comes from my sugar addled brain.
for the doughnuts:
250g plain flour
30g castor sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried yeast
zest of half a lemon (optional)
75ml warm water
65g butter, softened
oil, for frying (veg/canola/sunflower)
for the sour cherry curd:
55g castor sugar
zest of 1 small lemon
juice of half small lemon
75g sour cherry jam (preferably without chunks)
3g sheet gelatine
for the cherry milk crumb:
30g milk powder
20g plain flour
pinch of salt
15g melted butter
50g white chocolate, melted
10g sour cherry jam
1-2 drops pink food colour
1/4 cup almond flakes, toasted
for the white choc ganache
100g white chocolate, caramelized
Place all the doughnut ingredients- except the butter- in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine on low speed for about four minutes until well combined and elastic.
Keep the mixer running and add the softened butter piece by piece, until completely incorporated, with no visible pieces. This will take 5-8 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size- I usually use my car as a proofer as it’s warmer than my house…
Meanwhile, make the curd. Use electric beaters (or superhero arms) to beat the eggs and sugar until very light and fluffy. Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
Add the lemon juice and zest and the cherry jam and whisk occasionally until the mix reaches 83c (or coats the back of a spoon).
Cool to 50c and add the butter, stirring to combine. Meanwhile, put the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes to soften. Squeeze out the excess water and add to the curd- make sure it’s still warm otherwise the gelatine won’t completely dissolve (although if it doesn’t completely dissolve you can just push it through a fine sieve).
Leave to cool (or pop in the fridge if you are in a hurry).
If your dough has doubled in size, punch it down and then tip it out onto a well floured surface. Flatten the dough out to a rectangle a bit over 1cm thick. Using a 5cm cutter, cut out 9 doughnuts. Carefully place them on a floured tray and leave, covered, to rise for another 45 minutes (or until puffy).
Now, the crumb! Heat the oven to 120c. Combine 20g milk powder with the flours, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Mix the melted butter with the jam (you may need to heat it a little to melt the jam) and toss with the dry ingredients until the mixture comes together in small clumps. Spread your clusters on a lined baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes (check after 10), until your kitchen smells like buttery goodness.
Cool completely. Crumble any large clusters and add the remaining milk powder, combine well.
Mix the melted chocolate with the food colour and pour over the clusters, toss until they are completely enrobed. Keep mixing every five minutes until completely dry. Meanwhile, lightly toast your flaked almonds and then crumble them into your dry milk crumbs.
Your crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.
If your doughnuts are soft and puffy, it’s deep frying time. Pour enough oil into a high-sided pan so it comes up to about 2 inches. Heat to 170c. Fry a few doughnuts at a time- don’t crowd the pan- for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden and cooked through. I would recommend frying a single doughnut first, to get a feel for the temperature and timing.
Drain on paper towel until cooled.
To make the caramelized white chocolate, have a look here. I used the slower stove-top method, it took about 25 minutes. When your chocolate has caramelized and is still warm, quickly bring your cream to the boil and immediately pour over the chocolate. Stir to combine.
When your doughnuts are cooled, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke a hole in the side of each for the filling. Pipe your curd into your doughnuts until you can feel them filling up. Pour a little ganache over each doughnut and top with your milk crumbs.
A treat, indeed.