Honeybee Doughnuts

My initial idea when I came up with these doughnuts were to do these little puffy fritters and garnish them with a honey drizzle and bee pollen. But then I really got thinking about them, and wanted to do a more literal translation of what these could be. I thought first about striping the doughnut dough, just to further reiterate that bee pattern. I juggled between cocoa powder or activated charcoal, but went with the charcoal, since that would be a more prominent color, even after frying. When it came to frying, I debated a lot between air-frying, which is essentially just convection baking anyways, or actual frying. While I personally prefer actual frying, the idea of setting up a deep fryer just sounded like a bit of a hassle, and I wanted this recipe to be much more user-friendly, so I went with air-frying. I found that while it technically took longer to bake the doughnuts in the air-fryer than it would to just deep fry them in oil, the amount of cleanup with an air-fryer well more than offset the amount of time I would need to spend cooling down my fryer oil then cleaning down the pot I used to deep fry in, so I am not complaining whatsoever about my life decisions here! The faster I could get the doughnuts into my face, the happier I am!

For the recipe, it was a cake doughnut(meaning baking powder-based instead of yeast-leavened just so that these can be made reasonably quickly), and I used a bit of mascarpone cheese and almond milk, just to tie back in a little with the garnishes I used for the doughnuts. I striped the dough by portioning out some of it and dying it black with the charcoal, which came out reasonably well, all things considered! For the glaze, I went with a burnt honey and mascarpone glaze, fortified with roasted white chocolate. I wanted to go with burnt honey in particular because it has a nice bitterness to it that contrasts a lot more sweetness, keeping the doughnuts from being cloyingly sweet, a risk you run into when making a honey dessert. I used roasted white chocolate to echo the bitterness of the honey, while also giving the glaze a lot more body, and guaranteeing that the glaze will actually set up, as opposed to remain a liquid until the end of time. The mascarpone adds in more of that richness, while also keeping the glaze from tasting too bitter or too sweet! To garnish, I went with almond slivers to represent bee wings, and bee pollen to tie back in with the bee inspiration! I initially wasn’t going to make these doughnuts doubledeckers, but I opted for that route when I had a decent amount of spare dough, and I felt like garnishing the smaller doughnut munchkins with the almond slivers looks really cute!

For the doughnuts:
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp canola oil
4oz mascarpone cheese
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp activated charcoal powder

In a cup, mix together the milk and vinegar first. Let that mixture sit aside for 10 minutes. Pour that mixture into a bowl with all of the other ingredients, minus the charcoal, and mix until just combined to form your dough. Portion out 1/5 of the dough and mix with charcoal powder. Rest both doughs for 10 minutes first. Then roll out the charcoal dough to 1/8 inch-thickness. Cut into strips and spread the strips out. Then roll out on top of that the normal dough, wrapping the edges of the charcoal dough around it. Flip the dough over onto a transferrable and preferably nonstick surface(like parchment or silpat). Rest the dough for 10 minutes first, then cut out 6 4-inch disks and 6 1-inch disks. In an air fryer lined with parchment and oil. cook the larger disks at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cook the smaller at 375 degrees F for 6 minutes.

For the glaze:
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup honey
4oz mascarpone cheese
a pinch of salt

Spread and roast white chocolate chips on a lined sheet tray at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes. In a pot, heat up the honey on high heat until it begins to boil. Once it boils, allow it to took on high for another 30 seconds before lowering the heat completely. Add in the roasted white chocolate chips and the mascarpone first, then finish with salt. Stir until combined and pass through a sieve if necessary to remove all lumps. Keep warm for glazing.

For garnish:
Bee pollen
Sliced almond flakes

Dip the doughnuts into the warm glaze and allow the excess to drip off. Sprinkle on top of the bigger ones the bee pollen. Garnish with a glazed munchkin and place on that some more bee pollen and almond flakes to resemble the little wings.

One Comment Add yours

  1. shootmejoe says:

    They look so tasty

    Liked by 1 person

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