This may come as a surprise to some, but I love baking.
A surprise, because I’m pretty sure I’ve been vocal over the blogging years about my extreme dislike of cooking. I don’t make dinner, and when it is my turn to make dinner, I’m more likely to get take-out than not.
My dad used to tell me that I’d need to learn how to cook to catch a man. My only response to that was to date guys who loved to cook—or at least, they disliked it far less than I do, and were willing to do it every night.
But as it turns out, I don’t like cooking dinner, but I do enjoy following a recipe. I’m just never going to be that girl who can pull together seven dishes at the same time, but I can do one dish to justice.
So, last Sunday, I was surfing around the interwebs, when I found a post over at Smitten Kitchen about Apple Cider Doughnuts. I love Apple Cider Donuts. Whenever I manage to get up to Apple Hill in the fall, those doughnuts are absolutely the first thing I’ll buy and eat. So when I saw the recipe, I knew I was going to make them. Never mind that I’d never made doughnuts, or even actually deep-fried something1 before.
E was pretty stoked about the whole deal, so last night we went to the store to get the necessities that we don’t usually have in the house—apple cider and buttermilk. And unsalted butter, since for some reason my mom had only stick margarine, instead of actual stick butter.
The dough itself was pretty easy to put together, thanks to the use of my mom’s stand mixer (and boy howdy do I want one for myself when I have my own place). However, I did manage to frustrate myself when it came to cutting out the doughnuts. I did not flour the bottom of the dough enough, so when I pressed it out, chilled and cut it, it still stuck to the parchment paper (and there was a moment where I was close to wanting to throw things across the room because it was so sticky and making me mad; good thing E was there to stop me).
The frying, though, was another thing all together. E and I did the frying together, and we could not keep the oil at the right temperature at all. The first doughnuts were over done, then we cooled down the oil, so it looked like we were doing better, but it was still too hot because while the outside looked done, they were a little undercooked in the middle.
They were still tasty, though. We came to a consensus that while we could not taste the apple cider2, we did like the cake-like texture of the doughnuts, and are willing to try again.
Of course, we are determined to have the right tools next time, like an actual doughnut cutter instead of using two cups to cut them3, a working oil thermometer, and something to easily fish them out of the oil, instead of using my mom’s old strainer. Perhaps, too, we’ll try the lard that the recipe calls for to fry in (we substituted vegetable oil because of the cost and being unsure of how much we would actually need), because Deb at Smitten Kitchen says that that will help the doughnuts last longer.
I’m only slightly let down that the doughnuts didn’t turn out perfect, but I am perfectly willing to try again, provided that E will eat my mistakes.
- Notwithstanding all the frying done at Taco Bell. I don’t think that counts, since there were button timers and proper tools, and I didn’t have to continually check the oil temperature. [back]
- Perhaps because while I did reduce it down the way it said, I had to start with cider from concentrate which is all the store had. Maybe if it was really good cider we would have tasted it. [back]
- I am slightly anal, and would prefer my doughnut holes to be centered in the doughnut. [back]