Coffee Doughnuts


So, how are those New Year resolutions going? Getting your detoxing teas on, drinking charcoal juice, buying new gym leggings, starting a workout regime? Blendin' up aaaaall that kale and spinach for your morning breakfast? Going for runs, too? Good job!

Sounds like you deserve a doughnut. Or eight.



I've never been one for resolutions. I'm all for goals and self-improvement, but I don't see the point in starting it at New Years because it almost always fails about a month in. You lose momentum and stop being motivated, I get it. I also don't really feel like I have a need to make resolutions when it comes to what I eat and how I work out. 

Now, with this blog and my job as a pastry cook, you might think I eat pastries every single day or that I eat everything I make on this blog. Wrong! I find that because I'm around sweets all the time, I've lost most of my desire for them. Plus, my job as a pastry cook is super physical - lifting 20 kg bags of flour and going up a flight of stairs (6 times…), carrying heavy trays, on my feet for 10 hours a day. I've actually lost weight and gained muscle from working as a pastry cook. Take that!



Also, I'm more than a little skeptical of "detox" anything. I mean, your kidneys and liver do that every day. That's what they're there for. A few glasses of tea or a handful of herbs, even if ingested every day, will not "detoxify" your body. They might help keep you liver healthy, which is great, but if a healthy liver is what you're after, there are more effective ways to go about it (i.e. stop drinking alcohol). But where's the fun in that?



The way I see it is that if you eat veggies often and stay away from fast food, you can treat yourself once in a while. One doughnut isn't going to kill you. One doughnut every day will probably do some lasting damage so don't do that. It's all about moderation, you know? 



For example, you might think that I ate all these doughnuts. Nope! I ate only one and that was mostly so I could get a photo of the inside (but it didn't work out). I took the rest to my dad's office and gave them out to people there. And you know what? A lot of people said, "Oh, no, I'm good, thanks" at first. I mean, good on them, will power and all that, but are you seriously refusing a homemade doughnut? After I told them I made them myself, most of them took one and they freakin' loved it. And I bet that they would say that those extra calories were totally worth it for the few minutes of doughnut-bliss. 



I'm not trying to bring anyone off the healthy bandwagon here, I'm just trying to get people to think a little harder about these "quick fixes" that always seem to pop up around New Years. 

Also, I want you to think about doughnuts. Because you're worth it and doughnuts are worth it.



Coffee Doughnuts
Makes 8 doughnuts

Brioche

518 g all-purpose flour
10 g instant dried yeast
74 g sugar
9 g salt
212 g whole milk, at 23 C
111 g eggs
3 g vanilla paste
55 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Coffee Pastry Cream
Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook

132 g yolks
110 g sugar
30 g cornstarch
550 g whole milk
20 g coffee beans
27 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 g vanilla paste or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 L of canola oil

200 g vanilla sugar


Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray.

For the brioche, place the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix for about 15 seconds to distribute the yeast evenly. Add all of the remaining dough ingredients except for the butter and mix on low speed for 4 minutes. Add the butter a few pieces at a time, incorporating after each addition before adding the next. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and push the dough off the hook. Mix for a total of 30 minutes on low speed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Fold the left side over to the right, the right over to the left, then the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top so you have a "package" with the seam at the top. Place the dough seam-side down in the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it ferment for 1 hour. 

Repeat the folding process, place it back in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Make the pastry cream at this point. Place the coffee beans on a baking sheet and use the bottom of a clean pot to crush the beans. Set them aside for now. Set up a fine-mesh sieve and a bowl set over an ice-bath.

Combine the milk and half of the sugar in a saucepan and place over medium-low heat. When the milk comes just to a boil, remove from the heat, add the crushed coffee beans, and place a lid on the pot. Let the milk infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the milk through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the coffee beans. Weigh the milk again and make sure you have enough - you will most likely be short now (the coffee beans have absorbed some of the milk), so top it up with the required amount.

Combine the remaining half of the sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk until slightly paler in colour.

Place the milk back on the stove and heat to just a boil. Temper the yolks by pouring a small amount of the hot milk into the yolks, whisking constantly, then pour 1/3 of the milk into the yolks, still whisking constantly. Pour the milk-yolk mixture back into the pot and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and reads at least 82 C on a digital thermometer. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla paste/extract and whisk for a minute or two. Strain through the fine-mesh sieve into the bowl set over the ice-bath. Cool the pastry cream to room temperature, then place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until completely cool.

Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to an 11 inch wide circle. Using a 3.5 inch circle cutter, cut out 8 rounds of dough and carefully transfer them to a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Use a 1 inch wide circle cutter to get as many min doughnuts as you can out of the scraps. Of those scraps, gently knead together and roll out to get additional mini doughnuts.

