Wednesday, October 24, 2007

No Fry, No Fuss

Apple Cider Doughnuts

I’ve expressed my aversion towards frying several times on this blog before. Shallow frying I can do occasionally; but like going to the dentist, I like to leave it until you really have to. But if you know me by now, don’t even mention the word deep-fry, it’s almost as painful and as uncomfortable as the word root canal or lobotomy. I think I’ve already explained in lengthy detail as to why I hate deep-frying, so I won’t go into it again but here is the crux of my whole distaste for dipping things into pools boiling of oil:

1. the harrowing prospect of sustaining third-degree burns
2. the oily smog that descends upon the entire house
3. it leaves that greasy film that could almost act as a fly trap

Apple Cider Doughnuts

If that isn’t reason enough then I don’t know what is. But what if you really enjoy the fried stuff, but hate all the oily consequences that seem to come with it? The obvious alternative is to bake things but we all know the result will never compare.

One such food is the doughnut/donut (whichever way you like to spell it). Doughnut purists will probably scoff at the idea of a non-fried doughnut and will probably think that such a travesty should never be deemed worthy of the title. But just as people have expanded their views to include baked potato chips, baked fish sticks and meatballs, I think that it’s high time we consider baked doughnuts to be just as valid as their fried counterparts.

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Baked doughnuts obviously do not taste like fried doughnuts, but who says they are supposed to. In my opinion, baked doughnuts, because they aren’t laden with excess fat store very well and do not go stale so easily. And if you thought that recipe I posted before on about Heidi’s baked doughnuts was great then here’s one to top that. It’s not that the Heidi’s recipe is no good, but this one requires a lot less effort- the recipe contains no yeast, hence no proofing and no kneading. The leavening comes from baking powder and soda, which makes for a fluffy doughnut that is almost like the real thing.

To date, the best doughnuts I have tasted have come from Krispy Kreme, unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any smaller business alternative to replace it. And although I don’t have KKs very often, I have to say that I have yet to try better. Until now that is.


I have actually found something that I can honestly say rivals the Krispy Kreme Orginal Glazed™. For one, they are baked and don’t contain all that excess fat that makes you unforgivably guilty for even biting into one, secondly they are just as fluffy and air-filled as the KKs and thirdly they are homemade, which always makes them extra great.

I think the secret to these baked doughnuts is not only the leavening that creates that puff of air that lifts the lifeless batter into something inherently scrumptious but the pans that they are made in. These doughnuts were baked in a metal doughnut pan that basically has round ring-like cavities that shape the cakes into, well, doughnuts. The pans are coated with oil and dusted with sugar and when cooled the doughnuts form a somewhat crispy “edge” just like the edges of a cake which you could say, creates the slight illusion of being fried.

Apple Cider Doughnuts

The illusion of being fried stacks up a lot better than actually being fried, especially when you are watching your waistline. I know the icing doesn't make is any more healthier, but it is up to you to put the icing on. Overall, these doughnuts are healthier and you won’t have all the nasty consequences of deep-frying. So put away that deep fryer and give this recipe a whirl. If you aren’t completely converted then that’s perfectly all right. If you do enjoy deep-frying and aren’t as repulsed by the idea of large amounts of oil bubbling away a mere two feet from your face then by all means, but I know that I have found the doughnut recipe for me.

And I really don’t mean to sound like I’m passing judgment on those that deep-fry, and I’m sorry if I have upset you. I just really dislike deep-frying but really love to eat doughnuts. And now that I have found a solution to this quandary I’ve been in, well I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut. Take it or leave it, but here is the recipe for Apple Cider Doughnuts.

Apple Cider Doughnuts

adapted from Diana’s Desserts
serves 24

Apple Cider Doughnuts

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: You will need a mini bundt baking pan with 6 or 12 cavities or a 6 or 12 cavity doughnut baking pan.

approximately 3 tbsp sugar for baking pans
hazelnut oil* for baking pans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup apple puree
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup apple cider
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsp hazelnut oil*

ICING (optional)
1 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk

*Hazelnut oil is basically oil that is pressed from hazelnuts that possesses a delicate nutty and buttery flavour. If hazelnut oil is not available, you can substitute with macadamia oil or vegetable oil.

