One word of advice when frying doughnuts for the first time. Choose a light coloured dough, that way you can tell when it’s done and you won’t end up with a burnt one.
Burnt one’s aren’t as tasty and the non burnt ones.
This recipe is from my Cookbook of the Month, Gingerbread by Jennifer Lindler McGlinn. This book is perfect for this time of year. Gingerbread, I think is one of the key flavours of Autumn and Winter. It’s deep, warming tones and it’s gently spiced and sometimes strongly spiced depth is what I crave this time of year. I know a lot of you do too.
If you are considering making some doughnuts from scratch then do it, and fry them don’t bake them. We can choose the healthier option another day.
Today is all about the fried option. I’ve never tasted a doughnut so crisp on the outside and oh so pillow-y light on the inside.
For the best doughnuts you need to fry. That’s my firm belief. If you don’t feel like frying or you want a lighter treat then by all means choose the baked version , but if you want to be transported to doughnut heaven then you know what you’ve gotta do.
Gingerbread is a classic Autumnal flavour. I love its deep molten brown hue and it’s deeply flavoured base. Gingerbread can vary in strength, these doughnuts are a lightened version. Perfect for if you are unfamiliar with gingerbread or for the little ones among us.
When taking your very first bite of these you’ll be greeted with a crisp outer layer, possibly a lip sticking coating of cinnamon sugar if that’s your coating of choice then the dough of the doughnut will melt in your mouth.
This will be the lightest gingerbread doughnut that you will have ever had the pleasure of devouring. No sign of grease either, despite being fried these doughnuts don’t have that greasy feel to them.
I coated my doughnuts in three different ways. The first, cinnamon sugar. Such a classic coating that will never tire. My next coating will satisfy those with a strong desire for more ginger. I made a simple milk icing and flavoured it with a splash of ginger extract. For those of you who have never tried ginger extract before, it’s very strong so even the tiniest trickle with go along way. Lastly I dusted a couple of them with icing sugar.
My favourite one will have to be the ginger icing. I LOVE milk icing and scented with ginger extract on top of a gingerbread doughnut took ginger bliss to the next level. It’s worth seeing this extract out to try it. I love collecting and baking with different flavours.
The batter for these are very simple to do. Plan ahead though, you need to leave them chill in the fridge over night. No big deal though, it gives you time to plan your toppings. Toppings for your doughnuts are very important after all!
You won’t see any of the doughnut holes in any photo’s, we gobbled those up as we were frying the doughnuts. Taste testing is crucial!
These Autumnal flavoured treats are great treat indeed. Whip up a batch and enjoy them this weekend. Weekends are usually meant for treats right?.
Yields 11 doughnuts and 11 doughnut holes (although this will depend on what size cutter you used)
*Cutter used – Ateco 3 1/2 inch doughnut cutter
465 grams (3 3/4 cups) Self-raising flour
1 tablespoons Baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons Bicarbonate of soda
Big pinch of Maldon salt
1 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon Freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon Ground cloves
110 grams (1/2 cup) Light brown muscovado sugar
125 ml (1/2 cup) Molasses
2 Large eggs
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
250 ml (1 cup) Sour cream
Vegetable oil for frying
100 grams (1/2 cup) Caster sugar
2 teaspoons Vietnamese cinnamon
Ginger Milk Icing
120 grams (1 cup) Icing sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons Milk
Drop of ginger extract (I use Star Kay White)
1. In a large bowl whisk together the self-raising flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
2. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment set to medium speed, mix together the light brown sugar, molasses, eggs and the vanilla extract until smooth. Drizzle in the melted butter until smooth then add the sour cream a little at a time until it’s fully incorporated.
3. With the mixer set to low gradually add the spiced flour mixture until it’s all been added fully incorporated. This dough will be quite sticky. Scrape it into a medium size bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge to chill overnight.
4. When your reading to fry them, get a large pan with high sides and heat oil. Let it come up to 2-inches in the pan.
5. While your oil is heating up roll out the dough on clean and lightly floured work surface to 1/2 inch thickness. Using your cutter, cut out as many doughnuts as you can, re-rolling the dough when necessary. Place your cut doughnuts onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place two wire racks on the side close to you, this is where you’ll be putting your doughnuts once they’ve been fried.
6. When the oil reaches 360F-375F carefully lower your doughnuts in one by one. I’d do two at a time to begin with until you get used to frying them. Fry then for 2 minutes on each side before removing and placing on the wire racks. Keep the temperature of your oil at the right heat, you don’t want over done or under done doughnuts. Fry the doughnuts holes for less time, maybe 1 minutes each side
7. Continue to do this process until you’ve fried all your doughnuts. Whilst they are still warm you can roll them in the cinnamon sugar. If you want to coat them in the milk icing, wait until they cool before doing it.
To made the icing up all you need to do is mix together the icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk and the ginger extract. You may need to add a little milk if it’s not runny enough. Drizzle all over your doughnuts once it’s right consistency.
Recipe from Gingerbread by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn
* These doughnuts taste great cold too. They will last for up to 4 days stored in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid. Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.