Monday, April 2, 2012

Krispy and Kremey

So being our 11th-hour selves, the Husband and I had spent most of the spare moments in the week puzzling out what birthday present we wanted to get his dad to no avail. You know how some people aren't particularly picky or fussy, but they're still difficult to think of good gifts for? That's my father-in-law. It's just hard to think of anything he'd really need, or that he's been dropping hints about, and those are my first two criteria for brainstorming present ideas.

Then, the night before we'd agreed to head over to help out with a woefully under-attended choir rehearsal for a meeting on Maundy Thursday we had a brainwave: let's make doughtnuts!!! It was pure genius: we'd make four dozen doughnuts of varying types. Glazed, glazed and sprinkled, cinnamon sugar, custard-filled, chocolate iced...needless to say, we were indecently proud of ourselves, and we hadn't even fried a single doughnut yet.

There was a bit of Googling to do, along with a quick browse of my Pinterest pages. Husband and I came to the conclusion that between driving up to Oxford and doing the weekly grocery shop, we wouldn't have time on Saturday to make our own dough, so we snagged a few pop cans of the white dinner roll dough and used that as the base for our doughnuts. (If you're in the States, of course, you can just use the Pillsbury biscuit dough pop tins.) Then it was time to have fun with the toppings.

chillin' on the cooling rack
 So for the cinnamon sugar doughnuts, we basically faked our way through the topping. Sebastian got us some caster sugar at the store and I dumped about 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of it into one of our little pyrex bowls with about a tablespoon of cinnamon and then stirred it all around to get as homogeneous a mixture as I could manage. As for coating the doughnuts with it, we just dipped them in the sugar and swirled them around one side at a was a pretty sticky mix, so it didn't just all flake off the doughnuts as soon as we put them on a platter.

The glaze was a bit more interesting. And I promise I'll get the legit recipe linked into this post at some point. Basically, I melted about 1/2 cup of butter (not margarine), and then stirred in 2 1/4 teaspoons of vanilla and  just over 2 cups of icing sugar until I had a non-lumpy, very stiff mix. Then, I thinned it out with a tiny sploosh of water (yes, that's an exact and scientific unit of measure, thanks for asking) and a few tablespoons (between 6-9) of evaporated milk. On second thought...I remembered that recipe pretty darn well. Forget about that link! And again, to get the coating, we dunked them one side at a time and then rested them on baking paper in the fridge to set.

Getting my Krispy Kreme on...

Now just for the professional look, we covered some of the glazed doughnuts in sprinkles. As the Sprinkle Density Quality Control Guy, Sebastian kept letting me know that my initial sprinklings were too stingy. In the end, we finally reached a satisfactory result:

fun and festive 

Fry Master General at work

For the chocolate glazed variety, I left the melting of a bar of chocolate to the Husband. I need a double boiler to make chocolate melt properly, having never mastered the "Sling it in the microwave for a few seconds" technique. Once it was thinned out with a bit of butter and water to keep the chocolate from setting all hard and crunchy, what did we do? You guessed it: dipped them in a pyrex bowl of our topping-of-choice and left them to set on baking paper.

now awaiting white chocolate stripes

Ostensibly the most difficult doughnuts were the custard-filled. First, I thought I could jerry-rig a pastry bag out of an unused baby nasal syringe tip and a fresh-and-clean breast milk storage bag. Ummm...yeah, not so much. Though the milk storage bag is made of the right material to work for this endeavour, the problem is that they're designed to stand up in the fridge when full, so the bottom has a fold in it that makes cutting a hole in the corner very fiddly. Basically, when you cut one hole, it gives you two, and so when you put the plastic tip in to pipe custard, it's nearly impossible and you get sticky yellow goo everywhere. The booger-sucker tip was perfect for piping the custard, but the bag just wasn't helpful. I ended up with custard all over my hands after trying this method with the first doughnut.

After that, I stuck to the Husband's advice and broke out the turkey baster. Cue inappropriate jokes about inseminating the doughnuts...

What can I say? We have juvenile senses of humour. Anyway, the turkey baster worked a treat. I was worried at first about getting air pockets that would send custard shooting out of all sides of the doughnut, but in the end it was the perfect doughnut impregnating filling method. (Despite this shameful joke, I am an adult...I promise.) The baster made far less mess than the cobbled-together-faux-pastry-bags and after about an hour and a half of work, we had 4 dozen doughnuts and 10 doughnut holes (we'd already eaten the rest in the name of "quality control taste testing"...) finished and ready to take to Oxford as a loving birthday-prezzy-slash-dessert. There was lots of smug self-congratulating going on during the car ride through Berkshire. Basically, we're awesome. If only we'd thought to keep some to see us through the Game of Thrones season premier tonight...

No comments:

Post a Comment