Three belated doughnuts for National Doughnut Day

easy doughnut

This is probably the prettiest post I have done so far on The Glutton Diaries. I remember dipping the first doughnut into the blueberry glaze and thinking, “Yep, I’ve done it. I love my job.”

I made this post in honor of National Doughnut Day. I didn’t get the chance to head over to a local doughnut shop day-of, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I will admit that the base of this post is not a new idea. Want to know what the key ingredient was in this recipe? Pre-made biscuit dough. In case you guys have not already noticed, I am an avid fan of making simple food look fancy. I am also a fan of making semi-homemade food go the extra mile. In this case, biscuit dough is the most versatile ingredient I have ever worked with.

In the past I have steamed it for an easy steamed meat bun recipe, I have baked it into pizza, I have filled it with chocolate and rolled it in graham cracker crumbs for a s’mores ball, and I have wrapped it around a baked Scotch egg. I love that you can take such a neutral material and create so many things with it. So, when I wanted to make doughnuts, it did not take long to note that biscuit dough is a common cheat method.

The trend popularized on Pinterest. I saw that many people have taken pre-made dough and simply cut a hole in the center then fried it. However what I did notice was that people weren’t getting creative with their toppings. Almost all the pins I clicked on had the doughnut rolled in cinnamon sugar. While this is an easy (and awesome) way to go, I felt that it could get old easily. So, I fancied the method up a bit. In this post I will show you guys three options: fresh blueberry glaze (pictured in the collage below), chocolate ganache with a cookie crumble, and a simple half dip in chocolate with sprinkles.

While I know that these options are not as fast as a quick roll in sugar, I urge you guys to be taken in by the photography and give one of the options a go. Have a girl’s weekend soon? Make these! They are cheap and look fancier than they are.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can pre-made biscuit dough
  • enough oil to fill one inch of depth in a large frying pan (I used peanut oil)

Blueberry glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup mashed, fresh blueberries (you can also use frozen)
  • 2 tbs. water

Chocolate cookie crumble:

  • 3 tbs dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tbs cream
  • 1/2 cup crumbled graham crackers

Chocolate half-dip (this is to replicate the look of a black and white cookie)

  • 3 tbs dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tbs cream
  • sprinkles

Step 1: Using a 1 in. diameter circle cookie cutter, cut out the middles of the pre-made dough. While you are doing this, heat your oil in a large frying pan on high heat.

Step 2: Use a doughnut hole to test the temperature of the oil. When the air above the oil surface heats up, dip the edge of a doughnut hole into the oil. The area around the dough should immediately start to bubble rapidly. If it does not, set the dough aside and wait. If it does, start to gently drop your doughnuts in one at a time. Give them a nudge when they are in to make sure they do not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Step 3: Cook a couple minutes on each side. They should be golden brown and puffy before you flip. When the doughnuts are done, pull them out of the oil and have them cool on a cooling rack resting on top of a few sheets of paper towel.

Now on to the decorations:

Blueberry: Heat the mashed berries and water in a saucepan on high until it boils. Cook a couple minutes until the liquid thickens into a consistency similar to thin maple syrup. This cooking time will strengthen the flavors of the berry juice and develop more color.

Take 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid and pour it into the powdered sugar. You can pass it through a strainer first if there are a lot of chunks. Mix the sugar and juice vigorously. It will initially not look like enough liquid. However the more you mix, the more the sugar will dissolve into a thick, jewel-toned glaze. When you are ready, dip your doughnuts one-side-down into the glaze. Return them to the cooling rack glaze side up.

Chocolate/cookie: Microwave the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 20 seconds. Stir. Repeat. At this point, start heating the chocolate at 10 second intervals while stirring in between until everything is melted. Mix in the cream. Now you have your ganache (also known as truffle filling). Pour the cookie crumbs onto a small plate. Take a doughnut and dip one side into the ganache. Then, press it into the cookie crumbs. Return it to the cooling rack to set.

Chocolate half-dip: Repeat the ganache steps from above. Dip half the doughnut into the mix. This should look more like a black and white cookie in style. Set the doughnut back onto the cooling rack. Sprinkle the sprinkles (or any other topping you like) on top of the chocolate.

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Steamed banana bread

steamed banana bread

I stumbled upon a steamed banana bread recipe a few years back and I fell in love with it. Fluffy, mildly sweet and fruity, I liked that it reminded me of the steamed buns I liked in my childhood. Often there is a steamed alternative when it comes to Asian-style bread. In terms of my Vietnamese heritage, I always loved bánh bao, a steamed meat bun.

