It's Friday. It's half term. It couldn't have come sooner.
What better way to celebrate a week off together than with Chocolate Doughnuts. The boys had a playdate so I thought I'd make these doughnuts that I've had my eye on for a while. I made Pumpkin Doughnuts not long ago and both these and the chocolate ones are baked rather than deep fried (I will get to deep frying doughnuts at some point but these seem just that little bit healthier).
This recipe is adapted from one by Manuela Kjeilen who has the most fabulous blog called Passion 4 Baking. Think pink. Think retro kitchens. Think complete inspiration. I've looked through most of her recipes and there are so many things I'd love to make, but one bake that stuck in my mind was her doughnuts.
One of the main ingredients is Jell-o Instant Pudding Powder which is an American product that I dug out in the supermarket when I was in Canada over the summer. I adapted Manuela's Delicious Baked Vanilla Donuts recipe to make a chocolate version so I used the Chocolate Jell-o Pudding Powder in mine. It's fair to say that my baked doughnuts don't look that chocolatey and flavour-wise weren't that chocolatey either so after going to great lengths to get this pudding mix, I think cocoa powder would work well next time. But I'm pretty happy with the results from this first batch.
The doughnuts have yeast in them and their texture is very bread-like. They're left to prove twice which means they need a little longer to make but this really helps give them their fluffy texture. The first batch I made looked like Manuela's but I found that after they'd proved and been in the oven, they expanded so much that they almost joined together and the hole all but vanished. So the ones on the right below were my second batch which don't look as pretty pre-baking, but give the customary hole in the middle and much better post-baking look.
I would say that the doughnuts themselves don't have a huge amount of flavour (which I think would be enhanced by the addition of cocoa powder) so the toppings are really important and I decided to use a rich dark ganache and a helping of sprinkles. I love the flavour of the really rich chocolate ganache and the crunchy little non-appareils.
They take a little more time because of the proving but these are a fun little bake.
And if you're looking for ways to allay half term boredness, then kids would love to be chief decorators :)
Chocolate Doughnuts with Chocolate Ganache Makes 20 (adapted from Passion 4 Baking's Delicious Baked Vanilla Donuts)
Chocolate Doughnut Ingredients
- 30G BUTTER, MELTED
- 350ML WARM MILK
- 7G FAST ACTION BREAD YEAST
- 150G CASTER SUGAR
- 1 PACKET JELL-O CHOCOLATE INSTANT PUDDING POWDER
- PINCH OF SALT
- 2 EGGS
- 625G PLAIN FLOUR
- 100g WHIPPING CREAM
- 100G DARK CHOCOLATE, CHOPPED
- Firstly, melt the butter and put aside
- Heat the milk so it's warm but not hot and place in a mixing bowl
- Sprinkle the yeast over the top
- Add the melted butter and mix together
- Add the sugar, instant pudding powder, salt and flour
- Mix these ingredients together with a dough hook until the ingredients are combined
- Add the flour and continue to mix with the dough hook until smooth and elastic (around 8-10 minutes)
- Turn the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to double in size for around 1 hour
- Lightly flour a work surface and then roll out the dough until it's around 1 cm thick
- I used the Wilton Mini Doughnut Pan so found that a 6cm cutter and 3.5cm piping nozzle were the right sizes for this
- Put these doughnuts into the pan, cover with a clean cloth and leave for an hour
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (fan)
- Bake the doughnuts for around 8-10 mins until golden brown on the outside
- When ready, turn out the doughnuts onto a cooling rack
- Make the ganache by heating the cream until it's just boiling and then pour over the chocolate slowly
- Leave for few minutes and then stir together until all the chocolate lumps have disappeared
- Hold one of the doughnuts upside down and swirl it in a circular motion in the chocolate until you have an even coating on the top (use a spoon to help spread this if needed)
- Top with your favourite sprinkles :)