“Donuts – An excuse to eat cake for breakfast!” For those days when you need something so sinful that you *almost* feel guilty about eating it…. ALMOST. These Chocolate Chunk Donuts with Fudgy Ganache Glaze should be illegal they are so good!
So did you ever get this idea in your head about something you want that no matter what you make, if it’s not that vision of what you have in your head, you’re not satisfied? Being a food blogger/chef, that happens to me often. I get this image in my head of “Hey this combination would ROCK” and I don’t stop until I make it and get it right. I’ve actually woken up from a sound sleep from a dream about food and either have grabbed my notepad that I keep next to my bed to write down the “recipe” from my dream or I’ll go out to the kitchen and make it. Yes, in the middle of the night…in my pajamas…with witchypooh medusa hair. LOL
I’ve actually had several recipes that I’ve posted that are results of dreams I had. It’s a curse and a blessing to be honest. My mind never stops to be honest. I dream every single night, in color and they are very vivid. Most are good but deep – very intricate, some scary and some odd. Most of the time it’s about every-day stuff (I take my work to bed with me) and there is always food in my dreams. The food may be in the background of the dream but it always sticks in my brain when I wake up. Well this donut was part of a dream.
The dream was around my doing some book tour for my cookbook (though in my dream I never actually saw the book or the contents but yet it was my book and I was doing food demos for it – wishful thinking!). Well in my dream I was in some diner in Georgia that was in even a more rural town than then one I live in. I was driving with my one girlfriend (Mr. Fantabulous was meeting us there) and some how we got lost. And since we were in the country, we didn’t get GPS/cell signal. It started to get late and we decided to find some place to stay.
We ended up finding this little house, set back off the road with this cute white picket fence (yeah I know, sounds like a Lifetime movie setting.. LOL). There were 2 elderly ladies sitting on the porch rocking in their chairs. As my friend and I got out of the car and walked up their walkway the one stood up and went inside while the other, still rocking in her chair, met us with a smile. My friend explained that were so lost and we needed to find a hotel for the night because it was getting dark and we didn’t want to drive in the dark.
The little lady just smiled and said that we were a good 50 miles from the city and that the next hotel was 40+ miles from where we were. She said that we could stay with them for the night if we wanted. As soon as she said that her friend came out of the house carrying a tray with 4 glasses of lemonade. (seriously, this was like a movie!) The woman, wearing a flour dusted apron wouldn’t take no for an answer. Oddly though we didn’t feel anything but “at home” there.
The next morning we were woken up with the most amazing smells – sizzling bacon, warm bread, muffins and chocolate. The smell of chocolate was so prevalent (I come to find out that Mr. Fantabulous was up around the time I must have been sleeping and he was eating a bunch of chocolate… coincidence perhaps?). Anyway, as we walked downstairs we were met with a smorgasbord of foods. All homemade, all made with love. These women sat us down and just talked with us – telling us their life stories. When they asked what we were doing so far from our route my girlfriend explained that I was this chef and author and was touring the country to give cooking demos. These women’s eyes just lit up. Immediately they handed me an apron, and said I had things to learn. They wanted to teach me southern cooking that had been in their family for generations. Apparently they didn’t have kids and had no one to pass their recipes on to.
My girlfriend grabbed the camera and took a million pictures (sadly they were only my dream…. ). These women spoke about lard like it was a gift from the God’s, how biscuits should be made and cut and so forth.
It was then during a break when we sat down did they make us tea and bring out a tray of chocolate covered donuts. These donuts were smaller in my dream but covered in the thickest, fudgiest glaze. I kept obsessing over those donuts in my dream and even though there were a bajillion foods in that dream, the donuts were the one thing that truly stuck with me. Now we had planned on leaving first thing that morning to get back on the road however we didn’t end up leaving that house until mid-afternoon. And those 2 ladies wouldn’t let us leave without a huge basket of goods we baked and jarred foods.
When I woke up that dream gave me almost a peaceful feeling. It was so real. Like even now as I’m writing this, it’s feels like one of those “this really happened” things even though I know it was just a dream. Who knows, maybe those ladies are out there, waiting for my dream to come true – to publish a book and tour the country having cooking demos. Maybe it’s one of those deja vu things? If that’s the case that would be awesome; truly.
Now anyone that knows me, knows I’m not a huge donut or doughnut lover. First, do you know the difference between a doughnut and a donut? In simplest terms, a doughnut is made with yeast and turned into a dough. It’s allowed to rise and then deep fried. Now you can bake the yeast doughnut butttttttttt it’s “odd”. It’s kind of like bread at that point. Donuts are made similar to a cake batter but it’s thicker. It has a different measurement of leavening in it and liquid. You simply can’t take cake batter and use them as donuts. They don’t turn out quite like a true cake donut.
