06 June 2011


May was a weird month. Although it seemed I was constantly busy I don't feel as though I got much done. It was like the Bermuda Triangle of the calendar--the days just disappeared. Needless to say I didn't manage to make any of my 2011 dessert recipes (I solemnly promise at least two in June). But a few days ago (and unbeknownst to me, US National Doughnut Day!) I finally got my act together to make the next recipe: Cake Doughnuts. This was a fun one as I've never made doughnuts before (except for Loukoumades, but they're not exactly the same thing). I was slightly disappointed that the recipe was for cake doughnuts (my least favourite kind) but can you really go wrong with deep-fried dough? Judge for yourself (and click photos to enlarge).

Don't be frightened by the large number of ingredients:

Warming the sour cream in my makeshift double boiler:

The dry goods:

Eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla (I mixed them in the measuring cup to avoid dirtying another bowl):

The warmed sour cream, the yeast, and the wet ingredients (not pictured) get worked into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon:

The dough is super sticky--use liberal amounts of flour for dusting!

Patted to about 1/2" thick:

I don't have a doughnut cutter but luckily I have a decent collection of cookie cutters:

Not too neat looking but they'll do:

Fry one side until golden brown...

...then flip and cook the other side:

You know the oil is hot enough when they float (or you can use a thermometer but where's the fun in that?)

All dressed up with somewhere to go (my mouth of course!):

Cake Doughnuts

[My notes/changes in brackets]
  • 2 quarts canola oil [I used safflower]
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 packet active dry yeast, or 0.6 ounces cake yeast [1 tbs]
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 extra-large whole egg [I used large]
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks [I used large]
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups nonmelting or confectioners' sugar
[I halved the recipe as we did not need 20 doughnuts sitting around tempting us!]

Heat oil in a low-sided six-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until a deep-frying thermometer registers 375 degrees. Lightly dust a baking pan with all-purpose flour, and line a second one with paper towels; set both aside.

Meanwhile, place sour cream in a heat-proof bowl on top of a double boiler; set over a pan of simmering water. Heat until warm to the touch. Remove from heat; set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Make a large well; place yeast in center. Pour warm sour cream over yeast, and let sit 1 minute.

Place buttermilk, whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla in a medium bowl; whisk to combine. Pour egg mixture over sour cream. Using a wooden spoon, gradually draw flour mixture into egg mixture, stirring until smooth before drawing in more flour. Continue until all flour mixture has been incorporated; dough will be very sticky.

Sift a heavy coat of flour onto a clean work surface. Turn out dough. Sift another heavy layer of flour over dough. Using your hands, pat dough until it is 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2 3/4-inch doughnut cutter [I used a similarly sized round cookie cutter and a mini round cookie cutter to cut out the middle], cut out doughnuts as close together as possible, dipping the cutter in flour before each cut. Transfer doughnuts to floured pan, and let rest 10 minutes, but not more [mine rested longer without any apparent detriment].

Carefully transfer four doughnuts to hot oil. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over; continue cooking until evenly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to lined pan. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

Gather remaining dough scraps into a ball. Let rest 10 minutes; pat into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Cut, let rest 10 minutes, and cook.

When cool enough to handle, sift nonmelting sugar over tops; serve immediately.

Original recipe here.

My Verdict

Tasty doughnut goodness! The insides were dense and the outsides had a nice crunchy texture (that could have been due to all the flour used to keep them from sticking). They weren't too sweet, either, which was nice. The SO, a devout sour-cream hater, swore he could taste the sour cream in them (I couldn't) but he happily devoured his share all the same. These don't keep well, becoming soggy overnight, so they're best eaten while fresh. This recipe deserves some experimentation; I'm thinking chocolate is one worth trying, as well as lemon and/or strawberry. I also measured the oil before and after and was quite pleased to discover that the doughnuts only soaked up about 1/4 cup of it. Some of that got blotted off them by paper towels so overall, while not diet food, these aren't too bad (my recipe analyzer calculated about 7 g fat per doughnut).

Want to see what else I've made for my 2011 baking project?

January: Double-Chocolate Brownies
February: Angel Food Cake with Raspberry Sauce
March: Chewy Chocolate-Gingerbread Cookies
April: Raspberry-Swirl Cheesecake

Photos by Domicile

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