Place a piece of plastic wrap loosely over the doughnuts and place in a warm, humid place to proof for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Note: I turn the shower on in my bathroom, let it run for 5 minutes, then turn it off. This makes the bathroom a little warm and a little steamy, but not too hot. I place the brioche on the counter, then close the door. This provides the most ideal proofing conditions that I can find in my apartment. If you do this, check up on the dough every 10 minutes to make sure it's not too hot!).

Meanwhile,  pour the canola oil into a heavy bottomed saucepan or pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of oil in the pot. Heat the oil to 175 C. 

Once the doughnuts are proofed, remove the plastic wrap and place them near your pot of oil. Have a cooling rack on a sheet pan next to your oil and the bowl of vanilla sugar. 

Gently pick up one doughnut and carefully place it in the oil, making sure not to splash oil on yourself. Fry the dough for 2 minutes, then flip it and fry on the other side for 1 minute, until the doughnut is a golden brown colour. Remove from the oil and place on the cooling rack. Let it cool for 5 minutes or so, then transfer it to the bowl of vanilla sugar. Coat the doughnut in sugar, then place back on the cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts and mini doughnuts.

Transfer the pastry cream to a piping bag fitted with a small circular piping tip. Using a paring knife, make a small incision in the side of each doughnut. Insert the piping tip and pipe as much pastry cream as the doughnut will allow. When you pull the piping tip out, the pastry cream should ooze out a little bit.

The doughnut are best eaten immediately. Enjoy!

40 comments:

  1. Everything about these is perfect. I mean, coffee pastry cream?! And brioche dough!? WOO HOO!

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    1. Thank you! I know! Who needs a cup of coffee when you have coffee pastry cream?!

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  2. dang, your dad's co-workers must be good! no one i know (including myself) would ever turn down a homemade doughnut (;

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    1. I don't know how they refused it at first, I was like, "Whaaat? Really?" but it didn't take much convincing for them to take one.

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  3. Oh, these little coffee doughnuts look just divine. And the pictures, so pretty!!!
    Have a wonderful day, Franzi

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  4. I can't wait to make these! Thank you for this delicious recipe!

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  5. You use "coffee" and "doughnuts" in one sentence, and I'm all yours :) These look simply perfect, and I'll most definitely indulge! And I couldn't agree more with your philosophy: quick fixes are useless, it's all about moderation and balance. Cheers to kale AND doughnuts :)

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    1. Haha, thank you! And mental health is important, too, and doughnuts must be good for mental health, right?

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  6. yum! these look delightful. and you should patent your "pastry chef workout". it'll be the next big thing, like crossfit or soulcycle ;-)

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    1. I totally should! And then we can always finish off with a chocolate croissant filled with pastry cream (my favourite treat at work). It'll be huge!

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  7. Doughnuts are worth it these look like perfection.

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  8. those doughnuts, what beauts. I'm totally into the include-a-donut-in-your-lifestyle-diet thing, too. thanks for sharing!

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    1. Haha, everyone should include a doughnut (and ice cream and custards and basically every sweet possible) in their diet

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  9. I think this might be the year that I am finally brave enough to tackle doughnuts! These look incredible.

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    1. Go for it! They're easier than you think!

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  10. The method you have given for the filling is more appropriate for crème anglaise (custard) rather than crème patissier (pastry cream). They are not interchangeable. Once thickened, it is important to cook pastry cream over a medium heat for a couple of minutes to deactivate an egg enzyme that causes the cream to break down over time. Simply getting to 82C, while necessary, is insufficient, particularly if the cream is to be held for more than a day or three. Hope that helps. :)

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    1. Actually, the only difference between pastry cream and creme anglaise is the addition of a thickener in the pastry cream, in the form of flour or cornstarch. The method of cooking the two is the same, although the correct temperature for creme anglaise is 80 C, rather than 82 C.

      "Flour or cornstarch can protect against curdling in custards and creams, even if they're cooked quickly over direct heat and actually boil. The key is the gelation of the solid starch granules in these materials. When heated to 175 F/ 77 C and above - right around the temperature at which the egg proteins are bonding to each other - the granules absorb water, swell up, and begin to leak their long starch molecules into the liquid. The swelling granules slow protein binding by absorbing heat energy themselves, and the dissolved starch molecules get in the proteins' way and prevent them from bonding to each other too intimately." - Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking

      If you are referring to amylase, then you are partially correct. Amylase is heat resistant but it must be brought to a full boil to deactivate it. If it is not, the amylase will survive, digest the starch, and turn the stiff cream into a pourable one. You can cook the pastry cream over medium heat for a couple minutes, but if it not brought to a full boil, the cream will break down over time.

      Thank you for your input.