I have always been a fan of steamed bread. It’s a semi healthier option since it does not need as much fat and you will always have a really fluffy result. However since I have always had more of a sweet tooth, I always pulled the bread part of the bun away from the meat and snacked on it because it was so soft and had a subtle sweetness to it. That was the reminiscent texture and flavor I wanted when I sought out an alternative banana bread version.

Unfortunately I did not note the original recipe from that time a few years ago. However when I noticed a few ripe bananas on my countertop this week, I decided to give it another go. Fortunately, it was not hard to find another recipe that I could base this post off. You guys can see it here.

ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shopped walnuts (you can use more or less based on your preferences)

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Step 1: Assemble your ingredients while you start boiling 1/2 a pan of water. This recipe will use a bamboo steaming basket that rests over a large saucepan. (If you do not have a steamer, I would recommend filling the saucepan 1/3 of the way, then rest an inverted bowl in the center of the pan. Make sure the water does not touch the top of the raised surface. From there, you can steam the bread in a medium-sized pan that rests on top of the bowl.)

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Step 2: Mix mashed bananas, eggs, sugar, butter and water in a bowl until well combined. Add the flour and baking powder, then mix again. Add in the nuts and stir gently until just combined evenly.

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Step 3: If you want to be able to remove your bread out of the pans, grease and flour whatever you choose to cook your bread in. If you are going to steam the bread in cupcake liners or in individual mugs, you can skip this step.

Step 4: Fill the pans (I used mini copper ones) a little less than 3/4 of the way. Cover your steamer with its lid and cook 10-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (10 for mini ones, 20 for one large bread.)

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*Quick tip: Want a faster option? You can microwave this recipe. Simply pour the batter in a mug until it is half full and microwave for a minute or until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

No-churn chocolate cherry ice cream

chocolate cherry ice cream

So I can’t take full credit for this post. I have always wanted to master a good, easy method for ice-cream making. While the obvious route would be to buy an ice cream machine, I found that the one I had didn’t incorporate enough air into the cream and left me with an unmanageable block of ice. So, when I saw this technique in a Buzzfeed video, I knew I had to give it a shot.

Like the video says, this method is simple. All you need is a mixer (or a whisk if you don’t mind a lot of hand mixing). However what I will take credit for in this post is the flavor combination – which I must admit is one of my all-time favorites. I’ve always had a slight weakness for cherries mixed with amaretto. Cherry and almond go so well together. However, this recipe also mixes all the flavors and textures that make a good dessert. Creamy, crunchy, sweet, creamy.

Of course, you guys can switch out your flavor combinations. Not legal for the amaretto? You can sub in almond extract. Want more chocolate? You can mix cocoa into the whipped cream and then add the chocolate chunks. The only key here is that you use heavy whipping cream (compared to a less fatty whipping cream) or you will not get as stable of a mix for the freezer.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup pitted, chopped fresh cherries soaked in one shot of amaretto
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate

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Step 1: Whip whipping cream until you get stiff peaks. Start the mixer slow and slowly increase the speed to prevent splattering cream everywhere. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk, mix again until well combined.

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Step 2: Mix in the cherries, remaining cherry juice/amaretto and chocolate. Be careful to not over mix or you will deflate the ice cream base.

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Step 3: Pour mix into a dish. Cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap, making sure to have the plastic touch the surface of the cream. Tuck the plastic into the edges created between the cream and the edge of the dish, this will create a good seal that will prevent the surface of the cream from drying out or absorbing any smells lingering in your freezer. Freeze overnight.

 

Fresh mint tea with honey and orange blossom water

mint tea

I first thought of this recipe after looking back at old photos from when I was abroad last year. When I lived in Paris, my friend and I liked to go to this Middle Eastern café on the right bank because it was cheap and close to the Louvre. Almost every time we went, we shared a pot of their mint tea and a handful of rosewater tinged marzipan sweets. However, my favorite part of ordering their tea was how they served it. Before them, I had never tried orange blossom water before. However next to the tea pot, they kept an ornate dispenser that dripped a couple drops of orange blossom water into your tea if you wanted. Ever since then I have been obsessed with the stuff.

When I got home from school this summer, I found that my backyard had been overrun with fresh spearmint. Since it was going to have to be removed, I figured I would save some and make tea with it. It also gave me a chance to break out my nearly untouched bottle of orange blossom water.

*Quick tip, the flower water is very potent, so if you get your hands on some and plan to use it, be sparing with it or your tea will become perfume.

