A tender, yeasted and enriched but not-so-sweet cocoa dough is fried into mini donut shapes. It’s topped with a silky chocolate glaze and finished with flaked sea salt. Don’t skip the glaze, it’s what brings these donuts to a definite chocolate home run.
First there was a cocoa dough made for a double chocolate babka, the dough made it’s way into this marbled loaf and the these pinwheel donut shapes (also some cinnamon like rolls but we’ll talk about that later). I then experimented with frying my basic bread dough and found my way to these glorious buttermilk donuts. So you know, these were just waiting to happen.
Process is pretty simple: make an enriched dough in a stand mixer (or if you’ve got the arm muscle, knead by hand), let it rise overnight. In the morning, roll it out and cut donut shapes. Let them come to room temperature then rise until poofy and quite delicate. Heat your frying oil and fry the donuts. Once cool, make a glaze and dip or slather them in it. Top with sea salt. Ask yourself, where have you little donuts been my whole life?
Double Chocolate Donuts
Makes: 24 mini donuts. Takes: 1 1/2 hour active time, plus overnight and an additional rest
- If you are in a rush, or just want to do the whole thing the day of, let the first rise be at room temperature, until the dough has doubled in size.
- For frying, I use a deep dutch oven and a laser thermometer. With the dough being quite dark (especially if you add black cocoa) will make it difficult to tell when they are ‘golden brown’ – standard speak for when donuts are done. I say in the instructions to cook them for a few minutes on each side. Fry one or two and see if you need to modify the time. If you find them underdone an option is to heat the oven to 350 and let the donuts finish cooking in there – just about 5 minutes is enough.
- Option to make them even darker: substitute 1/8 cup of the dutch process cocoa for black cocoa.
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 package rapid rise yeast
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 eggs, plus 1 yolk at room temperature (reserve white for egg wash)
- 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup dutch process cocoa, sifted if lumpy
- 450g bread flour (about 3 ¾ cups)
- oil for frying
- ½ cup chopped chocolate
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon corn syrup
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
- Flaked sea salt for topping
The day before you want to serve (read: eat) the donuts, make the dough.
In the bowl of your stand mixer mix the yeast, milk and sugar. Let it be until the mixture is foamy.
Add your eggs, honey, vanilla and butter and whisk to combine.
Add the cocoa, flour, salt and knead with the dough hook for about 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky and soft. Place it in an oiled bowl and turn it a few times to cover it with the oil. Set it in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Turn cold dough onto a well floured surface. Cover the dough in a thin layer of flour.
Roll it out to ½ an inch thickness.
Use donut cutter (or a biscuit cutter and a piping tip) to punch out mini donut shapes. Place the donuts on the parchment and set aside in a warm place to rise.
After about an hour or more the dough should be room temperature and slightly puffy.
Heat a dutch oven or deep pot filled with oil (the oil it should reach ⅔ of the pan’s height) to 375 F.
Line plates or cookie sheets with paper towels.
Carefully place donuts into the oil. Don’t fry more than 4 at a time.
Using a metal spatula, fry the donuts for a few minutes on each side. Place the donuts on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Once cool, make the glaze by melting the chocolate and butter together. Add the corn syrup and heavy cream and stir to combine.
Dip the donuts face down in the glaze. Once the topping has firmed up a bit, sprinkle with flaked sea salt.