These are delayed celebratory doughnuts because our community garden got funded last week! I’ve been doing a kind of internal dance ever since. We can now buy and establish a large greenhouse, get wellingtons for volunteers and buy seeds. It’s all very exciting. I get slightly giddy when I think about it. Oh! The things we will grow!
And nothing says celebration quite like a doughnut right? Particularly one made with brown butter, maple syrup and pecans. (Yes, I realise that it actually screams autumn and it feels very much like spring is on fast-forward right now but they’re so divine that hardly matters.) I find these are best iced and eaten whilst slightly warm, preferably in a sunny spot with a good book. (I’ve just started Hollow City, the second novel in the Peculiar Children series. I love the way the text and photographs work together to create the story. I’m hoping to do something like that in my thesis. I am making small progressive steps towards the Foucault chapter. The ideas are there. It’s just taking time to make them make sense. And to know the various arguments. Slowly, slowly.)
This recipe is adapted from a Joy the Baker one, which you can find here. I reduced the sugar content to make way for the maple syrup, used self-raising flour not plain flour and added cinnamon rather than nutmeg. I’ve discovered I’m not the biggest fan of nutmeg in doughnuts. And obviously the icing has to be cream cheese based.
Maple Pecan Baked Doughnuts
Makes 7 (awkward I know – I made 6 but it means there were no holes in the middle of the doughnuts)
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
30g butter, unsalted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g pecans, roughly chopped
75g full-fat cream cheese
2/3 cup icing sugar
3 tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 175C*. Lightly grease a six-hole doughnut tin.
Mix the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and caster sugar together. Stir in the pecans.
Brown the butter. (If you haven’t done this before, melt the butter on a medium-high heat in a saucepan, and then leave it to cook until the aroma turns nutty and there are brown flecks in it. It will sputter a lot initially whilst the water separates out but then will cook quite quietly. Watch it as it burns easily and you don’t want the butter to turn black.) Cool.
Whisk the egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Then add in the maple syrup. Whisk in the butter.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir until all the flour in incorporated. Then stop. You don’t want to over mix the batter.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag (or ziploc plastic bag) and pipe the mixture into the doughnut tin. (I find this way easier and quicker than trying to spoon it in. It’s less messy and if you use the ziploc you can chuck the bag away at the end so no cleaning up. I realise that perhaps that is not the most environmentally friendly so you can of course clean the ziploc bag and reuse it for other batters at a later stage.)
Bake for 10 minutes, rotating after 8 if your oven is uneven (mine likes to cook the back right of everything way darker).
Cool completely before icing.
To make the icing, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the icing in three goes (this helps prevent lumps) and then whisk in the milk. You want a fairly liquid icing, so you can dip the doughnuts into it or spread it on with a spoon. Add more milk if you need to. (I made double the icing I suggest here. You don’t need that much. I’m going to have to swirl it into brownies or something this week.)
*My oven seems to run at temperatures hotter than what it says. (Not exactly a surprise.) But I’ve started to bake things at 175C as a result.