Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Baked Boston Cream Donuts

I have a lovely and easy recipe to share with you, now you can treat yourself to homemade donuts this weekend. I enjoy watching YouTube because there are some really amazing cooks/chefs/bakers that share wonderful recipes. Two of my favorites are Laura Vitale from Laura in the Kitchen and Gemma Stafford from Bigger Bolder Baking. I recently tried Gemma's no fry donuts and I was inspired! Laura has shared her custard filling multiple times on her channel whether making a fruit tart or filled cupcakes, and I've always wanted to try it. I figured since I was trying out a new donut recipe, I would make some Boston cream donuts. They have definitely become my favorite. After I filled the donuts with the custard, I seriously licked the bowl clean. It's the most heavenly custard I have tried.

My variation for the recipes was using the Truvia baking blend to help cut down on some of the sugar. Unfortunately for the glaze you do need to use powdered sugar. On a brighter note, using a chocolate glaze instead of a chocolate ganache does help cut down on fat and calories. But hey, it's up to you! You cook for you, and do whatever makes you happy. If you aren't making donuts very often, you can definitely go all out. And that also means you can fry these donuts.

Keep reading for the recipe, and a recipe for two other donuts too!

Baked Boston Cream Donuts
       dough adapted from Bigger Bolder Baking 
        I also love this recipe from Bigger Bolder Baking
       for a no knead dough
  • 3-1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp Truvia Baking Blend
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla bean pasta, or vanilla extract
You can find all of the baking directions on Gemma's site, as well as her step by step video on YouTube. 

Chocolate Glaze
      from Joy the Baker
  • 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 Tbsp whole milk
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl, whisk to get rid of any lumps. Add the vanilla extract, then a couple tablespoons of the milk and mix. I like to incorporate the milk one tablespoon at a time to make sure it doesn't get too runny. You want a thick glaze that you can dip your donuts into, and you don't want it to all melt away.

Vanilla Custard Filling
      adapted from Laura Vitale
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp Truvia Baking Blend
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (I used extract) 
  • pinch of salt
In a small saucepan combine all of the ingredients and whisk well. Place the pan over medium heat, and stir constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture is very thick. Strain the custard through a sieve and into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and be sure the plastic wrap touches the custard so that it does not form a skin. Place in the refrigerator for a couple hours to cool, then it's ready to use!

These came together quickly. I used a round cutter to make the Boston cream donuts. I baked them off first and used the rest of the dough to make some other donuts, then I put them on a wire rack to cool. Once they were cooled completely I used a knife to make a hole in the side. Using a round piping tip and disposable piping bag (or Ziploc), fill the donuts with the vanilla custard. The amount of custard I made filled six donuts, with a little leftover. You could probably fill eight, but I only cut out six donuts to fill. Once the donuts are filled, dip the tops in the chocolate glaze, and place on the wire rack to let the excess drip off. The glaze will harden after about 15 minutes, and they'll be ready to eat! I like to use the chocolate glaze instead of a ganache. It's still decadent, but easier to whip up if you're low on ingredients. I can always find cocoa powder and powdered sugar in my pantry. And if you don't want to use milk, you can use water. Just be sure to incorporate it one tablespoon at a time to check the consistency. 

Please be sure to refrigerate any leftover donuts. These will be okay to eat for an hour or two at room temperature, but any longer these need to go in the fridge since the custard is perishable. 

Earlier I said I would include recipes for a couple more donuts, so here we go!

Honeycomb donuts! If you haven't made honeycomb before, I highly recommend giving it a try. I have seen many recipes for honeycomb; some use oil, some use water, some have corn syrup or golden syrup, but I really liked Gemma's recipe for this. It's basic, only three ingredients, and the flavor is absolutely amazing. I made it with honey, and you get an almost toasted flavor. I would compare it to when you're toasting a marshmallow, and it gets a little too toasted. It has an almost burnt flavor, but in a really good way? I love that!

      from Bigger Bolder Baking
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda (also called sodium bicarb/bicarb of soda)
In a large saucepan combine the sugar and honey and place over low heat to melt the sugar. Once the sugar has melted, bump the heat up to medium. Let this bubble away for a couple minutes or until the color darkens to look more like caramel. Take care not to let this darken too much, or you will end up with a burnt flavor in the end result. Remove from the heat, add the baking soda and whisk it in. It's going to grow in volume quite a bit from the baking soda, make sure you're using a large saucepan. Once it's whisked in pour onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Let it cool completely, then break it into pieces. A half batch of the original recipe is more than enough to make the honeycomb topping for the donuts. Place a couple pieces in a plastic baggie, and smash to make honeycomb crumbs.