Preheat oven to 190ºC.
Brush cavities of a mini bundt pan or doughnut pan with hazelnut oil.
Sprinkle with sugar, shaking out excess.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together egg, brown sugar, apple puree, maple syrup, cider, yoghurt and hazelnut oil.
Add dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
Divide the batter among the prepared mini bundt pan or doughnut pans, filling only about halfway up the pans.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly.
Loosen edges and turn the doughnuts out onto a rack to cool.
If required, clean the pans then re-coat it with oil and sugar.
Repeat with remaining batter.

Combine the icing sugar, vanilla and 1 tbsp of milk in a small bowl.
Mix until the icing is of a drizzling consistency. If not, add more milk.
Turn over the doughnuts into the bowl of icing and dip for about 5 seconds until the tops are completely covered.
Return to wire rack to allow icing to set.


html test said...

I also am not a big fan of frying things. I don't mind if other people fry things for me, but doing it myself, no thank you. I'm going to have to try these because I, like you, am partial to KK, but hardly ever eat them so that my waistline doesn't hate me completely. Thanks for the recipe.

ames said...

ooh, those look lovely! I'll have to find a doughnut pan you know any online shops with good ones?

Abby said...

There is a time and a place for ALL sweets! I love doughnuts - and I live in the hometown of Krispy Kreme so I KNOW a good doughnut when I see one. I also hate deep-frying because of the SMELL. (Although I love the foods.) So I do use the deep-fryer, but only occasionally!

Your doughnuts and the resulting pictures are equally scrumptious!

Anonymous said...

OH YUM! These look fantastic! I too fear the "deep fry" I will however make my great grandfathers drop dounuts about once a year that require a deep fry bath.

LOVE your blog!

Brilynn said...

I'll take it! Those look great!

Anita said...

They look so delicious, and I love the presentation!

Christie said...

What is the hazelnut oil for us in the USA? Never heard of it. Those look absolutely heaven and I have to try them.

Nabeela said...

Hate frying, just hate it. So I understand completely about what you're saying.
And baked donuts taste just as good as the real least I've had some that did!
P.S: Your pictures are gorgeous...and the recipe is going in my to do pile :)

alyson. said...

oh my gosh, those sound amazing. I'll have to try them sometime this winter! with a hot cup of cider, of course. :)

Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

WOW- those look amazing, I've never had cider doughnuts and would love to attempt making them at home!

Katie said...

ke doughnuts but hate deep frying things too so I have always been put off making my own. Your recipe seems like the perfect solution - many thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I really like these baked donuts compared to the deep fried ones cos I dislike deep frying too. Definitely opt for the healthier version.

Ange said...

These look & sound delicious & I know what you mean about deep frying. I recently attempted some deep fried falafels which were a bit of a disaster even though they tasted ok in the end

La maga delle spezie said...

I love this blog, is truly wonderful!

lobstersquad said...

jenjen, I think for this you deserve the nobel prize for chemistry. I never fry, either, and we have no Krispy Kreme here, so this is just what I wanted.

Aimée said...

Ohh, you have outdone yourself here Jen! These look like they would indeed leave KK in the dust. Beautiful.

Gretchen Noelle said...

I am not a huge fan of deep fry, nor of donuts...but these pictures leave me wanting! I am ready for breakfast!

Gloria Baker said...

Beautiful doughnuts!!!!A really tentation, xxxGloria

Anonymous said...

Apple cider doughnuts are my *favorite*. But, as I recently posted, I also have an aversion towards frying, so this is the perfect solution! These look wonderful.

Amy said...

First time to comment on your blog but I read it regularly! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! Always love your posts, but this latest one... I had to comment, I am DEFINITELY trying these donuts... I love the idea of baking donuts! I can't wait to give them a try! Thanks for the great post and recipe!!

Jim said...

