Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chocolate Cake Donuts

Whole wheat chocolate donuts, glazed and coated in Unsweetened Coconut
Chocolate Cake Donuts
I have to admit.  I have a soft spot for donuts.  Donuts were one of those foods that I would treat myself to on a rare occasion when I was in high school.  Soft, chocolaty, and only a little sweet, the chocolate old fashion cake donut unglazed was my favorite.  The only place in town that made them went out of business before I left high school and as I started eating less and less processed foods, I was not longer fond of any donuts I found as they all had an odd aftertaste.  It is one of those sad things about purging the chemicals from your diet, you become much more aware of the chemicals flavor in your food. 
At some point I decided to try to make them at home and opted for the baked version, but it wasn’t the same.  I tried frying them in a pan with a little oil, but they were more like fritters than donuts.  So my husband bought me a deep fryer.  Fast forward nine months to a fateful Sunday when my daughter asks if we can make donuts.  We do.  They are soft, chocolaty, and only a little sweet.
Chocolate Cake Donuts
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
¾ cup buttermilk
5 tablespoons melted butter
Fat for frying (we used Canola oil because I bought a thing of it at Costco, but I want to try lard for a healthier option...that still sounds funny in my head).

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.   Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl and then pour the wet into the dry.  Stir until it all comes together. 
At this point you have three options:
o   Flour the counter and pat the dough out flat with floured hands to about 1/2” in thickness, making sure that the dough does not stick to the counter (Oil is already hot and you want donuts now.)

o   Let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes and then follow the procedure above (you just started the oil and it is going to take a bit to heat up but you would still like donuts before lunchtime.)

o   Chill the dough for 1-3 hours and then follow the procedure above (you thought ahead and have time to let the dough meld before making doughnuts for breakfast.)
As for the frying.  There are many ways to fry a donut.  You need either an electric deep fryer or a large pot able to hold 6-8 cups of fat with plenty of head room.  Heat the oil to 375 degrees F (if not using an electric deep fryer you will need an oil/candy thermometer).  Gently deposit one donut at a time into your fat, but do not add more than three donuts at a time.  Cook 1 ½ - 2 minutes on each side.  Your first donut will be the tester so cut it open and check the doneness.  Cool on wire rack over paper towels.
Want glaze?
¼ cup milk + 1-2 cups of powdered sugar and pinch of salt and a dab of vanilla.  Heat in a sauce pan until warm and then remove.  Reheat if necessary.
Dip donuts in glaze and return to wire rack to harden.
Glaze is a great way to add additional toppings like coconut, crushed peanuts, or chocolate shavings if you are leaning for something fancy.   Just dip in the glaze and then dip in the toppings.  If you prefer more chocolate, make a chocolate ganache instead of glaze by combining ½ cup chocolate chunks with ¼ cup cream, heat slowly over medium heat until combined and then remove from heat.
What is your favorite donut?
Best wishes,

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