Aidan and I watched a video by Gordon Ramsey on making donuts, so he wanted to make them. We modified the recipe a bit to fit our schedule and they turned out quite tasty. Aidan did not like the original idea of putting malt sugar on the donuts, so we changed the recipe. Aidan’s version has plain sugar, cinnamon sugar, and chocolate sugar on the donuts. We made and enjoyed these and then passed them out to friends because a dozen donuts is a lot of donuts for just us.
1/4 c. sugar
2/3 c. whole milk
1/4 oz. active dry yeast (one packet)
3 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
Pinch of sea salt (1/8 tsp.)
2 egg yolks
Heat the milk and sugar in a pan until the milk is warm (105-115 ° F) and the sugar dissolves. Put the yeast in a bowl and add 1/2 of the warm milk. Let this combine for at least 5 minutes. Add the butter to the pan holding the remaining milk. Heat gently for about 3 minutes, being careful to not let the milk boil (this is the yeast and milk’s rest time).
Place the flour in a large bowl and add the salt. Mix thoroughly then make a well in the center of the flour. Add the egg yolks and mix gently (just a little flour will join the yolks at this time). Add the yeasted milk and mix gently (a little more flour will join the dough). Add the hot milk and butter and mix completely then knead until it is smooth and elastic.
When Aidan and I made the dough, it was super dry, so we ended up adding 1/4 c. more milk which we warmed first then added. We then kneaded the dough in the bowl breaking up the chunky dry parts until it was smooth and elastic. If your dough is wet, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead. It should feel kind of like warm play-doh. You can do the “window pane” test to make sure that you are done kneading (This means you pull off a chunk of dough and gently pull it apart between your fingers. If it makes a translucent membrane, you are done. If it easily rips into jagged pieces, you need to keep kneading).
Put the dough in a large clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the dough in the fridge and let it rise overnight (8+ hrs). It will double in size.
The next day, knead it lightly on a floured work surface and roll it out into a 3/4 in deep rectangle that is 9″ x 6′ in. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 equal pillows (cut off the edges to achieve a more uniform look and keep the edges as odd shaped donuts) then place on a parchment lined baking sheet and leave to rise in a warm place for 30-40 minutes until doubled in size again. We turned the oven on for a few minutes, then turned it off and put the dough in to rise. The oven needs to be warm, but not hot – meaning you can still touch the metal and not get burned. Make sure you keep the donuts far enough apart that they won’t stick together.
Chocolate Ganache Filling
1 c. heavy cream
2+ Tbs. honey (more if you like extra sweet)
9 oz. dark chocolate chopped (we used Trader Joe’s semi-sweet large bar chocolate)
4 Tbs. cold, cubed unsalted butter
Put the cream and honey in a pan and mix until it is simmering, but not boiling. In a heat resistant bowl, put the chocolate and unsalted butter. Once the cream is hot, pour it over the chocolate and butter an mix until well blended, smooth, and glossy. Put this in the refrigerator to cool. Make sure that you only let it get to lukewarm, not cold. Cold is not easy to pipe and hot is drippy, so you are aiming for getting the ganache to lukewarm.
Frying and Assembly
Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 bottle vegetable oil
Put the cinnamon and cocoa powder in separate bowls. Get another bowl. Add castor sugar to each of the three bowls until it looks like you have about 2 Tbs. of seasoned (or plain) sugar in each bowl. You can vary the amount of seasoning to fit your taste. Mix both flavored sugars well.
In a large pot or a deep-fat fryer, add the oil and heat until it is about 340° F. Add the donuts one at a time and spoon the oil over them as they fry. They will puff up more in the oil.
Flip them once the first side is golden brown. Keep spooning the oil over the donuts as they fry and you can turn them more than once. Once they are golden brown (about 3-4 minutes),
using a slotted utensil, take them out of the oil and roll them in the sugar (only one of the sugars per donut). Place them on a wire rack to cool while you finish up with the other donuts. The sugaring was a great task for Aidan and he really enjoyed rolling the donuts around with a spoon.
To fill the donuts, put the ganache in a piping bag fitted with a small nozzel. Stab each donut with the nozzel and squeeze the filling in. Add some, but not too much. Too much ganache is too much. They are delicious warm or room temperature.