Maple syrup baked doughnuts with two glazes

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I used to have a thing for baked doughnuts. You see, previously, I never knew doughnuts are typically fried, so the whole idea of baking them seemed quite the revelation. Bursting to life with the kiss of heat.. actually rising! I know, she never knew? Alright, simmer down. I tested this recipe 3 times and each time yielded a perfectly risen, fluffy, sweet set of 6 little doughnuts. They’re almost bite-sized, yet nothing overly indulgent (but I guess if you pile on the glaze…).

Some of you are probably thinking: Oops, I don’t have a doughnut pan. Therefore, I cannot make baked doughnuts, no matter how good they look. I’ll pass, thanks. I mean, who would want to buy a doughnut pan just to make these, right? I already have a 9×9-inch baking pan, so isn’t that good enough for practically any occasion?

Goodness, I know exactly how you feel. You’re practically echoing my years-long mindset, that is, before I decided to set out and buy a doughnut pan. It’s no big deal, my dear friend, just pop into the nearest baking supply store in your neighbourhood, grab a doughnut pan (I got a simple 6-doughnut baby), come home, make this recipe, and you’ll be as happy as a clueless gob in no time. It won’t take you long, I promise, be it driving to the supply store or making doughnuts. No really, they take no time at all to make, for it’s really just a matter of having a bowl for your dry ingredients, one for the wet ingredients, a whisk and a spoon. You could go ahead and embark on the real deal, with litres of oil and a deep pan for frying, but if you’re pressed for time, these guys will do just the trick. Out in less than 20 minutes. The flavour combinations are exciting, diverse, ever-expanding. After standardising a recipe, I decided the addition of maple syrup to the wet ingredients would make for something a little more seductive– not sickly sweet, but with an overtone of toffee. I improvised 2 glazes– one is a cream cheese maple glaze, the other is cream cheese and salted caramel. The one you see below is the salted caramel version, and the version above is smothered in cream cheese divinity. I love improvs. I really do.

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salted caramel glaze

Maple Syrup Baked Doughnuts (makes 6)

125g all-purpose flour, or you can use half whole-wheat

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

30g melted unsalted butter

120g caster sugar

50g plain yoghurt

60ml (quarter cup) milk of your choice; I used whole

2 tbsp (30ml) maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 177C (350F) and position the rack in the middle. Spray your doughnut pan lightly with cooking spray, and then wipe each well with a paper towel so nothing is too greasy. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt) together well, for around half a minute. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (egg, melted butter, yoghurt, milk, maple syrup). Pour the wet mixture into the dry one, and using a big spoon, mix until everything just comes together. The mix should not be too thick or too wet. A flick of the hand using medium pressure will allow the mix to drop easily from the spoon. Using two large spoons or a piping bag, pipe/dispense the mix into each doughnut mold. Fill each mold until it’s just about full.

Bake for 15-16 minutes (mine took 16 minutes), until they’ve risen and turned a lovely golden on top. In the meantime, try out one of these glazes:

Cream cheese maple glaze

80g softened cream cheese (you can use the spreadable sort, or microwave a block in bursts of half a minute until it is spreadable)

50g icing sugar

1 tbsp maple syrup

if needed, a splash of milk

Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl, and place in the fridge to cool whilst the doughnuts bake.

Salted caramel cream cheese glaze

25g softened cream cheese

3 heaped tablespoons of salted caramel (I used store-bought, but you can make your own. I made a lovely one last year and should put up a recipe for it soon)

50g icing sugar

large pinch of fine salt

half tablespoon milk

Whisk all the ingredients together thoroughly in a small bowl. Add or subtract the icing sugar, salt and salted caramel according to taste.

So quick, so do-able, so good.

Brown Butter Baked Maple Bacon Doughnuts

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Guys. This is so easy.

I’ve thought about making doughnuts before. I have. But I have always been too lazy to  physically drag myself to buy a candy thermometer and pour inches of oil into a deep saucepan. That, my friends, is the painful extent to which I live my life. I really shouldn’t even be labelled a human. That’s too ambiguous a title, anyway. I came across this recipe on Shutterbean a while back, and just thought it absolutely genius. I love Shutterbean, and this recipe is particularly special because of the first two words in the title– yes, brown butter. That nutty joy sizzling away, that border between fine, white, original fat and trembling mess of hormonal goo. Browned butter is so divine, and god, the smell. That smell will lift you off your toes.

Back to the point.

They’re just great. And I mentioned easy, right.

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Forgive the slightly paltry amount of bacon on that doughnut. I was eager to just catch the light here. Don’t worry, I piled a little more on later on. Remember that the texture is different to a normal fried doughnut, but this was sufficiently aerated, so you get the nice, slightly chewy and moist effect once you bite into its body. Mini little splendours, these. This is why I got a doughnut pan that Sunday morning. This is why I was in such a good mood after recovering from that horrible, ghastly bout of food poisoning, when I couldn’t even look at a piece of chicken. I’m just happy doughnut pans exist, for they make my own existence much more meaningful. I should hope so, anyways. Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player…

 

Brown Butter Baked Maple Bacon Doughnuts

Ingredients (makes 6 mini doughnuts)

For the doughnuts:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (make sure this stuff is properly crumbled, or your mouth’ll taste of detergent later)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (give or take two tablespoons. If you like less sweet doughnuts, take away two. If you have an uncontrollable sweet tooth like me, then just leave it.)
  • 29g unsalted butter, for the lovely browning process
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (you can make this by taking a half cup measurement, putting a half tablespoon of white vinegar inside, then filling up the rest of the half cup with good, whole milk. Please, no soy or almond milk!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the glaze and crumble:

  • 1 sifted cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk (I used up to a half tablespoon more, so add milk drop by drop and keep whisking. Don’t. Stop. Whisking. It should have the consistency of angsty, thick glucose ribbons when you lift the whisk.)
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked for around 8 minutes on medium heat on the pan, drained & crumbled to desired size

Steps

1. Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat oven to 177 degrees C (350 degrees F).  Lightly grease a doughnut pan with cooking spray and put aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Set this aside for now too.

3. Brown the butter: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter.  It will start to pop and crackle a bit. Wait for the water to evaporate; you will know when this happens once you get a distinctly nutty aroma, and the butter goes an almost-bronze tone. Don’t walk away from the stove because this part happens way too quickly. I failed the first time. I know. I’m human. Remove from heat immediately and put it aside for a while.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk (or whole milk and vinegar), vanilla extract and glorious browned butter (make sure the butter isn’t scalding hot, though).

5. Stir the wet into the dry mix. Do this until no weird bits of flour remain, but please, please do not overmix the batter!!

6. Transfer batter into a ziploc bag. Snip the tip with a pair of scissors (around 2cm across) and pipe batter into each cute little mold.

7. Place in the oven and bake for 8-9 minutes.  Mine took exactly 8, and anything longer would have dried them out. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

8. Cook the bacon, as instructed above.

Now you can make the glaze. My favourite bit, if you ask me.

9. In a medium bowl, whisk (just a small whisk is fine) the confectioner’s sugar with maple syrup and vanilla extract. Add the milk in a thin stream, or drop by drop, to thin out the glaze. Add more or less according to how thick you want it, but ideally it should be thick and more on the opaque-side, especially if you live in cursed heat like me.

10. Dip one side of the doughnut into the glaze, and twist to make sure the entire top is evenly coated. When lifting, give it another twist and let the glaze pool and then drip off one side.

11. While glaze is still wet, add the bacon crumbles on top of each doughnut. Store in an air-tight container for the first day and refrigerate any left over.

I hope you make your own day, now.