Anyway as I was saying I’m not a huge donut fan. However this dream was so real and those donuts in my dream haunted me. No you don’t get it. Like for real! I was sitting in a meeting when I should have been paying attention only I wasn’t.. I was day dreaming at those donuts.
So what I found myself doing was thinking about that dream but concentrating on what it tasted like, the crumb – trying to extract as much dream detail as I could. Yeah I know, I’m grasping here but honestly that’s what I did. That’s kinda what I do. OMG you should see me when I go out to eat and I seriously love something. I will literally sit there in my own little world and pick apart that item until I know the crumb/texture/seasonings/flavors and then whip out my notebook (that I carry with me ALL THE TIME) and write it down. Weird, I know. lol
So when I had a few days off my only mission, other than not wearing real pants, was making these things. I had to make them come to life. I was borderline obsessed with them. I went through gosh, 4-5 batches of these before I finally found one that met that level of gloriousness I thought was worthy of what I had in my dream. Now the fudgy ganache glaze is a simple thing for – you have to remember Mr. Fantabulous LOVES this stuff. Like to the point is a law in my house that when I make it I must make 2 bowls of it – one for the dessert and one for him. Seriously the man loves that stuff so much.
The secret to getting that really glossy luscious ganache is adding just a trace bit of corn syrup or butter. I prefer the corn syrup over the butter but you can go with either. Additionally I have a few trade secrets when it comes to these donuts and for anything chocolate in particular.
For an incredible chocolate flavor use the following:
- Chocolate Extract (that means no, not vanilla but actual chocolate extract).
- Espresso Powder. Espresso powder amplifies the chocolate flavor so much. It doesn’t add a coffee flavor. Trust me I hate coffee but I swear by this stuff in chocolate desserts.
- In this recipe use Chocolate Callets instead of chocolate chips. Chocolate chips have additives to them to prevent them from truly melting when baked. Callets are pure chocolate. Trust me, you can taste the difference.
Sometimes I’ll re-dream a dream however I haven’t had that dream again. I keep hoping as it was such a comforting dream. Plus who knows, maybe I’ll “learn” some other recipes. And hey who knows maybe someone can invent some type of DVR that can record our dreams. For me, from a food standpoint, that would be awesome!
Yeah I know, I’m a dork but I’m a dork that just gave you one of the best cake donut recipes *wink* And you love me ♥! Now go make some donuts and put a smile on someone’s face!
- 1 cup plus 3 Tbl AP flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbl white sugar
- 1/3 cup Cocoa Rouge (If you do not have that just use unsweetened cocoa)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp Espresso Powder (you can omit if you don’t have but this amplifies the chocolate flavor
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 XL egg, room temperature
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp Chocolate Extract
- 1 cup Milk Chocolate Callets (can you chocolate chips)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 Tbl corn syrup (or can you 1 Tbl unsalted butter)
- Chocolate Curls
- Preheat the oven to 375, rack in the middle. Spray with baking spray (flour & oil) two 6-well donut cake pans and set aside. *Note: be sure to not only spray the wells but also the tops of the pans.
- In a bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together the sugar and egg until combined.
- Add in the milk, extract and oil; mixing until combined.
- With the mixer on low slowly add in the dry ingredients stopping to scrape down the sides just until incorporated. Some streaks of cocoa/flour is OK.
- Shut off the mixer and remove the paddle. Add in the chocolate callets and gently fold in scraping down the sides and bottom.
- Place the mixture into a piping bag (without the tip) and pipe into the donut wells to where they are 3/4ths full. I got 12 donuts out of mine. If you have extra, just chill the batter in the fridge until you have a free pan.
- Bake for 12-16 minutes, turning the pans half way, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the pan before carefully turning them out onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool.
- While the donuts are cooling make the ganache by place the chocolates in a glass bowl and heating the cream until it starts to bubble around the edges.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 5 minutes.
- Carefully with a rubber spatula (or a whisk) slowly stir until combined. To give it that glossy effect add in the corn syrup.
- Set the ganache aside to thicken slightly; it should be thin enough to dip a donut in but not so thin that it just runs off. You should be able to stick a spoon in it and have just a little bit dripping off.
- When the ganache is ready take one donut and dip half of it into the ganache slowly pulling up and swirling as you turn it over.
- Set the donuts on a cooling rack and continue dipping the rest.
- Adorn with sprinkles or chocolate curls.