Friday, February 04, 2022


Years ago, I had the pleasure of talking to a wonderful lady who had a snack van specialised in doughnuts; and one of the things I still carry with me from that conversation is the question, "If the doughnut is not messy, then is it really enjoyable?" And frankly, there is a lot of truth in that simple line.
How much do we emphasise perfection at the cost of simple pleasures? How much value is placed on perfection over the enjoyment in food itself?
I am not a perfectionist in any way, I believe in happiness and progress over anything else; and that is reflected in everything I create. And these little fudge beauties are the perfect example of a wonderful treat that is effortless to prepare, deeply chocolate, and abundantly glazed. Just as any doughnut should be.
You can enjoy them while the glaze is still soft, almost resembling fudge sauce, or you can let the glaze set completely before serving. Either way, they are fantastic with a glass of cold milk of your choice, or an espresso, of course.

For the brownie doughnuts
180 millilitres soy milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
40 millilitres oil
small pinch of salt
125 grams plain flour
20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
120 grams light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For brushing the pans
30 grams vegan block butter, softened
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
For the fudge chocolate glaze
100 grams dark chocolate (70%)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
lustre dust, optional

To make the doughnuts, combine the soy milk, vinegar, salt, and oil in a medium bowl. Whisk it very well, and set it aside for about 15 minutes. The milk will curdle slightly, resembling buttermilk.
Take a separate large bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the cocoa powder, and whisk them very well together. Add in the sugar, and whisk again. Pour in the soy milk and vinegar mixture over the dry ingredients, add in the vanilla, and mix until combined.
Take two medium 6-hole doughnut pans and brush them liberally with softened vegan butter, and then dust with cocoa powder. This will help the doughnuts release after baking.
Transfer the batter to a large piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe the batter into each doughnut hole. Tap the pans on the counter to pop any air bubbles, and bake them in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 10 minutes.
As ovens bake differently, make sure you check them for doneness early, either by inserting a toothpick into the centre or by carefully, lightly touching the surface, to see if it springs back. Once baked, let them cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, and then remove them to wire racks to cool down completely.
Once they are cool to the touch, melt the dark chocolate and the oil, either over low heat or in the microwave, making sure the mixture is blended very well. Add in the lustre dust, if using, and blend once again. An immersion blender can be very helpful at this point.
Start mixing the chocolate as it cools down, and as soon as it starts to gently thicken up, as soon as it can coat the back of a spoon, either dip each doughnut into the glaze, or pour the glaze over the doughnuts, and let it set. Serve immediately. Yields 12 doughnuts.