Foodbuzz

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Donut Trials: #1 Sour Cream Donuts


Donuts have been around for years and they continue to be a favorite pastry to have with coffee or tea in the morning. Homer Simpson eats them regularly, You Tube even has videos such as the "donut dance" by Krispy Creme employees and other videos in support of Dunkin Donuts. You may have had to say good bye to space sticks and Tang, but the donut will remain.

This iconic little pastry has been a favorite of mine, but the idea of actually making my own has been avoided until now. I guess it is because of all of the steps involved in making fried donuts. I have made baked donuts before-but it is much like making a cake. In my opinion, most baked cake donuts do not fall under the label pastry, but the fried donuts do.

For the first of the donut trials, I have picked the sour cream donut. It does have the label of a cake donut- but I believe these donuts have their own unique texture and flavor that stems from the sour cream ingredient. I found them to be less dense than most cake donuts. Also, they are not that difficult to make-which means the recipe a good choice to start out with.

There are some basic tips at the end that will aid you in being a successful donut maker. Like all recipes, all information should be read through once prior to starting. This recipe makes 1 dozen donuts.

This post is the first of the 4 donut trials, so be sure to check back every week-for more delicious breakfast treats!

Sour Cream Donuts
adapted from ChefSteps

Ingredients/Donuts
1 1/2 cups sour cream
5 large egg yolks
2 1/2 tbs butter
4 3/4 cup flour ( pastry or all purpose)
1 tbs and 3/4 tsp baking powder
2 tbs salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
Fry oil (canola type for frying)

Ingredients/Glaze
3 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tbs milk
1 tsp salt

To start, line a bowl with plastic wrap leaving some over hang and spray with non stick spray. Set aside. Using another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with sugar, butter and yolks. Beat for 2 minutes until smooth, the end result will be a mixture lighter in color that has more volume. Using a spatula, fold in the sour cream until blended. Then fold in the sifted ingredients in one cup intervals until there is no more left to fold in.

Empty the dough into the prepared empty bowl and spray non-stick spay on top of the dough. Cover the top of the dough with the plastic over hang. Place in refrigerator and let chill for 1 hour.

After the dough has chilled, cut out 12 squares of parchment. Each square will hold 1 raw donut.  Also, lightly dust a flat surface with flour. Take dough out of refrigerator and roll out until only 1/2 inch thick. Use a round donut cutter (3 inches in diameter) or 2 cookie cutters to form the donuts. The outside shape for one cookie cutter should be 2 3/4 inches in diameter and the other cutter should be about 1 1/4 in diameter for the holes.

Cut out each donut and place on one parchment square and put in a 3" deep cake pan. Continue with this process and re-roll scraps when necessary until all the dough has been formed. Cover cake pan with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Let the dough chill at least 1 hour or overnight before frying. Place a cooling rack over a sheet of wax paper.

Prepare a fryer by filling with oil until depth of 2 inches. Heat oil up to 350 degrees. It is okay that oil fluctuates between 350 to 360 degrees as you fry. However, do not fry more than 3 donuts at a time and as you fry batches the remaining raw donuts should go back into the refrigerator. As the oil heats up, prepare the glaze. Pour the milk and salt into a bowl, whisking together. Then sift in the powdered sugar. Whisk ingredients together until smooth.

Once the oil is heated, pick up a parchment square that holds one donut and tip it slowly into the oil. Repeat this process until 3 raw donuts are cooking in the oil. Let cook for 30 seconds and flip each donut over using a slotted spoon. After the first 30 seconds, let each side cook for 80 seconds. The holes with take 30 seconds and then 45 seconds on each side. Once cooked, scoop out donuts one by one and place on cooling rack.  Let cool for 2 minutes and then dip in the glaze and place back on rack until glaze is set.

Tips and Notes:
1. The two items that are key in making donuts is maintaining the temperature of the oil and cooking for the correct amount of time. Always set your temperature to the highest and then reduce after all items in one fry session have cooked for about 30 seconds. I could not have made these without an electric fryer, cooking with a pan on the stove is too hard to maintain oil temperature.

2. Use a rack to rest the fried donuts, not paper towels. This is a dense donut and it will become soggy if allowed to rest on paper towels after fried.

3. In order to keep from over-browning your donuts, more sessions of less fry time and flipping will keep this from happening. Keeping a watchful eye is always a good idea when you want that perfect hue of golden brown.

4. This is a vanilla donut that goes well with coffee and tea. Should you want more flavor, try adding spices to the dough and different flavorings to the glaze.
                              **LAST YEAR:Chocolate Wine Loaf Cake**


            

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Marbled Chocolate Raspberry Cookies


Today's post is a little about being direct. Through the years, I have interfaced with a lot of people in business as well as social settings. After all this time, I can still say that I favor strong and direct people. They will tell you exactly what is on their mind, instead of reserving or keeping thoughts to themselves. While directness may not be pleasant at times, but at least you are not left wondering.

