Tag Archives: doughnuts

Cake Doughnuts

8 Sep

Yay! As promised, my next recipe. Sorry there aren’t pictures but my computer wouldn’t upload them….

2 1/2 cups of flour (doesn’t matter what kind)

1/2 cups of white sugar

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup of milk

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Oil (you decide how much)

For covering doughnuts:

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup white sugar

Directions!

1) In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2) Make a well in the mixture.

3) Pour the milk, butter, egg, and vanilla.

4) Mix it up! When you’re done, put it in the fridge for an hour, covered up.

5) Pour oil in a pan, and put a doughnut in the pain and flip when golden brown. When a doughnut is done, put it on a cookie rack with a paper towel on it to soak up the oil. If you’re me, you made latka-like doughnuts cause I couldn’t figure out how to make doughnuts, so my AMAZING dad had to help and now they look perfect.

When done, sprinkle the doughnuts with the cinnamon and nutmeg.

So, best advice from this post? Always listen to your dads cause they’re usually right (mine is always right though…).

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Baked Doughnuts

17 Feb

Let me talk to you about art.

I know this is a baking blog, but I cannot be separated from my love of art, and this is important, so bear with me.

I’m sure my dedication to art and art history is very mysterious to many, and probably very funny to some.  I’m thinking mostly of my high school French teacher who apparently reads this blog sometimes (hello!).  It’s probably funny to her, that I’m doing a minor in art history, because I couldn’t stand art museums for a long time and had no real interest in art.

Yes, this is the same blog with all the pictures of the Art Institute.  My feelings about art and museums changed on a class trip to Paris when I was subjected to a tour of Musée d’Orsay that I was not happy about.

Aha, so now you see what I mean.

But I can say without exaggeration that that trip to that museum is why I am an art history minor.  For real.

That’s actually not what I wanted to talk about though.  I want to talk about contemporary Chinese art, because so few people do.  I actually can’t say much about it because I can’t find much about it.  I’m very sad, though, because my school has this great art history department, but only offers classes on ancient asian art.  We have two professors who specialize in that, which is nice and all, but there is zero representation of modern Asian art.  We’ve got modern Latin America, African Architecture, some classes on various world cities (the only Asian city is Kyoto, and the class covers the Heian period to the Meiji era).

I know you’re probably shocked and dismayed now.  I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cause emotional trauma in a post with doughnuts in the title.  But my point is that there’s this hole in the art world where contemporary Chinese art should go, and I know there a lot of people filling it slowly, slowly, especially in New York where I tragically am not.  But it’s a big hole, all right.  So here’s my little contribution to its filling:

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I found an article the other day mentioning this gallery called the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing, which is hosting an exhibition on up-and-coming Chinese artists nominated by some of the old guard.  A lot of the pieces were really interesting and beautiful, but Chen Ke’s work stuck out for, I should think, obvious reasons.

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I won’t say too much more about this, since you came here for baking, not art criticism, but aren’t these stunning?  It’s incredible how subtle and varied his art is, considering it’s done in thick oil paint, all in shades of red.  I strongly encourage you to check out the rest of the gallery and Chen Ke’ work, and then tell everyone you know, because look at those paintings.

Exactly.

So doughnuts?

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Doughnuts.

I went to Sur La Table with my gift cards to get a loaf pan for something else I want to make (soon!), and I was walking around the store looking at all the neat things I wasn’t planning on buying because I’m very careful about spending money.

But then I thought, dude I have gift cards.  Gift cards intended to be used for things I wouldn’t ordinarily buy.

So I grabbed myself a doughnut pan.  And then booked it back to the apartment to try it out ASAP.

I googled this recipe while I was in the store so I would know what to pick up on my way back.  Of course, in my moment of need, it was the Washington Post that came through for me.  I had no idea they did recipes!  Someday I’ll talk about my deep love for that paper.  Not today, though, don’t worry.

Ingredients:

  • One doughnut pan.  You could probably just pour the batter in muffin cups and make doughnut holes, but you could also just stay in bed and resign yourself to having a boring life. I don’t know, it’s up to you.
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • a pinch of cardamom (like, a hamster’s pinch, not a person’s pinch)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 8 tbsp butter (melted, for topping)
  • cinnamon and sugar (for topping)  (or chocolate sauce or whatever you want)

Recipe:

Sift together the dry ingredients.

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Look, a nice powdery tri-color!

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In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla until combined.  Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.  Don’t overmix or they’ll have a weird consistency.

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Fill each ring in the doughnut pan ~3/4 of the way full.

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Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a tester stuck into the side comes out clean.  These baked really fast for me, but it might be my oven…

Let the doughnuts cool for 5 minutes before removing them.  I slid a knife gently around the circumference of each and then very carefully levered them out.  Once the doughnuts are sufficiently cooled, get the rest of the melted butter and brush all over the doughnuts.  I actually dipped mine in butter but that’s pretty disgusting, so I recommend brushing.

