I'm still alive! Still kicking, you guys! I know there's been a bit of silence around here and a severe lack of baking, but that's how it goes sometimes. I feel like every post I'm apologizing for my insane work schedule so I'm not gonna do that this time. What matters is that I had a two day weekend and I was getting over the flu, so I stayed at home and baked all weekend! It was a rainy couple of days and perfect weather for some cozy fall baking (as well as watching 6 hours of Peaky Blinders and a few movies on Netflix in my pyjamas).
I was brainstorming things to make on my weekend and I was having a bit of a tough time. I wanted something cozy and warming and probably something with apples. I thought about apple crisp or apple hand pies, but that wasn't quite hitting the spot. I was looking through Pinterest to try and get some ideas for apple desserts, but then I got distracted by some awesome photos of cabins.... So I went to my cabin board on Pinterest (yes, I have a board just for cabins) and I started to think of what I would want to eat if I was snuggled up in one of those cabins in my flannel shirt with a big blanket and a warm mug of something.
And so, apple cider doughnuts came to mind!
I've never made cake doughnuts before, only yeasted ones because I love yeasted doughnuts much more than cake doughnuts, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The dough was pretty wet and sticky when I first made and I was super worried but after some time in the fridge, it was fine! And they turned out pretty good. I mean, fried dough coated in cinnamon sugar is never gonna be bad, but for cake doughnuts, they were pretty darn tasty. Definitely good for eating while wearing flannel and drinking hot apple cider.
Speaking of cozy fall weather, I had a two day weekend for the first time in a few weeks back in the beginning of October and decided to fly out to Tofino to surprise one of my good friends who I hadn't seen in months! I organized it with her fiancé and went to their house when they were both at work and started making dinner for them. Lemon and thyme roasted chicken, gravy, mashed potatoes, kale salad, and crème brulée for dessert! My friend came home just as everything was coming out of the oven and was so surprised and so happy to see me and I was just over the moon to see her. We chatted for hours and hours, all while the first storm on the season rolled in and dumped down buckets of rain and even flickered the lights a bit. The enxt day, I went walking around town, visiting my favourite spots and reminiscing, then got a burrito and had lunch with my friend at work, and then flew back home! A very short trip, but it was well worth it just to spend the time with my friend. Tofino is definitely one of my favourite places and I especially love it in the fall and winter when the tourists have gone and things are a bit quieter. There wasn't a whole lot of time for photos, but I did manage to take a few!
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Recipe from Food52
250 g apple cider
332 g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
133 g granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons shortening
55 g egg
15 g egg yolk
80 g buttermilk
200 g granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Bring the apple cider to a boil over high heat and cook it until it has reduced to about 83 g (1/3 cup), 7-10 minutes. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the donuts.
Sift the cake flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the shortening and sugar together on medium speed until sandy. Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix on high until light and thickened, about 5 minutes.
Mix the reduced apple cider and buttermilk together. Then add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk mixture to the mixer in three additions mixing until just combined. The dough will be soft and sticky much like cookie dough.
Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour or overnight.
When you are ready to roll and fry the donuts, heat a large pot or dutch oven with at least 2 inches of oil over medium heat until the oil reaches 370º F on a candy thermometer. Gently roll the chilled dough out onto a generously floured board or piece of parchment paper into a circle about 1/2'' thick and about 8'' wide. Cut as many donuts and holes as possible, making sure to flour the cutters before each cut. Gently reroll the scraps and cut more holes. If at any time the dough becomes too soft to handle, just put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Place the cut donuts on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes until they are slightly firm and easier to handle. While the donuts are chilling, stir together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping in a shallow, wide bowl.
Brush off any excess flour and fry the donuts for about 1 minute per side, being careful not to crowd the pan. When the donuts are deep golden brown on each side, remove them from the oil, gently blot off excess oil and toss immediately in the cinnamon sugar.