June 14, 2015
Chocolate doughnuts, filled with chocolate pastry cream, topped with a chocolate glaze and chocolate sprinkles or chocolate doughnut crumbs.
2 hrs 30 mins
2 hrs 50 mins
To Make the Chocolate Pastry Cream:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, cornstarch, and ¼ cup of sugar. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, remaining ¼ cup sugar, and salt. Heat the milk over a medium burner until it just starts to boil. Start whisking the egg mixture, and while you're whisking, drizzle a little hot milk into the eggs. Continue to whisk and drizzle until you've added about half of the milk. Switch to whisking them milk, then pour the eggs into the milk mixture while whisking.
Return the pan to the burner and heat the cream, whisking constantly. Use a rubber spatula to periodically scrape the bottom of the pan so it doesn't scorch. Cook until the pastry cream thickens and starts a very gentle bubbling, then cook for about 2 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the heat and add the melted chocolate, whisking it until it's incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Finally, add the vanilla extract and butter and whisk them in.
Pour the cream through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl. It will be somewhat thick, so use a spatula to help work it through, straining out any clumps of egg that have developed. Press a layer of cling wrap directly on top of the pastry cream, and refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 2 hours.
To Make the Chocolate Doughnuts:
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl, and mix together on low speed. Add the buttermilk, and once that's incorporated, add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing just until the flour streaks disappear. Stop the mixer and finish stirring by hand, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl well with a spatula. The mixture should have the texture of soft, sticky biscuit dough.
Flour a piece of parchment and pat the dough out into a layer about ½-inch thick. Slide it onto a baking sheet or cutting board and refrigerate it until it firms up enough to cut, about 30 minutes. The dough can be made in advance and kept wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator overnight.
Pour the oil into a pot so that it's at least 1.5 inches deep. Insert a candy/deep-fry thermometer and heat the oil over medium heat until it's 360 F. Cover a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. While you wait for the oil to heat, cut out the doughnuts. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut circles out of the dough, then cut a hole in the center. After you cut out as many as you can, re-roll the dough and cut out more doughnuts. You should get about 18 3-inch doughnuts from this batch.
Once the oil is hot enough, carefully slide 2-3 doughnuts into the hot oil (depending on the size of your pot—don't crowd them!). Fry them for about 2 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time, until they're puffed, a little cracked, and darker brown on both sides. Use a frying spatula or slotted spoon to transfer the doughnuts to the paper towel-covered tray. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts, keeping an eye on the thermometer often. If the oil gets too hot, turn the heat down or remove it briefly from the stove, and if it gets too cool, pause your frying until it has a chance to heat up again. If you want to cover the tops of the doughnuts with doughnut crumbs, fry up the scraps of dough that are left after you've cooked all of the doughnuts.
To Make the Glaze and Assemble:
Fit a piping bag with a round tip with a ¼-inch opening, and fill the bag with the chocolate pastry cream. Poke a hole in the top of a doughnut, and squeeze some cream into it. This won't distribute the cream all around the inside of the doughnut, so do this 3 or 4 more times, going around the top of the doughnut in evenly spaced intervals. Repeat until all of the doughnuts have a pastry cream filling.
To make the glaze, combine the butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in a small saucepan, and bring it to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Next, add the sifted powdered sugar—it is very important that the sugar is well-sifted, otherwise you'll have lumps in your glaze!
Dip a doughnut into the glaze, and let excess drip back into the bowl. Press the top of the doughnut into the bowl of doughnut crumbs, or into a bowl of chocolate sprinkles. Turn it right side-up and set it aside then repeat until all of the doughnuts are dipped and decorated. Let them sit for about 15 minutes until the glaze firms up, then enjoy!
For the Chocolate Pastry Cream:
For the Chocolate Doughnuts:
For the Chocolate Glaze: