Sunday, December 28, 2014

Old Fashioned Drop Doughnuts

I have been wanting to make doughnuts for a long time.  I can remember when I was a child living in Africa, my mother sometimes made doughnuts.  Hot, dusted in sugar, right out of the hot oil, there could not be anything tastier to a greedy child.

In November, I mentioned my doughnut desire to my friend Aiai, and she said that she made doughnuts quite often and offered to make some for me, an invitation which I immediately accepted. Her doughnuts were made from a yeast dough and allowed to rise overnight.  While they were delicious, I was looking for something a little different; a more cakey doughnut.  And, as I am not as energetic as Aiai who thinks nothing of whipping up doughnut dough before she goes to bed, I wanted something easier.

Doing doughnut research, I found a recipe for doughnut holes.  A quick baking powder type of batter, seemed to be just the ticket. Another similar recipe suggested flavoring the batter with nutmeg.  Both recipes dipped the doughnuts in a simple powdered sugar glaze, but the powdered sugar here in Sweden has potato starch in it and I find it gives the sugar an off taste which I do not like.  So, I decided that a sprinkling of granulated sugar would do. Today, using the excuse of a visit from friends Marybeth and Patrik, I tried the recipe.

The photos of one of the recipe showed perfectly round doughnut "holes" but I was unable to create this and had "blobs" instead, which I think were actually better because the little crispy wisps tasted wonderful. While these are best hot, I can report that they are equally delicious cold the next day, but it it unlikely that you will have any left over.

Makes enough for 4 greedy persons, 6 normal.

5 cups or so of vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup milk
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60 grams) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Grated zest of one lemon
Granulated sugar to roll the finished doughnuts in
Cinnamon, if desired

Add the vegetable oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot so that there is 2 to 3 inches of oil in the pot.  Heat the oil to 350 degrees F, measuring with a candy or deep fryer thermometer.  Prepare one plate with some paper towels on it for draining the doughnuts and one plate with granulated sugar on it (into which you can sprinkle some cinnamon if you like), to roll the finished doughnuts in.
Melt the butter in a microwave or in a small pan on the stove. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt. Make a hole in the flour and add the egg and milk.  Whip the egg with a fork and then stir together, incorporating the flour.  Add the melted butter and combine well.
Once the oil has reached 350ºF, drop about 1 tablespoon scoops of dough into the oil, careful not to overcrowd the pan.  You can use two spoons for this job or a small ice-cream scoop.  Fry the doughnut “drops”, flipping them in the oil, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until they're golden brown.  Remember to keep an eye on the temperature and adjust the heat up or down to maintain the oil at around 350 degrees.  If you are unsure whether the doughnuts are done, you can take one out and cut it in half to see that the inside is no longer gooey.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the finished doughnuts to the paper towel-lined plate, just to absorb the excess oil.  Then move the doughnuts to the sugar plate, rolling the doughnuts in the sugar.  Best eaten hot.

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