Last weekend did not only feature my udon noodle soup premiere, but also my first time ever for baking donuts. My daughter was going to a birthday party (actually two that weekend) and I always give something along, so that she has the option to eat something vegan. Now the (first) birthday boy in question had been announcing in class that there would be donuts at his party. With little time on my hands on a Saturday morning, I looked for the quickest donut recipe I could find. The first recipe (more or less) looked easy and tasty enough, but in the midst of making the batter I realized that donuts are supposed to be yeast-based, whereas this recipe contained baking powder. I had crossed the point of no return, so I just went ahead and fried the donuts. They were extremely dense and heavy, but my daughter was totally thrilled nonetheless at the prospect of getting 3 donuts (yes, I always tend to exaggerate). And a bit in tears at pick-up time that two boys had each taken one of her donuts (as it turned out, hers were ironically the only (wannabe) donuts at the party, where waffles and cupcakes were served), so that she was left with “only” one (it did count for at least two).
I quickly consoled her with the promise that I would be baking new ones the day after to take with us as a coffee table treat when visiting vegan friends. And even better ones this time. And so I did.
I found a recipe on a blog called Darth Vegan, and I decided to give them a try, despite one of the ingredients listed being coconut milk. There was the minor fear that the taste of coconut would be overpowering, but I decided to go for it anyhow. Looking back I certainly do not regret doing so! These were totally easy to make, the dough was a charm to handle, and the donuts tasted, well, like REAL donuts. Needless to say all vegan kids around the table were totally thrilled and devoured them in no time.
If it weren’t for all the fat (I fried them in coconut oil), I’d make a batch of these every week. But as it’s the plan to spend some of our summertime on Italian beaches, that wouldn’t be the best plan I guess. At least not when speaking for myself. So this will be just a once-in-a-while treat from now on.
Donuts (Darth Vegan style)
- 1 package dry yeast
- 2 TB lukewarm water
- 3/4 cup coconut milk (the kind I buy, the home brand of Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize, is very rich and creamy and hardly contains any liquid. Good value for money.)
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup applesauce (this is roughly the amount one apple yields; you can quickly make apple sauce in the microwave)
- 2 TB vegan butter or oil
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- Mix water and yeast and let sit for a couple of minutes until foamy.
- Take a large bowl and combine coconut milk, sugar, salt, applesauce, and oil/margarine.
- Add the foamy yeast/water mixture, the flour, and stir until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it’s to sticky.
- Let rise until doubled in volume.
- Roll out the dough to 2 cm thickness and cut out donut shapes (I used a glass and the piping piece of a piping bag for the centre).
- Let rest until doubled in size.
- Heat the oil in a pot. To test whether the oil is hot enough, test with a small piece of dough: if the oil is sizzling when you add the lump of dough, then it’s ok to start frying.
- Fry the donuts for 30-45 seconds on one side, until golden, then turn and fry them on the other side.
- When done, transfer to a plate lined with paper kitchen towels and let cool.
- Decorate them. (I decorated them with either a chocolate ganache (vegan chocolate + soy cream), partly with strawberry icing (half a strawberry mixed with icing sugar), and with vegan sprinkles).