Don’t think you would like orange blossom water? No worries. This tea is perfect on its own or over ice. You could also mix it with other loose tea or fresh lemon zest. Now on to the recipe:

ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • honey to taste, around 1/4 cup to start
  • 1 to 2 drops orange blossom water per cup, add more to your choosing

Step 1: Place the mint in a tea pot then add the honey. Pour in the boiling water. Let steep for 3-5 minutes until the water is golden brown.

Step 2: Pour into your cup and add the orange blossom water. Again, be very careful with the stuff or you will get an overwhelmingly perfume-y tea. A drop or two will do it.

Blackberry cardamom clafoutis

cardamom berry clafoutis

Hello all! It’s been awhile. I got caught up with work, a bad case of strep throat and graduating from IU. Yes, that’s right. I am now an alumna of Indiana University. That’s kind of hard to believe.

However to celebrate my graduation, I thought I would return to one of my favorite desserts. This was a post I created at around the same time I featured a shake and bake blackberry clafoutis recipe at the Indiana Daily Student. It was one of my favorite videos and I loved the concept of having an easy clean up recipe.

This recipe adds a hint of cardamom that compliments that tart sweetness of blackberries. You can of course, not make this recipe in a jar. In fact, I have a traditional recipe that you can take the preparation steps from here. However if you want something that is fast and involves a quick clean up, give this recipe a shot.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 pinch ground cardamom
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries

Step 1: At the bottom of a greased baking dish, arrange the berries in an even, flat layer. Set aside.

Step 2: In a large jar, mix the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, stir well with a chopstick or long spoon until you have a thick paste. Then add the vanilla.

Step 3: Slowly add the milk into the jar while stirring. Twist the lid onto the jar and then give the mix a good shake for a few minutes until well combined.

Step 4: Pour the batter over the fruit into the baking dish. You can pour the mix over a strainer if there are remaining lumps. Place the baking dish in a 350 degree preheated oven and bake 20-30 minutes for a small dish like the one I used. 30-40 minutes for a larger dish.

cardamom berry clafoutis

Steamed mango pudding

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I thought of this recipe after making my udon egg custard recipe post. I loved how you could take only two ingredients and create a custard. Though I filled that dish with udon noodles and salmon, I wondered about how I could use that technique for a dessert.

Thinking of the instant mango puddings I often got at dim sum as a child, I thought to make a healthier alternative. This recipe can easily be made without any sugar if the mango is ripe enough (or if your pre-made mango juice is sweet enough).

The key to this recipe comes in two steps. First, you must run the un-cooked custard through a strainer to remove random egg bits and mango fibers. Second, this recipe does not taste good when warm. This has to be fully cold to be ready to serve.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mango juice. You can either grind your own or use pre-processed juice, but try to avoid bottled juice with too much added sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Optional: cream or coconut cream for topping

Step 1: Put a cloth towel on the bottom of a deep-depth frying pan. In a separate saucepan, boil enough water to fill the frying pan half-way.

Step 2: Crack the egg into a large mixing bowl. Run a fork through the egg whites to break them up. Then break the egg yolk and mix well.

Step 3: Add the mango juice and honey. Whisk well, then run the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer. Pour the remaining liquid into individual serving cups and then cover the filled cups securely with plastic wrap. Place the cups into the cloth-lined frying pan.

Step 4: Pour the boiling water into the frying pan – there should be enough water to cover the bottom 1/2 to 1/3 of the cups. Cover the pan with a lid and bring the pan to a rolling boil. When the water is fully boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook another 10-15 minutes. The pudding is done when the top of the custard is opaque and you can push a skewer into the custard and it is solid.

Step 5: Pull the custard cups out of the water and have them come to room temperature. Then when they are cool, but them in the fridge for a couple hours to become fully cold. Serve with a drizzle of cream and sesame seeds.

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mango pudding

 

Savoury udon egg custard

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I was inspired to make this recipe after going to eat at a soba noodle restaurant in Dallas. They had a dish in their small bites section that was so simple, yet delicious. The dish, called chawanmushi, is a steamed egg custard. The custard is dairy free and mixes egg with broth to create a light, savory appetizer or side dish. I took the basic idea from this dish, and taught myself how to make it through the Cooking with Dog Japanese cooking show channel on YouTube. (You can see their video for chawanmushi here and their recipe for udon egg custard here.)

This recipe is perfect for a spring meal as it is both warm and light. You will not feel overly full after eating this, so this would be an ideal late dinner or small lunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 package udon noodles, cooked
  • 2 cups dashi broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tomato, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 shitake mushroom, sliced with the stem removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small filet of grilled salmon, broken into chunks
  • drizzle sesame oil

Step 1: Put a cloth towel on the bottom of a deep-depth frying pan. In a separate saucepan, boil enough water to fill the frying pan half-way.