Wow, those photos leave me yearning, especially given my obsession with all things cider...I'm more of a Dunkin Donuts guy than a Krispy Kreme guy, but if these aren't quite so sopping with sugar I think I may be converted!

Liska said...

It looks yummy!!! beautiful pictures :-)))

Anonymous said...

I hear ya! The act (not the foods) of deep-frying repulses me too. The one time I was ever near a deep fryer was in the kitchen of a fraternity house. My friend made some fries and I sat there afraid of the bubbling oil. These doughnuts look really great!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyra said...

As good as Krispy Kreme doughnuts? Wow, I may even have to buy a pan so I can make these. I gather you used a doughnut pan and not a mini-bundt pan, although I'm sure they would taste good regardless...

Pille said...

JenJen - I bought a mini doughnut tray recently, and have been looking for a good no-fry donut recipe. Thanks for giving me one!!!

Anonymous said...

I just purchased a doughnut tray so I can make these!

Question - the original recipe is a US one, and from my very quick scan of both you seem to use similar measurements. Were your doughnuts made with Australian standard measuring cups/spoons?

I have found that the US measurements are different, so just not sure which set of cups/spoons I should be using!!

Love, love, love your blog by the way. I have made a number of your recipes with high success. The cranberry and nut bread and the chocolate and pistachio cake have been particularly big hits!

Katy said...

oh YUM. this might actually make me buy a doughnut pan. any idea how many calories per donut?

Pink of Perfection said...

I absolutely love the pictures for this entry. Particularly that jaunty little donut hanging on the spoon handle!

Chubbypanda said...

Baked? Blasphemy! Sweet sweet blasphemy...

Edith said...

Totally agree with you about Kripsy Kreme. I wish someone will "break the code" for this wonderful recipe.

In the meantime, I am drooling on yours.

Kajal@aapplemint said...

gosh i cant believe i didn't drop by your blog for such a long time. I saw these on flickr and couldn't resist dropping by :D
they look fantastic .wish i could just pick one off the screen.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan of donuts, and I must say that while I've yet to try my hand on a baked one, I'd definitely go for the healthier option to these great delights. Lovely!

Anonymous said...

hi milk and cookies

i truly enjoy reading you delicious blogs, and recently i was searching for a healthy doughnut alternative that doesn't require too much work and thanks to you... i now have yours to try.
however i was wondering why is it that u use yoghurt? will it not smell or make the doughnuts expire quicker? is it ok to omit that...

please reply to my email i relly need to know. Many thanks for keeping me entertained and fascinated with your culinary skills.


Anonymous said...

Those look incredible!

Anonymous said...

yes krispycreme donuts are magic. yours look pretty fantastic too!

Amy said...

I'm too scared to fry at home. I've been eyeing baked donuts for a long time now and yours look fantastic! Krispy Kremes are my weak spot. :)

Helene said...

Another donut recipe!!! Yeah! You know I'll have to try that one!

Serendipity said...

Hihi! Ur donuts look delicious!~ Would like to try the recipe soon. Even bought a donut baking pan today! But one thing I'm curious about is that can I just use fresh apple juice instead of apple cider (has anyone here tried using apple juice yet?)?

Does the apple cider here refer to something alcoholic or non-alcoholic? Because different countries actually have different interpretation of it :)I actually do not really drink alcoholic stuff so am quite hesitant about buying apple cider (if it means alcoholic in this recipe) just to bake a batch of donuts ;)

Thanks in advance!


Iron Chef Shellie said...

omg I MUST try these!
I finally found muscovado sugar so I can do those madelines I've been wanting to try for ages!

Tanya said...

Wow! Those look amazing........I can almost taste them. yummmmmmmm


Anonymous said...

So, it took us a bit to figure out, but when we first made these, we didn't pay attention that you said 190 Celcius...being in the USA, that would be about 375 for us. THat made a big difference. :) But this recipe was so good. We used APple Juice in place of the cider because that's what we had, but we're making it again now.

Stef said...

Thanks for sharing this great recipe. I just made these and posted about them .