Doughnuts!

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurio
I was so busy all month with other tasks I had decided I wouldn’t be a part of this months challenge. But yesterday I did have some time to myself , thanks mainly to my parents who are visiting. Obviously the fact that my kids and I absolutely love doughnuts did help convince me to make em!!! And am so glad I did!

I halved the Alton Brown Yeast recipe so finally got just about 8 doughnuts and it was a mad scramble to polish them off. As Aparna had suggested on the forum, I reduced the egg and the yeast and contrary to my fears and pervious experiences the dough was extremely manageable. Boy! They were delicious. I made a chocolate –praline topping and it was fantastic…thanks Lori for a great challenge!

Yeast Doughnuts:
Preparation time:Hands on prep time – 25 minutesRising time – 1.5 hours totalCooking time – 12 minutes
Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size

Ingredients
Milk 3/4 cup
Butter 35 grams
Active Dry Yeast 1 teaspoon
Warm Water 40ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs,small 1
White Granulated Sugar 1/8th cup,25 grams
Nutmeg, grated 1/2 tsp.
Purpose Flour 2 1/3 cup + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

Directions:
Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.

Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.

Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.

Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).
Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired

Topping

Over a low heat, melt 1½oz caster sugar in a saucepan with 1½oz almonds.
Once melted and browning nicely, keep moving it around with a metal spoon until but they get a bit darker for a good flavour
Once cold, crush into a course powder.
Mix it in with melted chocolate ….hmmmmm It will make you MOAN!

A Slice of Lemon Heaven

A few weeks back my best friend and I were having one of our never ending chats on the phone( she and I go waay back to early school .Im the talker and she’s the listener). She happened to mention that schooldays were the happiest time of her life so far and asked me when was I most happiest. My answer surprised her. And me.

Now.

Yes, that’s what I said . Im the happiest I’ve ever been right now. Truly enjoying myself and my life. And it’s surprising really. I’m the fattest I’ve ever been, mostly unemployed and on the wrong side of 30!

Who would’ve thought!

But the thing is my life is simpler and Im guessing thats why Im happier.

Another friend of mine..who claims to know me ‘better than I know myself’ says its just a phase. Split-personality is the term he uses to describe me. My wild side is dormant now, ready to break free and let hell loose but until then peace and happiness remains….

Hmmmm..We’ll see about that!

Actually the point of all that blah was to tell you that I have a list of things I wanna do…. ‘goals’ , if I may . And one of the items on that list was to take my art a wee bit more seriously. Working to that end, surely you’ve heard of my Mumbai exhibition, …which I so shamelessly publicized…

Mumbai was fun…Stayed with an awesome family friend ,met a whole lot of my relatives (most of whom I haven’t seen in …well..ever!) also met a few friends ..and re-lived many wonderful memories..

Met 2 wonderful and inspiring fellow-bloggers..Harini and Simran for a cuppa coffee.

And yes..sold many many paintings…..

In celebration here is a wonderful Lemon Cake…its delicious ..esp if , like me, your heart sings at the sight of all things lemony….

Lemon Yogurt CakeFor the cake:

Adapted from Oragette

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. grated lemon zest

1/2 cup canola oil

For the glaze:

Juice from 2 lemons

1/2 jar powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, yogurt, and eggs, stirring until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and zest, mixing to just combine. Add the oil and stir to incorporate. Stil until it combines to a smooth batter.Pour into a greased and lined 9-inch round cake pan

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.Cool completely and then spoon the lemon glaze( just combine the lemon juice and the powdered sugar).

Lemon on Foodista

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