Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sugar Doughnuts (Page 622)

  • Date: Friday, March 14, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Grace, Tigran, Scott, Kim, etc...
  • Recipe Rating: B-

Grace was hosting some people at her place a few weeks ago for a game of Mafia, and I wanted to bring a dessert. I hadn't made these doughnuts yet, only because they are in the Breads and Crackers section rather than one of the dessert sections, so I kept forgetting about them. I had high hopes for this cakey doughtnut recipe, and although they weren't bad, they were a disappointment. First, their good qualities: they were very cute, looking just like doughnuts should. They rose beautifully and browned nicely from the deep-frying. The sugar coating was also lovely, adding just the right amount of sweetness. So what was the problem? Well there were two. First of all, they were pretty dry. I expect cake doughnuts to have a nice moist crumb, but these really didn't. The bigger problem was that they tasted bad. In fact, they tasted bad enough that they probably merited a lower grade. But I didn't give them one because I'm not sure what was at fault for the off flavor. The bad flavor was concentrated around the exterior of the doughtnuts, and consequently must have had something to do with the interaction between the oil and the doughnuts. One possibility is that the oil had an off flavor to begin with. I smelled the oil before using it and it smelled fine. It didn't occur to me that this might have been the problem until I had already disposed of the oil so there was no way to test the theory that the oil itself was carrying a bad flavor. Alternatively, it could have been a bad interaction between the flavor of the oil and the tang of the buttermilk. Basically, I don't know. They certainly weren't inedible -- I had three myself -- but they weren't up to par for homemade doughnuts.

Here is the recipe.

I am learning all sorts of new things on this trip to California. This past week I learned a ton about String Topology, and this weekend I am learning all about having a baby. Em hasn't gone into labor yet (she is due Tuesday) but she knows way more about this kind of thing than I do (since the Dr. in front of my name is of a very different kind than the one Em is currently working toward). I have been asking her all sorts of questions, and apparently the look on my face is often one of horror when she answers. The more I hear about this whole childbirth thing, the more daunting it seems. Fortunately for me, I have a few years before I am going to be thinking about that. Emilee, on the other hand, has only a few days it seems. I am bummed that I am not going to meet the baby on this trip. Even if she goes into labor ten minutes from now, the baby probably won't be born before I leave early tomorrow morning. Luckily, I have plans to meet up with Em, Brian, and their new addition Sam at the end of May. That's not so long from now! It would have been really special to be around to meet him right after he was born, but it has also been very special being here and spending time with Emilee in this end stage of her pregnancy!


Anonymous said...

Just a thought regarding the doughnuts ... I would add a bit of nutmeg to the recipe. To me, a doughnut isn't a good doughnut without that hint of nutmeg in the background.

Teena said...

Nutmeg would have never occurred to me, but it's a good idea. These doughnuts were a bit plain -- they could have used some more flavor!