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Conquering Fear | Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts

March 20, 2012

Well hello there friends! I bet you were starting to think that I’d fallen off the face of the earth. Fortunately, I’m still kicking. In truth, I’ve been working my arse off. The intense training schedule continues. After a day of work and a hard run, I’m lucky if I get some decent food past my lips, let alone photograph it and come up with an accompanying witty post.

But I must admit, I’m kind of using this whole running thing as a license to eat whatever the hell I want. Thankfully I’m a reasonable person (most of the time), and I’m trying to find a good balance between eating healthy and indulging from time to time. A few weeks ago, I had this sudden urge to try making doughnuts from scratch. And it wouldn’t. go. away. So I enlisted the help of a trusty friend of mine and we went to work on a few different recipes.

First, there were sour cream glazed doughnuts. They turned out alright, but not fantastic. Too dense, not cakey enough, and not the right flavor. So we moved onto pumpkin spice cake doughnuts. They were almost fantastic, especially when eaten still warm with a hefty coating of cinnamon sugar. And so we decided to try out a simple yeast doughnut with a rich chocolate glaze. Money.

These were delicious. The doughnut itself is not overly sweet, but the chocolate glaze adds a nice kick of sweet and chocolate.

Ladies and gents, it’s time to conquer our fears.

Yes, fear. I know what you’re thinking. Yeast? Hot oil?! Frying things??!

Don’t be afraid! It’s a lot easier, and more fun, than it looks. Especially in the company of a lovely friend, with some good tunes and a couple glasses of the red stuff. If only all fears were this easy to conquer! And hello?! There are doughnuts at the end of this lil’ journey. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.

Let’s do this!

We start by making a simple yeast dough. Then we let it rise for a little bit until it doubles in size. Look at this beautiful ball of dough! Ain’t she perrty?

Then we roll out the dough and make doughnuts! Supposedly there are fancy doughnut cutters out there, but why not save that cash for another bottle of vino and use a wine glass and a shot glass instead! Doughnut + hole = done! Lay out your cut doughnuts on a lined cookie sheet, cover with a clean tea towel, and allow to rise for another half hour. Get your oil heating while the doughnuts rise.

The one special gadget you will require for this adventure is an oil/candy thermometer. I bought one for $10. When your thermometer reaches 325°F, it’s go time!

Fry, cool, glaze. Easy as pie. And then, EAT!

You can do it, I have faith in you!

Special shout-out to the lovelies that helped me eat my way through these doughnut trials. My heart (and thighs) thank you.

Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts (adapted from La Mia Vita Dolce)

These doughnuts are best enjoyed immediately after they are made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days. I recommend warming leftovers briefly in the microwave before enjoying. 

4 tsp. active dry yeast

1/4 cup water

1 cup whole milk

4 TBSP. sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 eggs

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Measure the water and milk into a small saucepan and heat over low heat until warm (do not let it boil!). Pour the warm water/milk mixture into a large bowl, and add 1 TBSP. of the sugar, as well as the yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, meaning the yeast is working! Add the butter, flour, eggs and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and mix until a sticky dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface to bring it together. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes or until it feels smooth and elastic when pressed. I punched my dough a few times, and it felt good! I may or may not have pretended that the dough was someone’s face. Unfortunately, karma bit me in the booty and I hit the counter instead. You win some and you lose some. Anyways…

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 1 cm (1 1/2 inches) thick. Cut 8 cm (3 1/4 inch) rounds with a cutter.  Cut a 3.5 cm (1 1/4 inch) hole in the middle of the rounds. Place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen.

In the meantime, heat the oil (2 inches deep) in a large pot over medium-low heat.  Gently drop the doughnuts one by one into the hot oil. Cook the doughnuts a few at a time for 1 minute each side or until just golden. Drain on a cooling rack set over paper towels.

Chocolate Glaze

2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup whole milk

1 TBSP. honey

2 tsp. vanilla

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Sift icing sugar into a small bowl and set aside. Combine the butter, milk, honey, and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off the heat, add the icing sugar, and whisk until smooth. Dip slightly cooled doughnuts into the glaze and allow to set. Eat immediately!

36 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2012 4:34 am

    They look like they would put doughnut king to shame! All they need to be perfect are a couple of sprinkles – but I’m a sprinkle lover :$

    • March 21, 2012 9:16 am

      Ahh yes! Sprinkles! Fabulous idea! 🙂

      • March 21, 2012 1:44 pm

        While it does look like it would be difficult to improve upon the perfection that is those doughnuts – everything is better when it’s rainbow 😀

  2. March 21, 2012 7:09 am

    Look absolutely delicious….may have to try making real donuts…only kind I have ever made is from frying canned biscuit dough…lol.

