Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It was a Dark & Stormy night.

I'm going to take a moment to brag to you about something.  Most of the time I am a fairly modest person (although now it sounds like I'm bragging about always being modest), but today, well, today I just can't help myself.  You see, I have a handful of donut flavors in my baking repertoire that are pretty good, but admittedly all of them could still use some work.  But not this one, ho no.  This one, to my delight, is pure perfection.  Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the Dark and Stormy:

How YOU doin'?

My friends, the bartender's handbook is a treasure trove of donut flavor ideas.  Tried and true flavor combinations galore!  And who doesn't love a boozy pastry?  A damned fool, that's who.  Here, I combined a rum ginger donut with a dark rum glaze to create possibly the best pastry ever.  Ugh, that's so braggy.  I'm sorry.  But it's true!  Celiacs and glut-tards beware: this baby is so close to the real thing that you will panic, thinking that I've sabotaged your diet.  I promise you I haven't.  

The secret ingredient that gives these bad boys a lovely, spicy ginger flavor?  Candied ginger.  Which I realized looks like sugary crack rock and is possibly just as addicting.  Combined with a bit of lemon zest, it makes for one amazing rum cake.  The batter has just the right amount of moisture and when fried it has the perfect amount of crumble.

Totally legal, I swear.

Dark & Stormy Donuts
adapted from Bon App├ętit's Ginger Doughnut


3 1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (I highly suggest Gluten Free Pantry)
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped candied ginger

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, beaten until frothy

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup dark rum (I prefer Goslings)
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons dark rum
2 to 3 tablespoons almond milk

Canola oil for frying

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, salt, candied ginger, and lemon peel.  Stir well to blend.  In a large bowl, cream the sugar and shortening.  Mix in buttermilk, rum, vanilla extract and eggs.  Add dry ingredients a little at a time, mix until well blended.  Dough will be sticky- cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough for at least an hour. 

After the dough has time to chill, roll out on a floured surface to a 3/4 inch thickness.  Gluten-free dough is sticky, try not to add too much dough when rolling out.  Using a well floured 2 to 3 inch donut cutter, cut out dough rounds.  Gather the dough scraps and re-roll and cut until all the dough is used.  
Fill dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot with 2 inches of oil.  Using a candy or deep fry thermometer, heat oil to 350 degrees.  Try to maintain this temperature while frying by adjusting the heat.  Fry donuts 2 or 3 at a time for 2 minutes each side, or until golden brown.  Transfer donuts to a cooling rack lined with paper towels.

While donuts are cooling, combine confectioner's sugar and rum.  Stir in almond milk one tablespoon at a time, until you get your preferred consistency.  While donuts are still slightly warm, dunk them into the icing.  Return donuts to cooling rack for glaze to set.

Makes about 2 dozen donuts.  


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Once more, with feeling.

This isn't my first attempt at yeast donuts.  I first tried them for a holiday get together with Pete's family, and I was so excited.  The dough seemed to be following the recipe's description (note when baking gluten-free: this doesn't and, most of the time, shouldn't happen), and I was gleefully rolling out the dough and chomping away with my donut cutter.  But when I came back to check on them after an hour, I found to my horror that they didn't rise.  I killed the yeast!  Flat as pancakes and I only had a few hours until the get together!  Worst.  Baker.  Ever.  I fried them with tears in my eyes, and served them with a thousand apologies.  Pete's family, god bless 'em, were good sports and ate them.

I stuck with cake donuts for a few weeks after that.  

But today, with the failure still gnawing at me, I decided to try again.  This time I figured I'd follow Gluten Free Girl's advice and follow Alton Brown's recipe (not that the first recipe I followed was bad, but GFG has never steered me wrong)  And this time, I'd pay attention to the yeast water's temperature.  Et voila:

Yeast donuts with plum jam filling

Crispy on the outside, light as air on the inside.  I busted out the "flavor injector" Pete's mom had given me for Christmas and filled those puppies up with plum preserves.  


The dough was nice and wet (quite a difference from my first attempt) which creates a lighter, fluffier donut.  I used a giant pipping bag to pipe circular disks onto squares of parchment paper- this makes dropping the sticky dough in hot oil a breeze.  As soon as they hit the oil they puffed up- I couldn't help but do a little dance as I fried them.  There may or may not have been singing.  

I cannot wait until our next holiday gathering to redeem myself.

Maybe just one more.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Oh, hello.

First post, and I am at a loss for how to start.  I'm Carol and I make gluten-free donuts.  Ever since my first french cruller came out of the pan and onto the cooling rack, I've been hooked.  I think about flavors, I make up recipes, I impatiently wait for my work day to be over so I can go home to my test kitchen.  To paraphrase Jiro Ono, when I make a good donut, I feel triumphant.

I think I may be going through a mid-life donut crisis.  Not that it's a bad thing.

Anyway, welcome to my donut diary!  Best with a cup of coffee.