Boston cream doughnuts (yes, really)

These doughnuts were not made by normal Hilary. No, rather, they were made by that possessed-with-patience Hilary that somehow sees spending hours making miniature doughnuts as a natural continuation of her post-workday Wednesday. Before you get all excited about making these, you must know that homemade doughnuts are truly a labour of love (a grade above the insanity it takes to make homemade perogies, even). At least six hours from start to finish, folks. Not all preparation time, I should say, but a rising time with the yeast dough that makes you feel as though you are watching Father Time play a game of bocce ball before engaging in a chess marathon. You have been warned.

Confession: these doughnuts involve a partial sneaky snarkiness. They are a tiny expression of distaste over my parents’ decision to go to Boston (one of my top three near-future dream trip destinations) this week and leaving me behind. Over the past two years, I have hypothetically planned enough Boston adventures of my own to be extremely jealous. In the meantime, I brought Boston home. Eat your heart out, beautiful city.

(I am quite positive my parents will be taking a picture of Boston cream pie for me, and perhaps I’ll paste that photo right here once they return)

AN ADVENTURE IN DEEP-FRYING
For those who don’t know, I played in a recreational baseball league this summer. This is only relevant because the story that follows took place at our final post-baseball game party at our coach Nat’s house. Remember Nat? She’s the one that’s starting Sudbury’s first gourmet food truck and has therefore propelled herself to the top of my Ultimate Cool Person list.

Anyways, this party was not your traditional beer-drinking and barbeque. Yes, the evening did involve both these things (perhaps a tad too much of one), but it also involved another aspect: deep fried food…items like risotto balls that Nat had hand-shaped into careful spheres and tossed in a panko bread crumb mixture to form an irresistible shell. The hot-oil treats didn’t stop there – soon we were deep frying two-bite brownies, strawberries, and cheese. It was gloriously indulgent and made us giggle.

Deep fried brownies, Nat frying the risotto balls

What I’m getting at here is that I’ve had the urge to do my own deep frying ever since attending this party. I know that is the most diabetic desire ever, but I can’t help myself! Something about dropping things in hot oil and watching as the bubbles shoot out the sides just really gets me.

So these doughnuts were deep fried.

A few notes on that: it is probably not best to try deep frying things for the first time when you’re home alone and it is 12:55 a.m. It is especially not good when the person doing said deep frying has an irrationally large fear of oil-inflicted fires, a sense of alarm caused by too many university roommate mishaps and childhood hours watching Smokey Bear commercials.

At one point a bit of oil slopped over the side of the pan, and I, pardon my French, almost shit myself. I ran for the fire extinguisher, and recited out loud everything I’ve ever been told about how you should never try and extinguish an oil fire with water. Good news. I made it through the process and am still alive to tell the tale.
Putting the dough in doughnuts (pre-frying)
Now (this was written Wednesday night) the kitchen smells like the back room of a fast food joint…the smell of deep fried dough lingering in the air with just the right amount of sleeziness to make me feel as though I’m operating a cheap, 24-hour motel. It reminds me of the time I was trained to work at a Beavertails shack on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa…the deep fryers burning and bubbling, emitting the scent of oil and overcooked dough into the small room. Luckily that job never came to fruition and my winter jacket quickly released the smell of deep fried everything.
With these doughnuts, the deep frying was just part of the fun. Next came the filling.
The original recipe asked that I use “a long, plain pastry tip to poke a hole through the midline of each doughnut.” I do not own a pastry tip, nevertheless a long one. Devoid of anything that even resembled a pastry tip or bag, I did what any classy, macgyvering girl would do – I used a wine corkscrew to poke holes in the doughnuts (yes, under all normal circumstances, a proper corkscrew would be the ladylike thing to use…unlike former encounters with wine opening, which have involved knives, screwdrivers and an attempt involving a brick wall and a running shoe).
Once all was said and done, these were delicious. My Ziploc bag pastry cream piping method ended up working perfectly and the glaze was great (I just polished the leftover chocolate off my whisk).
The final product is worth the effort, if you have the time. Turns out journalists love doughnuts, who would have thought?
Disregard the half eaten doughnut, please.
Oozing, in the best possible way
Recipe: Boston cream doughnuts
From Simple and Homemade – I copied it basically word-for-word, and credit should be given where credit is due. It’s a wonderful recipe!
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