Yesterday was Aunt Freda's birthday. (In the interest of sensitivity, I won't mention which one!) I had thought I had missed her birthday but discovered when I dropped in to see her on Thursday that her birthday was actually Friday, so I began thinking of things I could do for her birthday. She and Uncle Johnny have both lost a lot of weight so a highly frosted very sweet cake, which had been my first thought, seemed, in retrospect, not such a nice gift.
Continuing the thought process it occurred to me that I have a very nice, not too sweet, apple walnut cake recipe. (It might also have cranberries in it, but I will have to check before staking my life on that fact.) If I was going to make that cake for Aunt Freda, in decency I should not make a huge cake, so I began thinking of what I had for small cake pans. Well, I have some six-inch round, square, and heart-shaped pans but they are not very interesting.
I began to think about King Arthur Flour Store and the lovely pans they have. I seemed to remember a small bundt pan there in the past when I have just dropped in to browse their many, mostly expensive, lovely kitchen items...so, in the interest of saving time, etc. I went to their website and the first thing that caught my eye was a donut pan. I had seen that multiple times before and just sneered at it as a waste of money and effort due to imagined yucky donutty things that would be turned out from the pan. Be that as it may, it seemed like this might be just the pan for the apple walnut (perhaps cranberry) cake. I could make a panful of small cakes and give Aunt Freda four of them, so they could eat two, and if they were delicious and not destined for the compost bin, she could freeze two for another time.
There was a fairly large list of things to do "downtown" on Friday but I added King Arthur Flour to the list, with the thought it would probably not be until Monday or later that I would stop in, since I was already in the "belated birthday greetings" timeframe. Store-hopping was to follow the annual mammo appt. As I was walking away from the mammography area afterwards I happened upon a lady in the blood laboratory area who was knitting. I stopped to ask her what she was knitting and we fell to talking. Long story short, she gave me her card having told me about a knitting group that has met weekly in Bradford, Vermont for twelve years now on, get this, Friday afternoons! She told me the group was going to knit a sheep for felting. That sounded like something I really would like to do! It was presently about 11:30 AM. She told me they were meeting today at the Bradford Library in the afternoon.
My juices started roiling and I tried to figure out how to get to the library. I had my "Grace's Sweater Bag" in the car because I wanted to stop in so Alissa could try it on. I thought that would give me a hint as to whether the yoke was progressing properly, or whether I should rip it out and start again, not something I was really looking forward to doing.
The hardware stores and car dealership I went to for an oil filter (Dennis, the salesmanager, told me not to get an oil filter; that he had a perfect BRAND NEW CAR just perfect for me...only take a few minutes to show me. Right.) took a little more time than I had hoped and the clock kept rolling around. I had found on the internet from the hospital the telephone number for the Bradford Library and discovered that the knitting group began at 1 PM. It was after 12:30 when I pulled into Jonathan and Alissa's house, BUT the car was gone so I assumed Alissa was not home and just flew on by.
By the time I was driving to Wilder where Jonathan and family live, I had decided that I could not stop at King Arthur Flour store, however, when I didn't have to stop in Wilder, and as I was going to be driving right by KAF, I decided to stop in. Right in the front of the store was a little display of donut pans! Rather than disturb that nice display I found a pan on a shelf, grabbed it, and headed to the checkout....then flew up the interstate to Bradford, arriving at 1:30.
I was not the last to arrive at the knitting group, and eventually found that I needed to have a copy of the directions myself as I kept getting confused as the leader would repeat the directions multiple times due to multiple knitting skill levels within the group and I did too many wrap and turns or M1, K2's or whatever. I left at 3 PM with a copy of the directions and a plan to purchase the original directions from a yarn store soon...as I already have my copy. I will start again when I am quietly sitting in my knitting chair.
So, back to the donut pan. It is Saturday morning and Bob is at his computer, busy, but always agreeable to something interesting to eat. Like any good wifey, I decided to try out the pan on him. I made the chocolate cake donuts, with a few changes. For one thing, I failed to notice that there were supposed to be TWO eggs instead of one egg. Also, I more or less combined the directions from the pan band recipes and the handout recipe from KAF. I used 3 tablespoons of melted butter instead of the two called for in the chocolate donut recipe.
So, here is a picture of the pan and some of the donuts. The way I made the donuts, there were 8, but the last two had more batter per "donut hole" and were prettier. I think the recipe is meant to make one panful of six donuts so I will make that happen next time. I asked Bob if they were edible and he said nodded his head after eating two of them, though he refused more when offered.
Here are the recipes (please note the "All rights reserved" at the bottom of the KAF recipe and don't try to sell the recipe to someone else...):
Chocolate Cake Donuts
1-1/2 cups (355ml) flour
1 3 cup (80mI) unsweetened "baking cocoa
1 teaspoon (3ml) baking powder
1/8 teaspoon (.65ml) salt
2/3 cup (160ml) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (120mI) milk
2 tablespoons (130ml) butter, melted
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons (30ml) HOT water
Preheat oven to 325.F. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl mix eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick. Combine milk and butter. Alternately combine egg mixture and milk mixture with flour mixture and mix until smooth and soft. Spray pan lightly with cooking oil. Fill with batter 2/3 full. Bake 8 minutes. Cool. Carefully , remove. Repeat with rest of batter. Frost or glaze.
2 cups (475ml) flour
3/4 cup (180mI) sugar
2 teaspoons (10mI) baking powder
1 teaspoon (3ml) salt
1 tablespoon (15ml) butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup (180ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla
1/4 teaspoon (1.25ml) nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon (1.25mI) cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325.F. Spray donut pan with cooking oil. In bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Add butter, eggs, milk, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Beat until well blended. Fill each Donut Hole 2/3 full. Bake 8 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool. Remove from donut pan and dip into glaze. Decorate with sprinkles, nuts, shaved chocolate or coconut. Donuts may also be dipped into cinnamon and sugar instead of the glaze. When the pan has cooled, wipe clean with cloth or paper towel and repeat process. Yields approximately 36 mini donuts.
A recipe for your Doughnut Pan
The Baker's Catalogue, Inc. 58 Billings Farm Road White River Junction, VT 05001
Baked, not fried? You bet! You’ll scarcely be able to tell these from "the real thing, " especially if you frost or sugar them when they're done.
1 cup (4 ounces) Round Table Unbleached Pastry flour or 7/8 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (the pastry flour will make a more tender doughnut)
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons (1 ounce) dried buttermilk powder*
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
*If you don't have buttermilk powder on hand, substitute 2 tablespoons buttermilk or yogurt for the water.
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, oil and water ( or buttermilk or yogurt) until foamy. Pour the liquid ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Butter or grease the doughnut pan; non-stick pan spray works well here. Note: even though the pan is non-stick, since the doughnuts are low-fat they may stick unless you grease the pan first. Fill each doughnut form half full.
Bake the doughnuts in a preheated 375'F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. When done, they'll spring back when touched lightly, and will be quite brown on the top. Remove the doughnuts from the oven, remove them from tile pan, and allow them to cool on rack. Glaze with icing, or coat with cinnamon-sugar or any non-melting sugar. Yield: 6 doughnuts.
©2007 The Baker's Catalogue, Inc. All Rights Reserved.