Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Croissants Redux

I have branched out into pastries this week. This was my second attempt at making croissants using the traditional method. Will I never learn not to make these when it is over 100 degrees outside? Rolling out the stretchy dough is difficult enough without having the butter start to melt within 2 minutes of taking the dough out of the refrigerator. Here is a photo of the chocolate version of croissants:

I need more patience and a dough sheeter! I am considering making them again, but using my pasta roller to get the dough thin enough on the last step. I think it is a genius idea!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pear-Toffee Cake Donuts

I made some salted butter caramel ice cream the other day that was sooooo good. I was inspired by the praline/toffee bits that were used as a mix-in for the ice cream. I thought it would taste great on a donut. Pear pairs well with toffee, so I made a pear cake donuts.

These turned out really moist and have a subtle flavor. I don't know that anyone could really identify the pear flavor in the donut, unfortunately. It may as well have been apple, but I still like it. I just don't know that I would bother with pear again. I may try using apple next time. Pear is such a subtle flavor, it's easy to overwhelm it by combining it with other ingredients. I even cooked it down and carmelized it a bit, adding some freshly grated pear while mixing the donuts.

I think the only way to be able to get the pear flavor would be to make a fresh pear compote and use it as a filling. I'm going to think about it. Anyway, the toffee idea worked out well. I could see using this on lots of different flavors. It has a bit of fleur de sel in it, which makes it all that much more delicious!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Yeast Donut Recipe

Yeast donuts rising beautifully!
I tried my new yeast donut recipe today. BINGO! This recipe makes soft raised donuts with a yeasty flavor and only a slight crust. It took me a while to make them since it was the first time, but I think I can get a lot faster once I am familiar with the recipe. I was very happy with the finished product even fried in canola oil-- they were not greasy.

A cinnamon twist
I made cinnamon twists with the re-worked dough since it ends up having a slightly chewier texture. I'm going to work on the twists, hopefully developing some other flavors. My chocolate icing looked better this time, but I don't just love the flavor of it. It contains only milk, powdered sugar and cocoa powder. It dries a bit more, but I personally prefer the taste of the ganache. Oh well, I suppose ganache would be more expensive to use, anyway.

Next, I will try my new cake donut recipe so I can start making variations on it. I really want to make World Peace donuts! And drink some porter with them! It just sounds good to me.

Finished products

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blueberry Donut v. 1

I got them made and they were edible. The outside got too brown and the batter was waaaaay too wet to be able to cut them at first. The blueberry flavor was detectable, but not strong. I can see why all these traditional donut shops resort to using artificial flavoring to make the blueberry taste more in the forefront. No way am I using artificial flavoring! I'm going to tweak the recipe and I know I will eventually achieve my goal.

I like a challenge. Heck, it took me around six or more years to get really good at making biscuits. However, I was only making them every few months. This should go much faster with focused effort.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chubby's Donuts Infancy

Today I am doing several things to help Chubby's grow. First, I am arranging to get some free help from a cool program in AZ put on by the state at the Small Business Development Center. Hopefully they can help me determine feasibility of the business and get started with market research. It's not the easiest task to accomplish on your own when you have no contacts!

Second, I'm working on two new cake donut recipes. One is blueberry-sour cream and the other is going to be a super-chocolate chunk donut, inspired by World Peace Cookies. I have to do a lot of guessing when it comes to recipes and getting them to turn out the right consistency, flavor, etc. It is a difficult task, but I am fully up for the challenge! Just need more taste-testers nearby who will give an HONEST evaluation of the finished product. Everyone always says, "These are great," but I need more detailed opinions. I can't be the only one willing to say, "Too sweet. Too tough. Too crispy." I am aiming for greatness, not just purty good for homemade by a novice! I am taking volunteers :).