Sunday, March 16, 2008

Time For More Doughnuts

Ever since it was Time to Make the Doughnuts I’ve been wanting to make these French Cruller Doughnuts. I saw them at Creampuffs in Venice and at The Biscuit Pusher, and both looked mouth wateringly good.

So I printed out the recipe and it’s been in my “to try” list for more than a few weeks. Along with, oh, let’s say dozens of other recipes, just so we don’t get our heads spinning, ok? Well, last Friday, I finally decided to try these. I made 4 huge doughnuts and 8 small éclairs. I was making choux paste after all, my better half would not have forgiven me if I hadn’t made any éclairs!

The choux paste came together surprisingly well, and baking these was much less stressful that frying! Also, I halved the recipe so I didn’t have too many batches waiting to go into the oven.

I’ll have to work on my pastry bag wielding skills though as I seemed to have the inability to make my doughnuts any smaller or to make my éclairs all the same length! But once we tasted them, we forgot all about their looks. Anyway, we didn’t look at them very long before devouring the whole lot!

French Cruller Doughnuts
Adapted from Marcy Goldman’s A Passion For Baking

Choux Paste Doughnut Base :
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsps pure vanilla extract

4 large eggs

Maple Glaze:
I cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp milk Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat.

For Choux Paste Doughnut base: In a large saucepan, stir milk, water, sugar, and salt together over medium heat. Stir in butter and allow it to melt. Increase heat and bring mixture to a rolling boil. Stir in flour all at once. Blend well with a wooden spoon, adding vanilla and beating briskly until mixture forms a ball that leaves the sides of pan. Beat vigorously 1 to 2 minutes before removing from burner and turning out into a mixer bowl. Allow mixture to cool 5 minutes.

Using a wide whisk or wooden spoon, add eggs, 1 at a time, until mixture is smooth and glossy. Spoon choux paste into a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch star tip. On prepared baking sheets, leaving some space between each pastry, make a 4-inch circle of batter with another circle on top -- concentric circles. If you don't have a pastry bag, use a soup spoon to spread out a ring of batter as best you can. It will be fine once it puffs.

Bake pastry 15 minutes; then reduce oven temp to 375 and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until doughnuts are light in texture and medium brown all over. Cool slightly.

To make glaze, whisk everything together in a medium bowl to a thick glaze consistency. Dip each doughnut once, let excess drip off back into bowl, let set, and then glaze again. Let doughnuts set on a wire rack.

Note : With this recipe I made 4 doughnuts and 8 small éclairs. For the éclairs I used the same pastry tip as for the doughnuts and made them about 4 inches long. The baking times were about the same but start checking at around 15 minutes for the second baking time. Once they’re baked let them cool a bit and fill them with the pastry cream. You can do this either by cutting the éclairs in half and spreading the pastry cream on one half or keep them whole and fill the éclairs with a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Then dip the top of the éclairs in the chocolate glaze.

Pastry Cream
Adapted from Ricardo Volume 3 Number 5
1 cup milk
1/3 cup of sugar
2 1/2 tbsp flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan heat milk until it’s steaming. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, mix together sugar and flour. Whisk in the egg. Add a little warm milk to the egg mixture, then while whisking add the rest of the milk. Cook

over medium heat, whisking constantly. Once it starts to boil let it cook for a minute or two, to desired consistency. Add the vanilla extract, transfer to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream. Let cool in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.

Chocolate Glaze
1 tbsp butter
1 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a double boiler, melt butter with chocolate. Remove from heat, add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until blended.

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Melanie said...

Wow, these doughnuts look divine. I am going to attempt them this weekend!

Ginny said...

Yummy! They look great!

Patricia Scarpin said...

LyB, these are fabulous! I don't think I have ever eaten anything like it. YUM!

Alfie said...

And now I'm craving doughnuts! They look gorgeous.

rhid said...

These looks sooo goood! They look beautiful in fact! Nice picts - they make me want to eat them!

Brilynn said...

I've been wondering about those donuts! They look great!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Those are amazing! One of those things that doesn't look possible to make in your own kitchen. My son wants to lick the screen.

Kevin said...

Those doughnuts look so good!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

My son will love this!!! He has got such a sweet tooth.

LyB said...

Melanie - I do hope you try them, they're pretty easy to make.

Ginny - Thanks, they were pretty yummy! :)

Patricia - Thank you so much, they're pretty addictive!

Alfie - Thank you!

Rhid - Thanks so much, I'd want to eat one now, but they're all gone! :)

Brilynn - They intrigued me as well, I'll certainly make more soon!

Lynn - I thought they were much more complicated to make when I first saw them but they're pretty easy to make. My kids loved them, I'm sure yours would too! :)

Kevin - Thank you so much!

Nina - My kids love sweets too, I guess most kids do!

joey said...

Your pastry bag skill look fine to me! Those are lovely looking crullers and eclairs :)

Gigi said...

They look fantastic! Crullers are one of my favorite doughnuts and yet I have never made them. After seeing yours this will definitely change. I can't wait to get into the kitchen and give this recipe a try!

PumpkinGirl said...

Wow, these look beautiful to me!

HoneyB said...

Wow, my mouth is watering. I love crullers! This is going on my to do list too!

LyB said...

Joey - Thanks so much! I guess I'm too much of a perfectionist :)

Gigi - Thank you! This is such a versatile recipe, you can make a lot of different things with it.

Pumpkin Girl - Thank you!

Honeyb - I have too many things on my to do list! :)

biscuitpusher said...

they look good to me, when I made mine they were a mess, I just chose the best looking one for the photos. (the true trick of the food blogger) :)

I just bought the proper pastry bag and tip though, so I'm going to make them again soon. and maybe I can get them to look a bit prettier.

Y said...

Nevermind the piping skills. Those round donuts look like they're just the right size! Love that you don't have to deep fry them too - which is probably an added blessing, once you start getting into the amount of delicious glaze on top of each donut!

Sophie said...

I'm Sophie, Key Ingredient's Chief Blogger. We would like to feature this adapted doughnut recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)