Then, roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

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Don’t those look delicious?  They are, trust me.  They’re sort of strange because they’re baked, so the consistency is more cake-like than doughnut-like, but they are very good nonetheless.

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To save me and my roommate from eating all of them I sat around in my usual place at the library and gave them out to people.  It is a very good way to get lots of Happy Valentine’s Days, let me tell you.

 

 

Now, I’ve read a lot of books lately.  Like, one every few days.  Mostly Murakami, because when am I not reading mostly Murakami?  But also some of my favorite Chinese writers, and a Somerset Maugham that takes place in China.  BUT.  I am going to recommend something that is not by an Asian author, and not about anywhere in Asia.

I’m sorry, I must have shocked you pretty badly.

I was reading one of those Best 100 Novels lists, because… I don’t know, I just like them.  I like seeing how many I’ve read (not many, but almost always the top 3, which tend to be Ulysses, The Great Gatsby, and Portrait of the Artist).  I saw one list had Bolaño, and since I never read him I thought I’d check it out.

I hate to try to describe the plot, because it’s sort of an epic surrounding a poetry movement in Mexico as these young poets try to find an identity amidst all the Latin American poetry that either sucks or is too brilliant to aspire to.  But of course, it’s about all kinds of things aside from that.  I suppose if you really want to know you’ll just have to read it…

It’s a book that feels fast and dangerous, reckless and very young, with characters that think they’re immortal and expect nothing less from their lives than a total poetry revolution.  Maybe I would describe it as a coming-of-age book, but of a particular slice of a certain generation in Latin America.  If that doesn’t sound interesting, then don’t read the book because it will sound totally obnoxious.  Otherwise, knock yourself out.

Pumpkin Doughnut Holes

20 Sep

I’ve pretty much decided to become a beekeeper.  Not professionally, but in a volunteer capacity.  The Garfield Park Conservatory offers about five classes, culminating in a volunteer position, apprenticeship, and eventual maintenance of your own hive.  I went with a couple of friends to the Conservator on the Sunday before last to quiz the beekeeper on the practice and bees in general.  And then, a few days ago, I decided I really only needed to eat dry toast for the rest of forever and spent $70 on the class.

This has nothing to do with that, however, and these doughnut holes don’t even have honey in them.  They probably should, now that I’m thinking about it…  But they do not.  They are merely a product of, “Man, we still have so much pumpkin purée left, what do we do?”

Make doughnuts.  Obviously.  These are baked, too, so they’re super easy and well worth what little time is involved in making them.

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

These are technically muffins, and are baked in a muffin/cupcake tin, but since they puff up so much, they do end up looking like doughnut holes, and that is how the original recipe is named.  So you’ll need either a mini or a regular cupcake tin, depending on what size you want your doughnuts.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and set aside.

In a larger bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth.  Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix until just combined.

 

Distribute evenly in cupcake tins.

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.  If you make larger ones, they may take slightly longer to bake. Ours did take about ten minutes, but I suspect our oven runs rather hot.

Remove the doughnuts from the pan and allow them to cool.  While they’re chilling, melt the butter in one bowl, and combine the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Once the doughnuts have cooled, roll them around into the bowl of butter (I know, it sounds really gross), and then in the cinnamon-sugar.

Serve warm, with cider, coffee, or whatever fall cliché you desire.

 

 

I read, recently, a book of short stories recommended very highly by my roommate.  The author is virtually unknown now, despite receiving much critical acclaim when her stories were published.  I also read one of her novels in one day.  I think it was Sunday. Obviously that day is sort of a blur.

Her name is Jincy Willet, and she will scare the shit out of you.  I’ll quote something I wrote for another blog, because it comes close to capturing my fear and awe:

Jincy Willet doesn’t billet herself as a feminist writer, but she is.  Yes, yes she is.  Her women are terrifying forces of the darkest parts of human nature, and they are completely normal.  They are the people you walk past in the street who are barely hiding mass nebulae of anxiety behind carefully bored faces.  They’re so real, it’s sort of painful to read about them, because they are you and everyone you know, and everyone you’re afraid of.

There’s a lot of fear in my thoughts of Jincy Willet, but it’s the exciting kind.  Very often I’d be halfway through a short story and I’d think, hm, I don’t know about this one.  But they got me every time, like an unfortunate barb to the cheek when you stand too close to someone fishing.

I absolutely recommend her short story collection Jenny and the Jaws of life, which was brutal and stunning and sharply beautiful, but I also recommend the novel I read, The Writing Class.  If you’re less into Literature, you might want to go with The Writing Class, which is a murder mystery, fundamentally, and a study in the insanity of solitude.  It’s a great book, and the mystery is very engaging.  But mostly the characters are wonderful–some of them are caricatures, some are more realistic, all are surprising and grow a realistic amount, and all have something in them you can find to love.

But love is really the last thing that should be drawing you to Jincy Willet.  Fair warning.