So if someone tells me "make it happen, no excuses" my reaction is more driven than someone that says "just try to see what you can do". Which leads me to this recipe in which one of the flavors was described as subtle. Along with directness, I feel that if you are going to include a flavor, it should be dominant as a single flavor or balanced if used in combination with other flavors. Which is why I took some liberties with this recipe to create a balance between the raspberry and the chocolate. The original recipe is below and the tips and notes include my additional ingredient tweaks and helpful hints- so read prior to making this recipe if you want a stronger flavor of raspberries in the cookie. This recipe does make a lot, about 5 dozen.

Now, let's move on to the description of these cookies. They are moist and soft cookie, swirled with two cookie doughs that include cream cheese. One batch of dough is chocolate and one is raspberry flavored. The blend of doughs come together to create a delicious cookie that makes for a lovely presentation- which is the best of both worlds. This recipe comes from a fellow blogger, Irvin Lin, who is very talented when it comes to creating baked goods and inspiring others. I have provided the link below.

Marbled Chocolate Raspberry Cookies
adapted from Eat the Love  

Ingredients/Raspberry Dough
6 tbs or 3/4 stick butter (room temp)
1/4 cup or 2 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cup raspberries (6 oz)
zest of one lemon
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt 
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbs sugar

Ingredients/Chocolate Dough
1 1/2 sticks or 12 tbs of butter (room temp)
1/2 cup or 4 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup cocoa powder (natural not Dutch processed)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

1 cup white sugar to roll cookies in (regular,sanding or sparkling type)

For the raspberry dough:
Start by making the raspberry jam. Place the raspberries in a bowl and mash with a potato masher, just until all raspberries have been flattened. Empty into a saucepan and add 2 tbs of sugar. Place over medium high heat and stir constantly. As the mixture heats up, it will become thicker. Cook the mixture until a wooden spoon can clear a path in the raspberry blend that remains. Since it is now a jam texture, remove from heat and let cool.

Measure out the dry ingredients (flour/salt/baking soda/baking powder) and sift together. Set bowl aside.

Add the cream cheese, butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat ingredients together on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl at intervals, until smooth and fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the lemon zest. Then pour into the batter. Run the mixer to distribute into the batter. Add the remaining egg yolk and blend again. Remove the bowl of the stand mixer and stir in the cooled raspberry jam. Then fold in the sifted ingredients and transfer the batter to an empty bowl. Set aside. Clean your batter blade and the mixer bowl in order to proceed to creating the chocolate dough.

For the Chocolate Dough:
Take out a medium bowl and sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Place the butter, cream cheese and both types of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream the ingredients together by beating on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl at intervals. It should take about 3 minutes to form a fluffy batter. Add the egg and beat until incorporated and then add the yolk and the vanilla extract. Blend with mixer on medium speed.

Remove bowl and fold in dry ingredients until no streaks of flour remain. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust a flat surface lightly with flour and fill a bowl with the sugar for rolling the dough

The cookies will need to be formed in stages of 1 dozen. Take one teaspoon of the chocolate batter and,using lightly floured hands, form into a small ball. Continue with this process, making 4 rows of 6 balls of dough spaced 2 inches apart side by side as well as up and down. Then take one teaspoon of the raspberry batter and form into a small ball. Continue with this process, but place each ball in a row, right under each row of chocolate dough balls. The end result is a total of 8 rows of 6 dough balls starting with a row of chocolate and alternating, ending with a row of raspberry. Pick up the chocolate dough ball at the top left and stack with the raspberry ball below it. Then add the chocolate ball below it and then the raspberry dough ball. Flatten the balls together and then roll into one big ball. Roll in sugar and place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Continue forming the cookies until there is a dozen on the baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for about 13-15 minutes. The cookies should be a light golden color on the bottom and edges when done.
Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to rack to finish cooling.

Repeat the forming and baking process until no dough remains.

Tips and Notes:
1. In order to increase the raspberry flavor, I used Belgian raspberry beer (Framboise Lambic) and 1 1/2 tsp of natural raspberry flavor. I filled a saucepan with 1 cup of the beer and boiled it until reduced down to 1/4 cup. Then I added the raspberries and the sugar. The natural raspberry flavoring (baktoflavors.com) was stirred into the raspberry mixture after it was completely cool.

2. Do not use thawed frozen raspberries, only fresh. Even though thawed, the fruit still has too much water content.

3. The chocolate dough is more dense than the raspberry. Once the dry ingredients are added to the raspberry batter the baking soda/powder mixture makes it rise. You may want to make both wet batters and then add the dry to both as a last step. Especially considering the time in forming the cookies.

4. Dough is less sticky and easier to work with when cold.

5. Another method for forming the dough is to divide each type of dough in half. Then roll out each half on a floured piece of parchment, forming a 12 by 5 inch rectangle. Stack the rectangles on top of each other, alternating types. Then cut dough into 1 inch squares and roll each square into a ball. Then roll in sugar and place on baking sheet. I did not try this, but the method would be a good time saver.
                              **LAST YEAR:Danish Butter Cookies**