This month we will be dedicating our posts to one of my favorite foods……CHOCOLATE! Of course, being that we are still in the early part of a new year, there are some…how should we say this….”goals” (I don’t like the word resolution) which many of us have put into place. Work out more, eat healthy, be more positive..etc. But let’s all be honest, there are days when you just need something sweet. The recipe I will be sharing with you today is, I think, a good mix of sweet cravings and healthy. As always, I’ve included the super healthy version using whole wheat flour and honey in place of white flour and white sugar with a really healthy twist on cream cheese icing. Don’t worry, I’ve included the decadent cream cheese icing version as well.
I want to introduce you to a really amazing product I’ve been using for years.
This is the Greek Yogurt Maker made by Cuisipro. There are three parts to this product. The container, the strainer basket, and a lid. It is so simple to use. Place the strainer basket in the container, place up to 32 oz. yogurt into the strainer basket, place lid on the container and set in the refrigerator for up to 36 hours. The longer you let it sit, the more liquid whey will drain off the yogurt. After 8-10 hours, you will have yogurt that is the consistency of sour cream. After 24-36 hours, you have yogurt that is the consistency of cream cheese. This works for plain yogurt as well as flavored yogurt. I love straining strawberry yogurt and using it as a dip for a fruit platter. When using plain yogurt, you now have a great substitute for sour cream or cream cheese in baking, dip, or just general recipes. Remember that great bacteria Carmi was talking about in the Sauerkraut Post? That same great bacteria is found in plain yogurt and with this strainer you now have sour cream and cream cheese with all that wonderful good bacteria our digestive systems so desperately need. On a side note, all that liquid whey you just drained off, well that can be added into your smoothie recipes for added protein. Where do you think they get all whey based protein powder from? You can also use the whey as the liquid in your bread recipe. It makes a really soft dough. Like I said at the beginning of this post, you can of course, use cream cheese for the icing. The drained yogurt is a really healthy alternative that tastes great too! There is a bit of tang to the icing but using chocolate extract really helped cut through that to make a more smooth tasting icing and I also recommend making the icing at least a day ahead. Allowing the drained yogurt to sit and really absorb the chocolate helps to add to the rich flavor.
Now that we’ve covered the icing, lets talk about the actual donuts.
This is a really simple recipe (you may notice it’s a sweeter version and half the amount as My Favorite Yeast Bread recipe). You will mix up this dough using the roller and scraper with the stainless steel bowl. Click here to watch a short tutorial on mixing up yeast bread.
Once the dough has finished kneading, shape into a smooth ball, cover and let rise/rest for 15-20 minutes. I like to roll my dough out to about 1/2 inch thick. I also LOVE these round nesting cookie cutters also made by Cuisipro.
There are five cutters. Let’s number them 1-5 from smallest to largest. I like to use #4 for each of my donuts. Then I go back using #1 and create the donut hole.
For Valentine’s Day I also really enjoy the Heart Shaped Nesting Cookie Cutters by Cuisipro.
Here again, I use #4 for the actual donut and then #1 for the donut hole.
Once you have cut your donuts, allow to rise/rest another 15-20 minutes. Use this time to start heating the oil for frying. You want the oil to be deep enough that it just covers the donuts when you drop them in. Heat the oil to about 300º-325ºF.
Gently drop each donut into the hot oil and allow to cook about 1 minute, flipping and cooking an additional 1 minute. I find I am able to do the donuts in three batches and then all of the donut holes in one batch.
Once cooked, lift with a slotted spoon or tongs and place on a wire rack covered with a paper towel to drain any excess oil. Once cooled slightly, dip each donut and donut hole in the icing and place on a tray.
A basic powder sugar glaze (2 parts powder sugar, 1 part melted butter, splash of milk and optional food coloring) can also be used. I made mine pink with a little red food coloring. It’s a little harder to see on the chocolate donuts but they are quite tasty!
These have become my kids favorite Valentine’s Day treat and they have come to expect them each year. My youngest also requests donuts for his birthday breakfast.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy!!
3/4 cup hot water
2 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil (or olive oil if you prefer)
2/3 cup sugar*
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour*
2 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 – 2 1/2 cups olive oil for frying (or you may use any type of oil you prefer)
Using the Ankarsrum stainless steel bowl with the roller and scraper attached, combine water, oil, sugar, salt and gluten. Turn machine on the slowest speed (speed knob set to about 12 o’clock). Add about half the flour, then the yeast, and then begin adding the rest of the flour. Adjust the roller away from the side of the bowl just enough so that it gently presses the dough against the side of the bowl as it passes behind the roller. For double and triple recipes, you will need to adjust the roller further away so as not to push the dough up and out of the bowl. Lock roller in place and when you have added the flour within about 1/2 cup of what the recipe calls for, turn the speed knob to about 3 or 4 o’clock, pull the arm/roller to the center of the bowl and watch to see if the dough follows the roller away from the side. If it does, you have enough flour and will now set the timer to about 4-6 minutes for kneading. If the dough does not immediately follow the roller, add an additional 1/4 cup flour and do the arm/roller test again. As soon as it pulls away, set the timer to knead. Once the timer shuts off, remove dough from the bowl, shape into a large smooth ball, cover and allow to rise/rest for 15-20 minutes.
Once risen, roll dough out to about 1/2 thick. Cut with a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. Once each donut is cut, go back and using a small cookie cutter, cut a donut hole in each donut. Fold up any scrap dough, form into a ball, roll out and repeat cutting until all the dough is used. Allow donuts to rise/rest for 15-20 minutes.
In a 4.5 quart or larger skillet or pot, bring oil up to about 300º-325ºF over medium heat. Once you begin frying the donuts, you may need to adjust the heat up or down to maintain the temperature.
Gently drop each donut/hole into the hot oil and fry about 1 minute per side. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon or set of tongs and place on a tray or wire rack covered in paper towels to soak up any excess oil.
Once cooled, ice with your desired icing or glaze.
For regular donuts, omit cocoa powder and follow recipe as written.
*Healthier Version: For whole wheat flour, substitute equal amounts hard white wheat. Honey may be used in place of the sugar. Because you are using a liquid, increase the flour by 1/2 cup.
Yields: About 12 donuts and 12 holes
Chocolate Yogurt Icing
1 cup drained plain yogurt (or 8 oz. softened cream cheese)
1/4 cup agave nectar (or sugar)
2 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. chocolate extract (or vanilla)
Position the Double Whisk Bowl with the multi-wire balloon whisk onto the Ankarsrum base. If using cream cheese, remember IT MUST be at room temperature.
Place all ingredients in the bowl and turn machine on the lowest speed. Gradually increase speed until a light whipped icing is created. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
Yield: About 1 1/2 cups icing. Enough for about 48 donuts and holes