Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 7th September 2012
I was up bright and early this morning making dark chocolate cake donuts. My son, Matt, started the new school year yesterday. He decided in the spring that he wanted to enrol in business school. Unfortunately that means delaying University a year while he takes the required prerequisite math courses. He only has one class this term in the afternoon.
I prepared a huge breakfast for Matt before he left for class yesterday but the first thing he said to me when he arrived home was, “Mom I’m starving!” In fact he called home to let me know he was on his way and asked if I could start dinner so that it would be ready when he arrived. It was only 3 o’clock. When he arrived home he made a point of stating that I needed to stock up on snacks so he could make it through the afternoons. The class is only 2 hours long, how will he survive?
It’s back to preparing grab-and-go snacks, muffins, croissants, brownies, cookies, cereal bars and yogurt and fruit parfaits (Marla makes the best parfaits). Where did the summer go?
I prepared my mise en place last night before heading off to bed and this morning it only took a few minutes to whip up the batter. I would recommend starting the caramel first and while it’s simmering away you can prepare the batter. The caramel should reach the perfect consistency for dipping or decorating when the first batch of donuts comes out of the oven. These cake donuts are so easy to prepare and they make a perfect afternoon treat enjoyed with a cold glass of milk.
When I was visiting my brother, Gabriel, a couple of weeks ago in New Jersey I stocked up on some baking ingredients that I can’t purchase locally. In the midst of my shopping spree I ran across Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa by King Arthur Flour, a blend of Dutch-process cocoa and extra dark black cocoa. This special blend of cocoa not only gave the donuts a deep dark brown almost black colour but also an intense chocolate flavour. I’m so happy I came across it while shopping but now I wish I had purchased more, the flavour is amazing.
Usually I have to be very careful when I’m shopping in the US because I have to be conscious of how much I purchase because I have to transport it home. I was very lucky this trip because my brother, Luciano and my sister-in-law Iris came for a visit as well and as luck would have it, they drove. Thankfully they brought my entire collection of goodies home for me and Iris went above and beyond because she hand delivered my finds when I returned home. Wasn’t that so nice of her?
I have to say I miss the days when I could jump in the car and go (these days trips are limited to very short distances). I would buckle the kids in the car seats; leave early in the morning, the kids would sleep until we arrived at the border (bypassing the inevitable never-ending question, “Are we there yet?”). We’d have a quick bite to eat and be back in the car driving only a short distance before they would doze off again. No checking luggage, no delays, no schedules and I could shop to my heart’s content.
I’m a big fan of traditional yeast doughnuts especially Chocolate Glazed or Boston Cream but these cake donuts are perfect when you’re short on time and equally satisfying. They’re extremely moist and flavourful and there’s no need to heat oil for deep-frying. And clean up is a breeze.
I decided to top these dark chocolate cake donuts with a Salted Caramel Glaze (couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy chocolate and caramel – wildly indulgent) but you could also enjoy them simply sprinkled with confectioners sugar, dipped in vanilla glaze, or enjoyed without any topping at all.
I’m anxious to try Adrianna’s Cake Doughnuts (A Cozy Kitchen) especially the Maple Glaze with Bacon topping. Canadian Maple Syrup – the best! Adriana uses a different technique to prepare her cake doughnuts; in fact, it’s very similar to the preparation used for yeast doughnuts.
When you’re craving donuts but don’t have the time to prepare traditional yeast donuts I hope you’ll try these no muss, no fuss cake donuts.
Dark Chocolate Cake Donuts with Salted Caramel Glaze
Makes 12 large donuts and 12 mini donuts
- Salted Caramel Glaze
- Dark Chocolate Cake Donuts
Salted Caramel Glaze
- 225 g (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 320 ml (1 1/3 cup) heavy (whipping) cream, 35%, room temperature
- 42 g (3 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into 3 equal pieces, room temperature
- In heavy bottomed, 6-litre (6.3 quart) stockpot, combine sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a large flexible spatula until most of the sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook without stirring occasionally swirling the pan over the heat (to keep the colour of the caramel even throughout) until the syrup reaches a medium amber colour.
- Remove from heat and gradually add the cream whisking constantly (be careful – the mixture will splatter and bubble up). (Don’t be concerned if the caramel hardens at this stage; continue to add the cream while whisking constantly).
- Return to heat and bring the mixture back to a boil whisking constantly over low heat. Continue to cook over low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes (any bits of hardened caramel should’ve melted by this point).
- Remove from heat. To ensure a smooth consistency, strain caramel through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl.
- Whisk in the butter one-piece at-a-time; set aside to cool.
Dark Chocolate Cake Donuts
- 24 g (¼ cup) dark Dutch-processed cocoa
- 156 g (1¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 150 g (¾ cup) dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
- 120 ml (½ cup) whole milk
- 60 ml (¼ cup) strong brewed coffee (warm)
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F). Lightly grease donut tin with non-stick cooking spray.
- Using fine mesh sieve, sift cocoa two times onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Then sift together cocoa (for a third time), flour, baking powder, and baking soda, nutmeg and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk together to well combine.
- In a large bowl, using a large balloon whisk beat together brown sugar and egg until light and fluffy.
- Add flour mixture to egg mixture and using a wooden spoon, stir to just combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, milk, coffee and vanilla extract.
- Add milk mixture to egg mixture and using wooden spoon, stir to just combine (do not over mix).
- Using a small retractable ice cream scoop, spoon batter into prepared donut tin, filling two-thirds full.
- Bake, rotating tin halfway through baking time, until donuts spring back when lightly pressed or a cake tester inserted comes out clean, 7 to 10 minutes for large donuts (start testing at the 6 minute mark to be safe) and 5 to 7 minutes for mini donuts (start testing at 4 minute mark to be safe).
- Transfer to wire rack and allow the donuts to cool in the tin for about 3 minutes. Remove from tin and return donuts to wire rack to cool until warm.
- Sprinkles, optional
- Place the caramel over a bowl of warm water.
- Dip the donuts while still warm (I double dipped my donuts). (Alternatively to decorate the donuts, transfer caramel to a squeeze bottle.)
- Place on wire racks to cool and slightly set caramel. (If using sprinkles, decorate immediately after dipping.)
- Serve warm.
- Buon Appetito!
Tags: after school treat, afternoon tea, baked doughnuts, cake, cake donuts, cakes, chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate dessert, dessert, desserts, donut fillings, donut glaze, donuts, doughnut glaze, doughnuts, food, food photography, food photos, individual dessert, individual desserts, mini cakes, quick desserts, small cakes
Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Pasticcini, Pastries, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base