  3. March 21, 2012 7:14 am

    Those look AMAZING. I’ve only ever made baked donuts before…clearly I’ve been missing out.

  4. March 21, 2012 7:53 am

    I SO wish I could grab one right now!

  5. March 21, 2012 8:25 am

    I adore these! great post

  6. March 21, 2012 8:28 am

    I love the photograph of the red wine and donuts! LOL You are reading my mind. My teenager was just asking me the other day to make donuts from scratch and here you have the process all lined up very easy to understand.

    • March 21, 2012 9:18 am

      See, whoever said that women are difficult to please?! Wine and donuts!
      You must make these!

  7. candi permalink
    March 21, 2012 11:07 am

    there’d better be fresh ones next time we come and visit. (hint hint…April 5th)

  8. Aman permalink
    March 21, 2012 6:31 pm

    Wow! you and your lovely friend looked like you had a great time. Looks amazing 🙂

  9. March 21, 2012 8:16 pm

    Clearly I need to start some sort of mega training programme so I can eat these things.

    SO delicious looking!!

    Why do doughnuts have to be so good!? WHYYYYYY?????

    • March 21, 2012 11:11 pm

      Why does everything made with loads of sugar and fat taste so good?! WHY?! Life just isn’t fair!
      …Maybe for motivation to start crazy running training programs??!!

  10. March 21, 2012 8:38 pm

    It sounds like with all the running you’ve been doing, you’ve earned your donut and wine! These look sooo delicious 🙂

  11. March 22, 2012 12:05 am

    These look so delicious! Thanks for the tips, I might have to just put my fear of baking donuts aside and try it out…because they look too good not to! thanks for the confidence boost :@)

  12. March 22, 2012 8:46 am

    Doughnuts at home can be done! Hoping to try this one day when I work up the courage, or have my husband do it since he’s more naturally inclined. But since we’re on a cleanse of sorts till April 2nd, I’ll only be able to live vicariously through your photos and words. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • March 22, 2012 4:39 pm

      I think these doughnuts would be the perfect way to celebrate the end of a cleanse! 😉

  13. March 22, 2012 8:53 am

    Not only do those donuts look amazing, but I want those plates too!

  14. March 22, 2012 10:28 am

    These look amazinggg! I would like one right now! 🙂

  15. Anjulee permalink
    March 22, 2012 3:42 pm

    I need to try those!! Keep up the running training!

  16. March 22, 2012 5:38 pm

    ooooh i love:

    A. doughnuts. i don’t eat them enough.

    B. Frying things. So fun. As long as you don’t get oil in your ear. ouch.

    C. Wine with doughnuts.

    D. your style 😉 love this!

  17. March 22, 2012 10:05 pm

    But I’m just so scared of both yeast and frying things. I wish I was closer to you so we could make them together!

    • March 22, 2012 10:53 pm

      Get your tush over here! And by here, I mean one province over. Or I’ll come there, you decide. 😉

  18. March 23, 2012 12:34 pm

    What gorgeous looking doughnuts. I tend to make a quick batter and bake them in a donut pan but I will have to tackle the challenge of using yeast and deep frying them. After all, if you’re going to be bad and indulge in something like donuts, then you better do it the right way!

  19. March 23, 2012 1:50 pm

    Next Friday, I am SO making this dough in time for Saturday morning doughnut frying. My god do those look delicious and decadent. And as much as the food blog world may insist, a doughnut just isn’t a doughnut until it’s been fried. Yum!

    Also, I’m having a great giveaway today with four potential prize winners, so you should enter!

  20. March 26, 2012 11:58 pm

    i love doughnuts and i work out extra hard when I have a crazy just so i can justify eating a ton of them :). this post is so inspiring i want to conquer my fear of bread baking this week!

  21. March 27, 2012 10:06 am

    I would love to make my own donuts! I always find the frostings of store donuts to be too too sweet, I haven’t touched a donut in years! Now I can go back to adding donuts to my breakfast by making them 🙂

  22. April 2, 2012 10:40 am

    ohh, you made donut holes too. Waste not! Wine and donuts?? gotta love that 🙂

  23. April 5, 2012 8:28 am

    Oh my gosh! These look divine!

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