If you follow A Kimbo Cake on Facebook or Twitter, you will have seen my home baking exploits, as well as the decorated cakes I have done recently. And you may have noticed a gluten free turn in things, as one of my friends is gluten and dairy free, and I think it would be unfair for her to miss out on all the cakey goodness that so often finds its way in to my work place.
On the whole, my gluten free baking has gone well, although often not quite as expected. Being dairy free, with block stork and trex easy replacements is not quite as difficult, while getting used to the different texture of gluten free baking, and using xantham gum to try and avoid crumbling, and the range of different flours available is not as straight forward. Although tempted by many recipes and blogs to start buying fancier flour blends, I have stuck with Doves, which so far has worked really well (their recipe section is worth a look as well).
So while my friend gets by with cooking and baking herself, and the odd trip to gluten free friendly places like Loudens or Mimis, (phone them and they will make sure something gluten free is available) the one thing you apparently cannot buy in a gluten free form is doughnuts. Having been over a year since my friend had eaten a doughnut, we swiftly decided that we should attempt to bake them ourselves. Partly because it is fun, partly because with yeasted dough and deep fat frying, there was more potential for disaster, both baking and burning, so a second person seemed like a wise idea.
We followed a recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoe String – in part because the ingredients were mostly things we had. The dough came together pretty easily, although next time we would heat up, and cool, the milk in advance – we suspect we killed off some of the yeast by leaving it sitting in the mix of dry ingredients. They did still rise fairly well though, so we were reasonably hopeful for the frying stage.
However, neither of us has deep fried anything before – and the idea of hot scalding oil is pretty scary. However, with the thermometer, at least we knew the right temperature, and the fact it didn’t spit and sizzle as much as I thought it might was good too.
As advised we fried some bread first to dirty the oil – I think like making pancakes, the first one will be a dud, so the bread made the sacrifice. They cooked very quickly, so we managed to get through our selection of ring doughnuts, doughnut holes and to-be-filled doughnuts in good time.
We made the glaze, although decided that double dipping was the way to go, as the glaze is a really tasty part of a doughnut. For the filled doughnuts, they had a glace icing on top, and were filled with seedless raspberry jam. We had seen doughnuts being filled on TV and it actually is as easy as it looks -stick in piping nozzle and squeeze. I guess the filling will always find a way in.
And the verdict? Delicious doughnuts! They did have a typical doughnut texture, and I don’t think you would have guessed they were gluten (or dairy) free – but I think the best judgement was that my friends doughnut craving was well and truly satisfied. We did eat quite a lot, which turned out to be a good move despite the sugar crash – the second day doughnuts definitely suffered for it, so maybe freezing any extras would be a good move.