Doughnuts rank as one of my favorite foods right alongside pickles and fried chicken. I could seriously eat these three items for the rest of my life. But, that is probably a “bad” life choice. Probably.
This was my first foray into doughnuttering so I clearly opted to start small with a multi-component yeasted doughnut based off of Mexican hot chocolate. Why Mexican hot chocolate and not regular chocolate? The truth is I just saw a bar of Mexican chocolate at the store. Clearly my inspiration runs deep.
The first batch of these were not successful. Actually, that is too nice. My friend Darroch said it best.
Evan: You gotta come over. I’m making doughnuts!
Darroch: These aren’t doughnuts. These taste like gross burnt pizza bagels. Look how hard they are!
Turns out I failed to add enough milk to the dough. Lesson learned.
The next batch, however, was much much better and turned out chewy, soft, and edible. Overall, I was pretty happy with how these turned out, especially for a first try.
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for bowl
- 4 oz to 12 oz (1/2 cup to 1 1/2 cup) milk
- 1 1/4 oz envelope active dry yeast
- 500 g (3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp of ground Cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp of ground ancho chili pepper
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Vegetable oil (for deep-frying)
- Pastry cream
- Mexican hot chocolate ganache
Lightly coat a large bowl with olive oil. Heat milk and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°–115°. Remove from heat; whisk in yeast. Let stand until mixture becomes foamy, about 10 minutes.
Combine flour and spices. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine eggs, salt, 2 tbsp olive oil, and yeast mixture. With the motor running on medium speed, add the flour mixture in three additions until a sticky dough forms, 4–5 minutes. If the dough seems dry, add more milk a few tablespoons at a time. Transfer to oiled bowl. Turn to coat; cover with a kitchen towel. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Gently roll out dough on a floured surface to 1/2” thickness. Cut out rounds with biscuit cutter. Place on lightly floured baking sheets. Let rise until doubled, 30–40 minutes.
Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to side of a heavy pot. Pour vegetable oil into the pot to a depth of 2″ and heat over medium heat to 350°. Working in batches, carefully add the doughnuts to oil. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side, allowing oil to return to 350° between batches. Using a slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to rack; let drain for 2 minutes.
Transfer pastry cream to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4″ metal tip or squeeze bottle. Pipe into each doughnut then dip into ganache to coat the top.
- 16 oz/500 ml (2 cups) whole milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
- 60 ml (4 tbsp) cornstarch
- 115 g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 oz/55 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter – cut into 1″ pieces
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.
Pour milk into a heavy sauacepan and add vanilla bean seeds and salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to just under a boil, stirring occasionally.
When the milk is ready, temper about one-third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the hot milk and continue whisking over medium heat until the custard is as thick as lightly whipped cream, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer to a bowl. Let cool for 10 minutes. When the cream is ready, whisk in one piece of butter at a time until fully incorporated.
To cool the cream, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate.
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground Cayenne pepper
- Pinch of ground ancho chile pepper
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Cook the cream, chocolate, spices, and vanilla in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.