Step 2: Break up the egg whites with a fork. Then break the yolks and whisk the eggs until they are a homogeneous mixture.

Step 3: Mix the eggs with your broth. Stir well and then run the liquid through a strainer to ensure your mix is completely smooth when cooked.

Step 4: Put your udon noodles, vegetables and salmon into small bowls. Pour the egg liquid over the toppings and into individual serving cups and then top with a drizzle of sesame oil. Cover the bowls securely with plastic wrap. Place them into the cloth-lined frying pan.

Step 5: Pour the boiling water into the frying pan – there should be enough water to cover the bottom 1/2 to 1/3 of the bowls. Make sure that you are pouring around the bowls as to make sure that you do not dilute your egg mixture. Cover the pan with a lid and bring the pan to a rolling boil. When the water is fully boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook another 10-15 minutes. The custard is done when the top is opaque and you can push a skewer into the custard and it is solid.

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Egg-stuffed mushroom sandwich with avocado slaw

mushroom sandwich

After creating my quail egg-stuffed mushrooms recipe, I thought that I should super-size it so that it could be a meal option.

It is important that you toast your bread well so that any moisture from the mushroom does not soak through. The avocado slaw recipe is comes from a post I released earlier and is a healthier option to traditional coleslaw as the dressing is made mostly of avocado.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 1 portabella mushroom, stem and gills removed (the dark fiber-y part)
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons water for steaming
  • knob of butter for cooking
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • avacodo slaw

Step 1: Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium high. Add the mushroom, cap-side down. Cover the pan. Cook until mostly soft, adding water to the pan to steam and prevent from overcooking/burning.

Step 2: Add the egg into the mushroom cap. Add more water to the pan and cover. Cook until the egg white is cooked. The yolk should still be runny. Pull the pan from the heat.

Step 3: Stack the sandwich with the bread first, then the mushroom and then the slaw.

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Coleslaw with soy avocado dressing

avocado slaw

This will be a quick post. The inspiration for this recipe came from some food photography I did for the American Heart Association. I styled a kale salad with avocado dressing to accompany an article that urged people to eat more vegetables. I wanted to create a meal that was made almost entirely out of plants – which is where the avocado comes in.

Easily puréed into a smooth texture, avocado is an awesome main ingredient in my salad dressing. Crave the creaminess of ranch? Grind an avocado with a little oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper. However this time, I wanted to have something Asian-inspired. Sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar mix with avocado to create a tangy, creamy dressing that pairs well with crisp vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot

Step 1: Take the sliced onion and soak it in a bowl of water. This will reduce the sharpness of raw onion, making the flavor more mild. Massage it in the water with your hand until the liquid turns

Step 2: Scoop the avocado into a food processor. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and honey. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Step 3: Drain the water from the sliced onion, squeezing to ensure there is no excess liquid. Mix the onion with the cabbage and carrot. Add the dressing and mix to combine.

Butternut squash pasta with walnuts and gorgonzola

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Butternut squash is a cheap vegetable that can be used in a variety of recipes. Since it is naturally sweet, it needs to be balanced out with savory flavors so that it does not overpower your food.

This is a very delicate dish that is light in flavor. Steamed butternut squash is ground into a purée and added to a white sauce. This is what gives the pasta it’s bright yellow color. Similar in appearance and creaminess to macaroni and cheese, this is a great recipe for those looking for lighter pasta alternatives.

To add texture and a little tart saltiness, I top the pasta with roasted walnuts and melted Gorgonzola.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butternut squash purée (I made my own by steaming butternut squash cubes and blending them in the food processor)
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1/2 cup milk (flexible depending on how thick you want the sauce)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 box dry pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola crumbles
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Step 1: Cook the pasta to your preferred texture. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Melt the butter in a frying pan heated on high. Cook until it is bubbling – this will deepen the flavor, making the butter aromatic. Add the flour and stir well. Then add the milk slowly. The butter flour mixture will first thicken into a taste. Gradually add more milk in to thin the sauce out until the sauce is liquidy, but still shows the bottom of the pan in streaks when you stir. Then add the butternut squash purée. Mix well.

Step 3: Pour the sauce-coated pasta into an oiled baking dish. Top with gorgonzola and walnuts. Bake in a 350 degree heated oven until the cheese is melted. Top with fresh parsley.

 

pasta with butternut squash sauce

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