I hope this doesn't make you uncomfortable, but I have to share. In January, we went to New York City, and I had a spiritual experience.
I went here, and my life was changed forever:
Prior to my trip to the Doughnut Plant, I was lukewarm on the question of doughnuts. Sure, I'd been known to eat them, but usually under conditions of extreme hunger or boredom or to win a bet.*
*That never actually happened. But how great would it be to win money for eating doughnuts?
Point being, I'd had a lot of mediocre doughnuts, and didn't think, in general, assembly-line fried dough was anything special. But then.
These doughnuts, at the Doughnut Plant? They are something special.
We actually made two trips to the shop, because the first time we went it looked like this:
MAYDAY MAYDAY. Doughnut Plant is closed on Mondays. Save yourself the heartbreak we experienced and check the days/hours before you go!
So after making two trips to the Lower East Side to try these doughnuts, we decided to go big and get a half-dozen flavors. Among those, we tried...
The distinctive square PB&J, filled with fresh raspberry jam and glazed with a chunky peanut butter glaze, which made Jason moan like this:
The Valhrona chocolate doughnut, full of chocolate pastry cream, which made me grin like this:
The carrot cake doughnut, packed with carrots, walnuts, raisins, and actual cream cheese frosting in the middle of the doughnut,
and the signature creme brulee doughnut, with a crackly, caramelized sugar top and a filling of vanilla pastry cream.
So after my transformative doughnut experience, I was much more open to doughnuts in my life. And when I was at Sur La Table and saw this adorable mini doughnut pan, well...it had to be mine.
To be sure, the doughnuts you make with this pan aren't "real" doughnuts. They're cake-style, not yeast, and they're baked instead of fried. In taste and texture, they're really more like a doughnut-shaped chocolate cupcake. But what a cute doughnut shape they have!
These mini doughnuts have an intense chocolate taste that's enhanced by the chocolate ganache glaze on top. They're good for two (or possibly three, if you're dainty) bites, and we can say from firsthand experience that they're the perfect sweets for munching on during game or movie nights.
Okay, so they're not Doughnut Plant doughnuts. But they're still tasty, and they bake in five minutes, and they're a good excuse to go crazy with my sprinkle collection. And isn't that enough?
yields: about 4 dozen mini doughnuts
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
1.5 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a mini doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, and melted butter.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Use a pastry bag fitted with a round 1/2" tip to pipe the batter into a thin layer in each doughnut mold. (It will rise a great deal, don't add too much or your doughnuts will puff out of the mold.)
Bake for 4-6 minutes, until they spring back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool in the mold for 5 minutes, then gently remove and cool completely.
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup chopped chocolate
Heat cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour hot cream over the chopped chocolate, and gently whisk to combine. Let ganache cool slightly so that it gets a bit thicker, then dip the tops of the doughnuts in the glaze. If it's getting too cool and thick, you can microwave it briefly to thin it out again. Sprinkle the tops of the doughnuts with sprinkles while the ganache is still wet.
1 In a bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, and melted butter to blend. Stir into dry ingredients until well blended. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.