Friday, May 21, 2021


Doughnuts are an incredibly versatile dessert. Baked, fried, covered in chocolate, or filled with a tangy jam, they are one of the most beloved desserts, and for many of us, one of the first ones we experience.
Because they are an old-fashioned treat, they have very few ingredients, and heavily rely on the flavours of the filling and topping, and the texture of the dough itself. Many of the doughnuts I make, including these beauties, are baked, not fried. The dough is abundantly soft and light, generously flavoured with vanilla and lemon zest, and perfectly paired by the ruby chocolate lavender ganache filling.
Lavender is an amazing herb, as all of the plant can be used, so nothing goes to waste once it has been picked. This recipe uses dried buds that have been finely crushed, and only a tiny amount, too. After all, it is a powerful flavour addition, and as such, should be used moderately. It does pair, however, wonderfully with both citrus and chocolate, making it perfect for these little pillowy treats.
Serve them still warm, while the filling is molten, after lavishly rolling them in icing sugar. Add a tiny cup of strong coffee or a glass of cold milk, and enjoy.

For the soft doughnuts
350 grams plain flour
20 grams granulated sugar, divided
5 grams salt
100 grams vanilla soya yoghurt
100 millilitres warm water
60 millilitres vegetable oil, divided
20 grams fresh yeast
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 ½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
For the ruby chocolate lavender ganache
150 grams ruby chocolate
75 millilitres plant double cream
½ teaspoon dried culinary lavender, finely crushed
30 grams vegan block butter
½ vanilla bean paste

Start by making the ruby chocolate lavender ganache. Add the cream and lavender to a medium saucepan, and place it over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, let it heat up until it starts to steam. As soon as wisps of steam start appearing, remove it from the heat, cover the saucepan, and allow it to rest and steep for about 15 minutes. Strain the cream to remove all the solids, pour it back into the saucepan, add in the chocolate, butter, and vanilla, and place the pan over the medium heat. Mix gently until everything is melted together, remove from heat, let it cool down to room temperature, and then place the pan into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
While the filling is cooling, make the dough. Sift the flour into a large bowl, add in the sugar and salt, and whisk well. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the yeast and water, and set it aside for about 10 minutes so the yeast can activate. Once the yeast is ready, make a little well in the centre of the flour, pour it in, and add in the yoghurt, half of the oil, vanilla, and the lemon zest, and mix with a wooden spoon until a very soft and sticky dough forms. Place it into a large bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise, at room temperature, for about an hour, or until doubled.
Once the dough is risen and ready, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and knead it very briefly. Divide it into 12 equal pieces, and shape each of them into a ball. Arrange them on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment, and gently flatten them. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let them rise for 30 more minutes. Just before baking, brush them with the reserved oil, and bake in a preheated oven, at 200°C, for about 10 minutes, or until done.
When done, remove them from the oven, and immediately remove them from the baking sheet, to help them cool down more easily. While they are cooling, remove the chilled ganache from the refrigerator, and stir it gently with a spatula, to loosen it up slightly. Place it into a piping bag, and as soon as the doughnuts are cool, generously fill them, and serve immediately. Yields 12 servings. © TINA VESIĆ