I love doughnuts. We have a few fantastic bakeries in Toronto that make amazing doughnuts. When I get a craving, I walk to Parkdale to visit Glory Hole Doughnuts (great name) with my friends. I once travelled to Yonge-Eglinton to celebrate World Nutella Day at The Rolling Pin. Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to have a coworker bring in freshly made treats from Etobicoke’s Sanremo Bakery. Needless to say, I was thrilled with this bake challenge.
The recipe is introduced as an unrecognizable adaptation of Hanukkah sufganiyots, based on an old newspaper clipping from Helen Goh’s mother-in-law, Roma. The family ties throughout this book are fantastic. I already had quality pastry flour in my fridge from a failed croissant attempt, saffron from another “Sweet” creation, and heavy cream. I was ready for this one.
I started with the saffron custard, which called for consistent whisking over the stove. My nerves were on edge as I added the egg yolks over the heat, but the custard held up. There wasn’t very much, but I realized later that extra cream was to be added before the filling was piped into the doughnuts.
It gets crazy when the dough hook comes out. This usually only happens when I’m making pizza. Dough hooks and yeast mean proofing and patience, and patience is not one of my virtues. I followed the book and rested the dough, punched it down (this process is a fantastic stress relief exercise), and left it in the fridge overnight.
I woke up early the next morning so that I could bake the doughnuts before work. Nobody likes a stale doughnut. I took the dough out of the fridge, rolled it into a log, and cut 14 equal pieces. The recipe called for 10 pieces, but I wanted to make a few extra. I also figured that smaller might be better for my first deep-frying experience.
Next came the really tricky part, as the oil needed to be the perfect temperature to achieve a golden-brown shell while cooking the doughnuts through. I think I’d like to invest in a stove-top thermometer. I managed to fry two batches successfully, with only a slight difference in colour and crunch. I whipped up the saffron cream filling which wasn’t quiet as thick as expected, and tossed the doughnuts in the cardamom sugar. I was happy to find ground cardamom in a natural health store – it’s a lovely spice.
The Taste Test:
I quickly demolished the first warm doughnut before rushing to work. I loved the crunchy outside with the cardamon sugar and soft middle. This was unlike any Canadian doughnut I had tried before. When I make these again, I’ll continue to whip the saffron filling for longer to get the right consistency, but it was still a nice delicate flavour. Now I’m tempted to perfect my doughnut technique. Perhaps this weekend!