I'm about to say something extremely controversial: I have never been a huge doughnut fan.
There. I said it. It's out in the open. For me, there are so many glorious forms of fried dough (churros, empanadas, etc) that the doughnuts I've had never seemed to measure up. Granted, this may be a function of my only having had Krispy Kremes and Dunkin' Donuts, but still.
I've always found the idea of cake doughnuts to be intriguing, however, but every bite I've previously taken has been dry and resulted in crumbs all over my lap.
One of my recent obsessions is Zulily. I got my first bundt pan (this baby) off of that site for $10 instead of $35. All of the bridal showers I'm going to? Bingo-- Zulily. When I saw this doughnut pan on sale for $10 (that seems to be a magic number for me), I jumped, hoping that maybe homemade cake doughnuts would remedy my freakish dislike for the treats.
These doughnuts, which were inspired by Tracy Shutterbean's (whose photography is just gorgeous, and was part of what made me forget that doughnuts aren't my jam) have a beautiful, dense crumb, and a glaze that hardens just so that the moisture is retained... these babies were good for days in an airtight container.
The recipe makes two dozen mini doughnuts, more if you stop eating the amazing batter (guilty!). After a rough week (10 inches of snow + failed experiments), these put a smile on the faces of my lab members... and those in the surrounding labs.
Moral of the story? I may be a doughnut convert now... So expect more circular experimentation in the future!
Mini Baked Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts
Adapted from Shutterbean
For the doughnuts:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened extra dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp espresso powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
3 tbsp vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a mini doughnut pan with baking spray and set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together milk, egg, sugar, expresso powder, butter, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients; slowly add to butter mixture.
Transfer batter to a ziploc bag, and snip the corner. Squeeze the batter into each doughnut mold until 1/2 filled. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until doughnuts spring back when touched. Remove pan, allow to cool, tip doughnuts out onto a cooling rack, and reload the pan with more batter. Repeat until all batter is gone.
For the glaze: combine all ingredients in a separate bowl with a whisk. Dunk still-warm-ish doughnuts in glaze (I dunked the doughnuts all the way) and place glazed doughnuts on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet to drain. Allow doughnuts to cool until glaze hardens. Serve immediately, or store in airtight container for up to three days.
Makes 24 mini doughnuts.