When you make your donuts, use your round cutter and a piping tip to cut out the center of the donut. If you're fancy you might even have a donut cutter. Bake according to recipe directions, and cool on a wire rack. Dip the tops of the donuts in the chocolate glaze, then sprinkle with honeycomb crumbles while the glaze is still wet. These are best eaten the same day, the honeycomb will start to melt into the chocolate glaze after about 12 hours.

With the donut holes, you can bake those as well and then when they're warm dip them in butter and then toss in cinnamon sugar, or even cinnamon and Truvia blend. You can also dip the tops in glaze and then top with sprinkles, or make a runny vanilla glaze to dunk the donut holes in.

Jelly Donuts
     I used this dough from Bigger Bolder Baking,
         but I made 1/3 of the original recipe

If you don't have a kitchen scale, I wouldn't recommend changing the measurements at all. I have a scale that measures in grams and ounces, so the recipe was easy to cut down to a third of the original size. I chose to make a third of the original recipe because it called for 2-1/4 teaspoons of yeast, and a third of that is 3/4 teaspoons, which is easy to measure. The rest I used my kitchen scale to get the right amount of everything. I wasn't too worried about cutting down 1/4 cup of sugar into a third, so I just used two tablespoons, close enough! 

The dough comes together exactly like the full size batch. It took about two hours to double in size. Then I cut out seven donuts with a round cutter, placed them on a baking tray lined with parchment, and covered them with a tea towel. They took another 40 minutes to rise again, and in the last 10 minutes or so I brought my oil up to temperature (350 degrees Fahrenheit). I used vegetable oil to fry these up, and I actually used my wok to heat the oil. I didn't want to fill up a huge pot or dutch oven when these really only need a shallow fry with a couple inches of oil, and remember once you add a few donuts to the wok (pan/dutch oven/pot) the oil rises and it helps the donuts cook faster. I have a 14" stainless steel wok and these cooked perfectly, took about two minutes on each side.

Preheat a couple inches of oil in your pot or pan of choice, and bring it up to 350 degrees F. Use a spatula to lower the donuts into the oil, fry for about two minutes each side turning one time. Once the donuts are nicely brown and puffed up remove them from the oil and place them on the same baking tray as before, only lined with paper towels this time. While they're still warm dip them in granulated sugar, and place on a wire rack. Fill a disposable piping bag fitted with a round tip withthe  jelly/jam/preserves (about one tablespoon per donut), then using a knife poke a hole in the side of the donut. Fill each donut with jelly, and if you need to give the tops another dunk in the sugar if you accidentally brushed some off while filling them. I definitely overfilled a few of mine, and I don't think they're as good that way but it's totally up to you! Use more or less jelly, whatever you prefer. 

These are of course best eaten immediately! They will be okay at room temperature for a couple hours, but in the rare event you have any leftover be sure to refrigerate them since the jelly is perishable.

I hope you enjoyed my take on these donuts! I have a couple of tips below if you are interested, because for me these recipes required a bit of trial and error.

Tips for Baking the No Knead dough
  • this is the recipe
  • This makes A LOT of dough, you will get about three dozen donuts
  • I found since Gemma says to bake these at 375 mine browned pretty quickly, in my oven 15 minutes was just too much and the first batch was more like bagels
  • This isn't a sweet dough. When you fry the donuts it isn't noticeable, but when it's baked it reminds me a bit of a glazed dinner roll. I would try adding a little extra sugar if you want a sweeter dough.
  • Bake the donut holes separately from the full size donuts, this will prevent your donut holes from getting super hard
Tips for Baking the Baked Donut Dough
  • this is the recipe
  • Again this one also isn't a sweet dough, when I fried this dough it didn't seem any different from what you get at a bakery, but when I baked it the dough tasted more like a roll
  • For me this dough did not get cooked enough. The recipe calls for 350 F for 13 minutes, and mine weren't browned at all and didn't have the right texture because they were so soft
  • Just keep an eye on them, and if they need to bake a little longer to get browned a couple extra minutes wont hurt
  • This dough is wonderful for frying! I used this dough to fry the donuts for jelly donuts, and they turned out to be amazing

1 comment:

Laura Clark said...

These look so delicious! I've always been a little intimidated to tackle donuts, but this looks like I could manage :)