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    2. I am indeed referring to amylase, and therefore I am wholly correct, not just partially. No need to wave McGee at me. Your reply is a little puzzling because the first and third paragraphs are somewhat contradictory.

      You seem to think the addition of the starch means crème patissier is anglaise, just thicker. It isn't. Those starch molecules affect the chemistry in a crucial, non-cosmetic way. Stovetop cooking until thickened (like an anglaise) will likely not deactivate all the amylase. That's why crème patissier is boiled after thickening to ensure thorough cooking and thus remain stable over several days.

      Now if you're making doughnuts and eating them within the day, your method will be just fine. But if I wanted to feel confident my pastry cream would hold as long as I needed it to, I'd cook it in the traditional manner.

      My copy of McGee explains all this in the section headed "Pastry Cream, Bouillie, and Cream-Pie Fillings." He specifically advises that pastry cream and other egg yolk/starch mixtures be boiled.

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  11. If only someone would invent food sharing by email! Omg, these look amazing just like everything else on your lovely blog!

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    1. Then we would all be FAT! Hahaha, I do wish there was such a thing so I could share everything with everyone!

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  12. Megan I notice that your rolling pin is tapered - I have seen this kind before, is there an advantage to using them over the conventional straight rolling pins?

    These look delicious and you're right about balance, I am trying to work on my food intake and I do give away a lot of the things I bake for the blog too.

    A homemade doughnut is a thing of beauty, I've been flicking through the Bouchon Bakery book, it has so many tips and there's even a recipe for dog biscuits!

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    1. Yes, it is called a "french" rolling pin. Honestly, I don't think there's a huge difference between the two, other than the traditional one might be easier to roll out stiffer doughs. It's just the one I have, so I see no point in buying another one :)

      I know, I saw the dog biscuits, so cute! I've been tempted to make them for my cat but I doubt that would go over well...

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    2. Ah OK - that's good to know, I don't need to rush out and buy a different rolling pin then!
      I actually have a 15 week old puppy - so I think the dog biscuits may have to be made!

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  13. Coffee pastry cream!!! These look incredible!

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  14. I left work that day before I could even be tempted... boy did i ever regret it!! :(

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    1. Worst day to leave early! Well, at least you can make them at home now?

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  15. Ok these look ridiculously delicious! and honestly I would not say no to them even politely! :)
    I completely agree with you about eating things in moderation and then treating yourself once in a while to goodies (like these doughnuts!). Everything in moderation is a good thing. Love love these doughnuts! <3

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    1. Thanks! It's weird that the notion of politely refusing someone when they offer you something is considered the norm, you know? Everyone does it, even me, but as soon as it's asked again, we're like "Yeah, totally!" It's like we can't say yes on the first ask otherwise we seem too desperate. Or maybe I'm just reading into this too much?

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  16. I'm with you on the whole "detoxing" thing. Being healthy is one thing, but spreading false science like that is another...but whatever :P These doughnuts look amazing! I like the concept of infusing the milk with the coffee beans, sounds like it would give it an amazing flavor.

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    1. I know, it just creates more pseudo-scientific "facts" that are totally b.s.! Like how gluten-free is healthier, even though it totally isn't! Ahhh!! Don't even get me started, I get so worked up about this kind of stuff.

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  17. Hi Megan! These look delicious, as always. I think I will attempt the pastry cream with the coarse grind filter coffee I have on hand. We'll see how that goes. I could never say no to these beauties!
    One question: whenever I make doughnuts like these I always have a tiny problem. When I'm filling them I can't seem to put the filling right in the middle. I don't know if that makes sense but the filling ends up between a thin layer of crust and the rest of the dough instead of snug in the middle... It's like the crust separates from the rest of the dough and I end up filling that space and it's all messy. What's happening?

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    1. Hi Minik,

      I would be careful with using ground coffee instead of whole beans because the flavour will be much much stronger if you use the same quantity and you have to be careful to strain it very well (preferably through cheese cloth), otherwise you'll have coffee grinds in the finished pastry cream, which will be gritty.

      I don't make doughnuts too often so I'm not too sure what causes the problem that you have there. I can only think that it's the type of dough or maybe you proofed them too long? It's really tough to say, sorry!

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  18. Hey Megan, my coffee was a coarse grind and it worked pretty good! I reduced the amount to 1 tablespoon and strained it through a fine mesh sieve lined with tissue paper. I also added a tablespoon of Kahlua (coffee liquer) to the pastry cream; it was awesome!
    And for the problem... I think it had something to do with using a glass instead of a proper pastry cutter. I went out and bought a pastry cutter at last and this time I didn't experience the before mentioned problem.
    We especially liked the little spheres, they're addictive!

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    1. That sounds amazing!! I'm so glad it worked out for you and good job on making the correct adjustments for the situation - that's a great skill to have.

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