Saturday, May 23, 2015

Angel Food Cupcakes

I dream about food. Literally.


Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night after having a dream about a kind of food. I keep a note in my phone for dream foods.



Some of my late night thinking/dream foods have been my Raspberry White Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes and my Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Soft Pretzels.

These cupcakes were another one of my "dream foods." Angel food cupcakes filled with jam, topped with whipped cream and fresh berries. Yum.


Angel Food Cupcakes

Yields: 16 cupcakes

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cake flour (or 1/2 cup AP flour + 1/2 tsp cornstarch)
1/4 tsp salt
6 egg whites, room temperature
2 1/2 tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with paper liners.

2. Combine half the sugar with the flour and salt.

3. In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, water, vanilla, cream of tartar, and remaining sugar. Whip together with a whisk until medium peaks form.

4. Sift a small amount of the dry ingredients into the egg whites, then fold in with a spatula. Do this in at least 6 batches to ensure even folding.

5. Fill muffin cups all the way to the top with batter and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Fill with jam, if desired. Top with sweetened whipped cream (add a small amount of vanilla for an awesome taste), then garnish with berries.




Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cream-Filled Donuts


Is there anything better than a cream-filled donut? 


No, there really isn't. 


These donuts are my dream donuts. They're fried...


...tossed in sugar...


...and filled with pastry cream. 


How could you even go wrong with those elements? Fried, sugared, and filled??? Sign me up! 


These donuts are yeasted, which makes them perfectly chewy-- it also makes them take a little bit longer with the rise time. There are two options for the recipe: you can make the dough the night before, or you can make it the day you want to fry them

The sugar on the outside gives them the perfect sweet crunch, and the whipped pastry cream adds a delectable rich filling without being overly sweet. 

Cream-Filled Donuts

Yields: 12 donuts
Time: 2 hours (or overnight)

Donuts:
1 tbsp active dry yeast
2/3 cup milk, warm
3 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
3 eggs
7 tbsp butter, softened and cut into cubes

Pastry Cream:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
3-4 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
6 tbsp heavy cream

Oil for frying (enough to go 3 inches up the side of your pan)

1 cup sugar for coating

1. Combine milk, yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes to activate. Add flour, sugar, salt, and eggs. Using a dough hook, mix until combined, about 3 minutes. 

2. Add the butter, a little bit at a time, and knead (in the mixer, if you want) for 5-6 minutes, or until combined. At this point, you can wrap the dough and let it sit overnight. If you want the donuts sooner, let the dough rise, covered, in an oiled bowl in a warm place. Let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes. (I turn on my oven and put the dough bowl on top of the oven to get some heat). 

3. Make the pastry cream: Put the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. While it's heating, combine sugar, flour, salt, and egg yolks until thoroughly combined. Once the milk is simmering but not boiling, remove the milk from the heat and spoon a few tablespoons into the egg yolk mixture while stirring. Continue to add the milk slowly. Once it's all been added, return it to the saucepan. Cook until it comes up to a boil and reaches the desired consistency. Add the vanilla and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap. 

4. Roll out the risen donut dough and cut into 3" circles. Place on a greased cookie sheet, cover, and let them rise in a warm place until almost doubled in height. They will be pillowy when they're ready.

5. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees fahrenheit. Put the coating sugar in a shallow bowl to dip the donuts after they're fried. Use a spatula to get the donuts off of the cookie sheet into the oil. I did them one at a time. Flip after 2 minutes or so. Place the donuts on a paper towel-lined plate. 

6. Once the donuts are still hot but cool enough to handle, dip them in the sugar and place on a cooling rack. I would have one in the oil at all times, and while another was cooking I would dip another in sugar. Don't let them cool too much or the sugar won't stick well. 

7. Whip the cream until very stiff. Combine it with the cooled pastry cream. Poke a hole in the donuts with a chopstick and fill using a pastry bag and a round tip (or a bag with the corner cut off). 

They're best the same day (but definitely still tasty on day two).