Diglett Rocky Road Doughnuts

When I think back to Generation 1 of Pokémon, one of the funniest designs for me is Diglett. It’s supposed to be like a living whack-a-mole situation, and it looks like a brown bump with eyes, a pink nose-mouth-thing, and it is just sticking out of the ground. It apparently has legs and an actual body beneath the surface, but nobody has ever seen it before. And then we have the evolution Dugtrio, which is just three Diglett stuck together. And don’t even get me started on the Alolan Dugtrio, which features three long sets of golden, wavy hair. Purely iconic. Or the new Pokémon, Wiglett, which is said to be similar to Diglett, but not a Diglett outright, being based on a garden eel and being a long, white Diglett that might not even be a mammal. But anyways, since Diglett has such a simple design, being a brown bump sticking out of the ground, I figured that would be a fun yet simple thing to replicate into pastry! I went with a Rocky Road theme, using chocolate, almonds, and marshmallows, just to pay homage to the fact that Diglett is perpetually sticking out of the ground. And what better dessert for a Diglett to be sticking out of than a baked doughnut? So that was where I went with this dessert!

I will be lying if I said the techniques that went into this dessert were super easy. Well, being 100% honest, each technique on its own is easy. But there are a lot of techniques that went into making these little guys. You have the chocolate baked doughnut, which is the base of the dessert. You have two different kinds of chocolate ganache. A dark chocolate ganache to glaze the doughnut with, with an almond butter ganache, to pay homage to the flavor of Rocky Road, and to act as a little plug in the middle of the doughnut, just so when you pipe on the Diglett, you aren’t left with a complete mess. On the glaze, we have homemade marshmallows(which will also be used to make Diglett’s pink nose-mouth-snout-thing), and toasted almonds. To give the dessert a more dirt-like aesthetic, we have a dark chocolate soil made with tapioca maltodextrin. And for Diglett itself, the body is made with a dark chocolate cheesecake, and the eyes are chocolate pearl sprinkles. Like I said, a lot of techniques. But don’t let that intimidate you. I will list some substitutions you can do if you want to cut corners/save some time! I personally made the recipe the way I did just because I really wanted to go flavor-forward with this one. I feel like in the past, a lot of my Pokémon-themed recipes sacrificed flavor for aesthetic, so this time, I wanted to make sure both were well represented, especially since Diglett is such a simple Pokémon.

So for the components that you can get away with subbing out things, I would say for the almond butter ganache, you can use just white chocolate chips instead of Almond Inspiration, or if you want to be 100% lazy on that, just stuff the doughnuts with almond butter mixed with a pinch of salt and the slivered almonds! The main idea here is to represent the flavor of almond, since that is a key part of a Rocky Road. For the chocolate soil, you can just do a light dusting of cocoa powder instead. I prefer to use black cacao powder in my recipe, but even normal cocoa powder is fine too, the black cacao just has a more fragrant flavor that I am partial to. Do not dip the doughnuts directly into the cocoa powder or else you’ll end up with a product that is medicinally bitter. Just do a light dusting of the cocoa powder on top. The reason why I went with the tapioca maltodextrin and chocolate-based soil is specifically because it takes away the bitterness of cacao, so you can be more liberal with it. With the chocolate cheesecake, what you can do instead of the gelatin-based recipe is double up the recipe of the chocolate ganache, and then whip half of your ganache into 8oz of cream cheese. It will generally end up tasting the same anyways, and the fat from the heavy cream should stabilize the chocolate in a similar way that the gelatin would have anyways. Lastly with the homemade marshmallows, you can use premade if you want for the garnish. For the Diglett’s pink snouts, you would need to still melt down some premade marshmallows, and mix in the beet root powder that way, and then just dust them with cornstarch as you are rolling them out. All in all, this recipe has a lot of technical components in them that you can switch out with simpler substitutes, but I wanted to at least showcase these techniques, as they are great to practice and learn from!

Makes 6 Diglett doughnuts:
For the chocolate baked doughnuts:
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Mix everything together to form your doughnut batter. Pour into 6 silicone doughnut molds, filling them about halfway up, and bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Allow the doughnuts to cool before attempting to unmold them.

For the chocolate ganache:
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
a pinch of salt

In a pot on low heat, melt everything together. Once everything is melted into a shiny, cohesive sauce, pour into a container. If not using right away, cover and store in the refrigerator. Microwave for 1 minute and stir before using to glaze, as you want the ganache to be runny and fluid, as you will be dipping the doughnuts into it!

For the almond butter ganache:
1/4 cup almond butter
1oz Almond Inspiration(can sub with white chocolate)
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp flaked almonds
1.5oz white chocolate chips

In a pot, heat up the almond butter, Almond Inspiration, and salt over medium heat while stirring constantly. Once everything is melted together, add in the almonds and white chocolate. Stir until everything is melted together and combined. Store in the refrigerator first, but when assembling, microwave your ganache for 2 minutes just to make sure it is malleable.

For the marshmallows:
1 tsp gelatin powder
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup water, in two parts
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of beetroot powder

Mix gelatin with salt and one part of water first. In a pot, heat up the remaining water with granulated sugar. Once the mixture comes up to a boil, pour the boiling sugar syrup over the gelatin and begin whisking. Whisk in the vanilla extract as well. Continue to whisk for another 10 minutes, until the mixture resembles a meringue. Transfer about 3/4 of it to a piping bag, and pipe out mini marshmallow “kisses” over cornstarch, dusting with more cornstarch just to keep the marshmallows from sticking. I used a star tipped piping bag, but ar ound one works perfectly fine here as well! With the remaining marshmallow mix, whisk in the beetroot powder to turn it pink. Pipe the pink marshmallows out on more cornstarch into small ovular shapes, reminiscent of Diglett’s mouths. Once the marshmallows have set at room temperature for an hour, transfer into an airtight container and freeze them.

For the chocolate cheesecake mixture:
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp gelatin powder
a pinch of salt
8oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a pot, heat up the dark chocolate, almond milk, gelatin powder, and salt until everything is fully melted together. Whip the cream cheese until soft and add into that the melted chocolate first, then the vanilla extract. Pour into a piping bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before attempting to use. This will help the cheesecake firm up.

For the chocolate dirt:
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup tapioca maltodextrin powder
1 tsp dark cacao powder
a pinch of salt

In a double boiler, melt down the chocolate. Mix into that the other ingredients to form your dark chocolate dirt. Store in an airtight container until time to assemble.

For assembly:
Crushed almonds
Chocolate pearl sprinkles

Dip your doughnuts, round side down, into the ganache first. Then sprinkle onto the dipped side of your doughnuts the marshmallows and almonds. Pour your almond ganache mixture into the holes of each doughnut and then freeze the doughnuts for 20 minutes – you want the ganache to be firm enough to poke without it getting on your fingers. Then dip the doughnuts into the chocolate dirt.

Cut about 1 inch off the tip of your piping bag containing the cheesecake mixture. Pipe the cheesecake onto the centers of the doughnuts to form your Diglett’s bodies. Use chocolate pearl sprinkles to form your eyes, and the pink marshmallows to form the mouths.

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