I've been craving donuts in a major way just about every single weekend for the last month. We live within walking distance of two Dunkin' Donuts (they're seriously everywhere up here), so it wasn't helping that I have to drive by them every time I leave the house. I talked myself out of stopping on so many occasions.
Finally I made a deal with myself - if you make them yourself, you can have donuts. I do this a lot actually when I'm craving sweets. It's a test of just how strong the craving is, do I *really* want to get in the kitchen and spend the time to bake? And even when the answer is yes, I rarely eat as much of whatever it is I've made as I would if I'd gone out and bought it. Totally weird, or do you guys ever do that too?
I took a shortcut with these baked donuts. A yeasted version - fried and topped with a rich chocolate glaze - would have been awesome, but I had neither the time nor, more importantly, the motivation to make it happen. And truthfully, I really like baked donuts. I know there are those who say they're not real donuts, but they always satisfy my craving and from start to finish they take less than 30 minutes. How can that be a bad thing?
These chocolate donuts are super tender, and definitely not short on chocolate flavor, especially with the glaze on top. I went with a thin ganache-like glaze so as not to overwhelm the donuts, and they wound up absorbing a little bit of it, which I loved. You could definitely do a thicker, more frosting-like topping if you'd rather. Just don't forget the sprinkles, whatever you do :)
Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Glaze
donuts from Shugary Sweets, glaze from Baking Illustrated
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup half and half
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray two donut pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium measuring cup, whisk the milk, eggs, vanilla and butter until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix just until uniform.
Transfer the batter to a large resealable plastic bag and cut one of the corners off. Fill each well of the pan about 3/4-full (you don't have to put the batter in a bag, I just think it makes it much easier and neater). Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until the donuts spring back when lightly pressed. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let the donuts cool for just a minute or two, then turn them out onto the racks to cool completely.
To make the glaze: Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl (make sure it's wide enough to dip the donuts in). Bring the half and half to a simmer in a small saucepan, then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for a minute, then whisk until the chocolate is melted. Add the confectioners' sugar and whisk until the glaze is smooth.
When the donuts are cool, dip one side of each into the glaze. Allow the excess to drip off, then place back on the wire racks (put a sheet of parchment or wax paper below the rack to catch any drips). Top the donuts with sprinkles, if desired. Let the glaze set before serving.
Makes about 10 donuts