Doughnuts and Milkshakes
May 12th, 2010 by

Star Anise Doughnuts filled with Orange Cream and served with a Malted Milkshake


This week started out with a very different plan for Sunday Supper, but when Saturday arrived, the plate hadn’t moved from “interesting” idea into stellar reality and so the idea had to be benched. At that point getting something delicious made was far more important than being innovative or gastronomically original. Making doughnuts seemed an easy back-up plan because they are a people pleaser and can be fried off early and reheated to order. I tried to make them a little more interesting with the flavorings. (For those of you who have never eaten star anise (floral, licorice flavor) and orange together then you should try it in some form. When the intensity of each is right, it tastes a bit like a fireworks display in your mouth.) No problem, all the components can be made the same day and are not technically challenging; therefore, this should be something I could easily throw together on Sunday in time for the servers’ tasting at 5:30.

I hope that everybody who reads this enjoys train wreck stories because I am not looking forward to when summer really hits NYC because nothing is easy in a hundred degree kitchen. It wasn’t until 3 pm on Sunday that I began to put together the doughnut dough. Doughnuts are an enriched dough, enriched with both butter and milk, which means that one must always be vigilant to ensure proper incorporation. Unfortunately, it was a hot day and the kitchen was stifling.¬† I couldn’t get the butter into the dough properly;¬† instead of smushing into the dough, the butter was melting, making the dough impossibly sticky. I will admit to 2 minutes of panic during which I wondered what my back-up plan to my back-up plan was before I picked up the entire mixer, grabbed extra all-purpose flour and moved into the manager’s office, which has an air conditioner. Eventually I got the dough to cooperate¬† but not before I added as much extra flour as I dared and frustrated the rest of the kitchen staff by cutting the doughnuts in the walk-in.

All is well that ends well, right? The doughnuts were delicious, light and fluffy. The flavoring was everything I could have asked of it and was well complemented by the malted milkshake. It may not be the most beautiful or innovative dessert but as far as I am concerned: I’m glad it was a people pleaser.

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