Happy Valentines (Pal-entines/Gal-entines) Day to you!
This week we’ve been talking about baking/cooking for the people you cherish most. To nourish someone from the inside out with something that you’ve taken the time to prepare for them is one of the truest forms of love… at least in our eyes!
Here at BAKED, beautiful sweets are sort of our thing. But admittedly, I’m not the best baker and much prefer to toss a bunch of things in a pot and taste and add and taste and add until it’s just right. The exactness of baking perplexes my compulsive-brain and that often ends up in disaster (see: my failed poptarts). That said, when I do bake for someone, it’s my silent way of expressing just how important they are to me.
I made these Chocolate Doughnuts with Spicy Blood Orange Icing for my husband and daughter, after the failed poptarts, because if anyone deserves my subpar baking skills, it’s them.
The doughnuts are rich with a tender crumb and a zingy pop from the citrus icing. I live for a fried doughnut, but at home, where a rambunctious 3 year old lives, I prefer to bake them so I don’t burn the house down because I’m preoccupied with a Barbie-related crisis. If you prefer a non-spicy icing you can leave the cayenne out of the recipe no problem, it simply gives it a warm buzz that I love with chocolate.
For the Doughnuts
1 1/2 cups Flour
2/3 cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
2 large whole eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 cup Sour Cream, at room temperature
3/4 cup Buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp lemon, optional*
3/4 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
For the Icing
Zest from 1 blood orange
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, strained of pulp
sprinkles, for garnish (optional)
For the Doughnuts
Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease two 6-count doughnut baking tins.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda, espresso powder and salt. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, melted butter, eggs and egg yolk, sour cream and buttermilk.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry along with the chopped chocolate and fold together without overmixing.
At this point you can either spoon the mixture into the doughnut pan, or you can scoop the batter into a piping bag (or a zip bag, like I did) and pipe it into the pan. Both ways work great but the piping bag is a little less messy. Fill the moulds about 2/3 full with batter.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the dough springs back up when you press it gently with a finger.
Let cool for 5 minutes and then gently remove the doughnuts from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Icing
While the doughnuts cool, whisk together all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl until smooth (see note below about lemon). Taste and add more juice of sugar if needed.
I usually sacrifice one doughnut to test the thickness of the icing by dipping it and letting it cool for 10 minutes. If it seems a little too thin, add some sugar to thicken the icing. If it’s too thick (is that possible?), add some more blood orange juice, a tsp at a time.
Once you’ve dipped all your doughnuts into the icing, let them set for 5 minutes and add sprinkles if using. Serve right away.
*I like to add an extra tsp of lemon juice to this so it’s SUPER tangy against the rich chocolate. Taste yours first and see what you think, add lemon if you’d like.