Sunday, May 12, 2013

Quest: Vegan Doughnuts Cherry Almond with Almond Glaze


This doughnut quest is so much more fun when the doughnuts turn out great and this batch was definitely one of the great ones. I made these just before the kids got home from school and they were consumed in just minutes. The critic's reviews were all high marks with comments like "These are the perfect amount of cherry, not too much, just like a hint without being all you can taste" ~ Emi, age 8.

I have been trying to cut the batter quantity back a bit because friends were reporting to me that they had batter leftover or were making as many as 3 more doughnuts than I was with my recipe for six. All this time I thought I had the Wilton brand doughnut pans, but after purchasing a third pan to expand my capacity, I realized I didn't have the Wilton at all, I am pretty certain I have the Norpro (they have no name on them, and I stored them for years before ever using them.)

Immediately I could see why friends were having issues with the batter quantity, it is obvious the Wilton pans have a smaller well. How much smaller? Well, the Norpro's middle section rises to the same height as the outside well walls and measuring the liquid capacity when filled all the way to the top it comes to 1/2 cup.  In contrast the Wilton pans are just as deep, but the middle section is much lower, not at an even height with the outside well walls and only holds only 1/4 cup before it would cover the middle hole. The Wilton's pan design is short-sighted in my opinion, and if I was designing my own pan I would insist that the 'hole' actually be higher than those outside walls since the batter inevitably bakes over the middle nearly every time. The Wilton pans must do this a lot, how irritating.

So then I'm left pondering...is a doughnut a doughnut without the hole? The philosophical ramifications of doughnut baking, who would have thought? I admit, I have not yet baked in the Wilton, so further testing is needed. For now, I leave you with this fabulous cherry doughnut recipe which makes just a bit less batter, hopefully better for you Wilton pan owners.

Dried Sour Cherry with Almond Glaze 

2/3 cups milk of choice (I used almond)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

2/3 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried sour cherries

  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Grease a non-stick doughnut pan with cooking spray. 
  2. Measure the milk in a liquid measure, add remaining liquid flavorings.
  3. In the bowl of the food processor, combine all the dry ingredients except the dried cherries and blend until the nuts have been pulverized and the mixture looks uniform. 
  4. Add the sour cherries and pulse only 2-3 times to break up the cherries into smaller pieces, but do not completely pulverize the cherries.
  5. Pour out the dry mix into a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix the wet into the dry by hand to keep from cutting the cherries up further. 
  6. Immediately spoon the mixture into the prepared doughnut pan. Divide it among the six holes, placing it directly in the middle over the 'hole', use a finger to clear the batter off the 'hole' and smooth it a bit to fill them evenly.
  7. Bake 13-14 minutes and remove the pan from the oven, loosen the middles which may stick just a bit, with a fork before carefully turning the doughnuts out onto a cooling rack, and immediately place them bottom sides up back into the doughnut pan. The middles may have baked over the hole section of the pan a bit, but carefully just press them back down into the pan, remove any extra crumb/clumps. Flipping them during the baking process crisps up the bottoms and gives them an overall better doughnut form. Return them to the oven and bake another 4 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.
  8. Once cool, glaze doughnuts (below).
Almond glaze:
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons milk of choice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Stir until well combined and then dip in each doughnut. This mixture should be thin enough that it sticks to the doughnut but not so thin that it all drips off. 

This recipe makes 6 doughnuts.

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