So, how are those New Year resolutions going? Getting your detoxing teas on, drinking charcoal juice, buying new gym leggings, starting a workout regime? Blendin' up aaaaall that kale and spinach for your morning breakfast? Going for runs, too? Good job!
Sounds like you deserve a doughnut. Or eight.
I've never been one for resolutions. I'm all for goals and self-improvement, but I don't see the point in starting it at New Years because it almost always fails about a month in. You lose momentum and stop being motivated, I get it. I also don't really feel like I have a need to make resolutions when it comes to what I eat and how I work out.
Now, with this blog and my job as a pastry cook, you might think I eat pastries every single day or that I eat everything I make on this blog. Wrong! I find that because I'm around sweets all the time, I've lost most of my desire for them. Plus, my job as a pastry cook is super physical - lifting 20 kg bags of flour and going up a flight of stairs (6 times…), carrying heavy trays, on my feet for 10 hours a day. I've actually lost weight and gained muscle from working as a pastry cook. Take that!
Also, I'm more than a little skeptical of "detox" anything. I mean, your kidneys and liver do that every day. That's what they're there for. A few glasses of tea or a handful of herbs, even if ingested every day, will not "detoxify" your body. They might help keep you liver healthy, which is great, but if a healthy liver is what you're after, there are more effective ways to go about it (i.e. stop drinking alcohol). But where's the fun in that?
The way I see it is that if you eat veggies often and stay away from fast food, you can treat yourself once in a while. One doughnut isn't going to kill you. One doughnut every day will probably do some lasting damage so don't do that. It's all about moderation, you know?
For example, you might think that I ate all these doughnuts. Nope! I ate only one and that was mostly so I could get a photo of the inside (but it didn't work out). I took the rest to my dad's office and gave them out to people there. And you know what? A lot of people said, "Oh, no, I'm good, thanks" at first. I mean, good on them, will power and all that, but are you seriously refusing a homemade doughnut? After I told them I made them myself, most of them took one and they freakin' loved it. And I bet that they would say that those extra calories were totally worth it for the few minutes of doughnut-bliss.
I'm not trying to bring anyone off the healthy bandwagon here, I'm just trying to get people to think a little harder about these "quick fixes" that always seem to pop up around New Years.
Also, I want you to think about doughnuts. Because you're worth it and doughnuts are worth it.
Makes 8 doughnuts
Recipe from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook
518 g all-purpose flour
10 g instant dried yeast
74 g sugar
9 g salt
212 g whole milk, at 23 C
111 g eggs
3 g vanilla paste
55 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Coffee Pastry Cream
Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook
132 g yolks
110 g sugar
30 g cornstarch
550 g whole milk
20 g coffee beans
27 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 g vanilla paste or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 L of canola oil
200 g vanilla sugar
Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray.
For the brioche, place the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix for about 15 seconds to distribute the yeast evenly. Add all of the remaining dough ingredients except for the butter and mix on low speed for 4 minutes. Add the butter a few pieces at a time, incorporating after each addition before adding the next. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and push the dough off the hook. Mix for a total of 30 minutes on low speed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Fold the left side over to the right, the right over to the left, then the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top so you have a "package" with the seam at the top. Place the dough seam-side down in the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it ferment for 1 hour.
Repeat the folding process, place it back in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Make the pastry cream at this point. Place the coffee beans on a baking sheet and use the bottom of a clean pot to crush the beans. Set them aside for now. Set up a fine-mesh sieve and a bowl set over an ice-bath.
Combine the milk and half of the sugar in a saucepan and place over medium-low heat. When the milk comes just to a boil, remove from the heat, add the crushed coffee beans, and place a lid on the pot. Let the milk infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the milk through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the coffee beans. Weigh the milk again and make sure you have enough - you will most likely be short now (the coffee beans have absorbed some of the milk), so top it up with the required amount.
Combine the remaining half of the sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk until slightly paler in colour.
Place the milk back on the stove and heat to just a boil. Temper the yolks by pouring a small amount of the hot milk into the yolks, whisking constantly, then pour 1/3 of the milk into the yolks, still whisking constantly. Pour the milk-yolk mixture back into the pot and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and reads at least 82 C on a digital thermometer. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla paste/extract and whisk for a minute or two. Strain through the fine-mesh sieve into the bowl set over the ice-bath. Cool the pastry cream to room temperature, then place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until completely cool.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to an 11 inch wide circle. Using a 3.5 inch circle cutter, cut out 8 rounds of dough and carefully transfer them to a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Use a 1 inch wide circle cutter to get as many min doughnuts as you can out of the scraps. Of those scraps, gently knead together and roll out to get additional mini doughnuts.
Place a piece of plastic wrap loosely over the doughnuts and place in a warm, humid place to proof for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Note: I turn the shower on in my bathroom, let it run for 5 minutes, then turn it off. This makes the bathroom a little warm and a little steamy, but not too hot. I place the brioche on the counter, then close the door. This provides the most ideal proofing conditions that I can find in my apartment. If you do this, check up on the dough every 10 minutes to make sure it's not too hot!).
Meanwhile, pour the canola oil into a heavy bottomed saucepan or pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of oil in the pot. Heat the oil to 175 C.
Once the doughnuts are proofed, remove the plastic wrap and place them near your pot of oil. Have a cooling rack on a sheet pan next to your oil and the bowl of vanilla sugar.
Gently pick up one doughnut and carefully place it in the oil, making sure not to splash oil on yourself. Fry the dough for 2 minutes, then flip it and fry on the other side for 1 minute, until the doughnut is a golden brown colour. Remove from the oil and place on the cooling rack. Let it cool for 5 minutes or so, then transfer it to the bowl of vanilla sugar. Coat the doughnut in sugar, then place back on the cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts and mini doughnuts.
Transfer the pastry cream to a piping bag fitted with a small circular piping tip. Using a paring knife, make a small incision in the side of each doughnut. Insert the piping tip and pipe as much pastry cream as the doughnut will allow. When you pull the piping tip out, the pastry cream should ooze out a little bit.
The doughnut are best eaten immediately. Enjoy!