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Friday, 17 May 2013

Doughnuts with chocolate sauce

Doughnuts with chocolate sauce

There are two generations in this world. Those that remember life before the Simpsons, and those that cannot. I fall into the former category (just). I can remember the first episode screening in Australia. My Mum was being released from hospital from a long stay for a fairly decent back injury.

The drive home was excruciating. For us kids. Though I'm sure it wasn't fun for Mum either, slipped disk and all. I'm certain, to this day, that Dad was driving as slow as possible to avoid the possibility of another cartoon being worked into our viewing schedule. Losing battle if I ever saw one.

It's now such an integral part of our lives we speak a new language. If anyone says "Hello" in everyday conversation, my sister and I will launch into "My name is Mr Burns, I believe you have a letter for me...". My friend Merran and I were waiting for a tram one day, saw one approaching and began walking out to hail it down. We looked up again and it was gone: (Wiggum voice) "Oh my god. It's a ghost tram!"

Doughnuts with chocolate sauce

So every time I see doughnuts, I start mumbling "Mmmmmmmmm". Naturally, I consider spreading them in rich creamery butter. This time a resisted. Chocolate sauce was the alternative.

This recipe is adapted from a Phillipa Sibley doughnut recipe in PS Desserts. If you're thinking of buying one cookbook for desserts, make this it. She's so thorough and have some great images for newbies learning to bake. All the basics are covered and are made so approachable. Go get it.

These little crackers are quite simple to whip up. The only bummer is using a giant vat of oil for frying. I'll be honest - I saved the oil and intend on making a second batch for our engagement party. I can't see anyone objecting when these are the outcome.

Recently, people have expressed fear of cooking with two ingredients: gelatine and yeast. Both are simple, but let me wax lyrical about yeast for a while (sexy, ya?). Yeast is a living thing and should be treated as such. The only rule you need to remember is it hates extremes, both hot and cold. Boiling water will kill it and cold water will not allow it to activate. It goes crazy on sugar, like all us animals do. And it needs a little time to get going, like when we wake up in the morning.

So I apologise to all those readers that are maybe in the third generation I haven't mentioned. Those of whom we dare not speak their name. The young 'uns that don't understand the Simpsons and it's place in our society. It's like Woodstock (or so I've been told): unless you were there when it happened, when it all started, it just doesn't make sense. I can kind of understand: an exceptionally stupid yellow family faced with implausible dilemmas each week. But then I ask myself, what's not to love? Lean into it guys and you'll begin to love it for what it is: cheap, cheap laughs. That's what I'm all about.


300g flour
200ml milk
50g caster sugar
60g butter
1 sachet of dried yeast
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 litre oil
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Doughnuts with chocolate sauce

Heat the milk and butter over low heat. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Once slightly cooler, add the yeast and stir to combine. Leave for the yeast to activate and get a little bit frothy.

Whisk the eggs and yolk in a bowl with the milk mixture. In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar and add the egg mix. Mix in an electric mixture with the paddle for around 2 minutes. Leave to stand for around 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan until a cube of bread dropped in the oil turns brown in around 20 seconds. Drop tablespoons of the dough into the hot oil and fry until a darkish golden brown. Don't overcrowd the pan or you'll have a fire on your hands. Drain on a rack.

Mix the caster sugar and cinnamon in a deep bowl. Pop in around 6 doughnuts at a time and shake the bowl to coat in sugar.

Chocolate sauce

1 cup dark chocolate pieces (I used Lindt 70% chocolate)
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup caster sugar
50g butter

Heat all ingredients over a low heat in a saucepan. Stir regularly. Once chocolate has mostly melted, remove from heat and continue to stir occasionally until completely smooth. Pour into a small bowl and serve with the doughnuts.

Doughnuts with chocolate sauce

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