Just as I opened the file "Beesting_donuts.docx", I knew that the introduction to this recipe would be about writing. And reading. But no matter how hard I tried to make the whole story sound cool or how often I rewrote the beginning, deleted everything and wrote it again, 'reading' as a hobby just sounds soooo... I don't know... boring.
I mean, terms like 'book worm' or 'bookshop rat' don't really help, right? By the way, the comparison of book lovers with rather unpopular animals isn't only an English feature. In German you'll find the corresponding 'Bücherwurm' or 'Leseratte', in Spanish speaking countries you'll meet a 'ratón de biblioteka' and in France it's'le rat de bibliothèque'.
Now, how on earth should I get people to read my post when it is about the lamest autograph book-hobby that you can think of? Especially as it would be a pity if you did not make it until the recipe of my new favorites: A bee sting cake in the costume of a donut. And by talking of costumes I did not intent to put you in mind of the upcoming carnival aka Mardi Gras aka Shrovetide ;)
Just a side note: If you talk about donuts in Germany, you always mean ring donuts. The filled ones are called 'Berliner'. Yes, just like the people living in the German capital city. But let's shift to reading again as I don't want you to think I'd try to cop out of writing about it! Quite the contrary: One of my favorite hobbies is reading ever since I have visited the first class of school. And yes, I have been brave enough to write that into every autograph book during school ;)
And as I've always loved reading all types of books, I've always admired authors. It must be so fantastic to write down stories that people actually read! A story that makes them to prefer reading over sleeping, makes them forget the world around themselves, makes them happy or even sad or just helps to relax? Yes, writing a book is something I'd absolutely love to do. Some day.
But now I will just wrap up warm on my sofa and continue to read my current book: 'The passage' from Justin Cronin. And I will eat - guess what - a bee sting donut. Or two. Trust me, I could even eat a whole lot more but unfortunately, two of them is all that's left ;)
For 15-18 donuts (Ø 10 cm)
400 g all-purpose flour
21 g baker's yeast
170 mL whole milk
45 g sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar
1 tsp salt
45 g butter
Vegetable oil for frying
250 ml whole milk
25 g sugar
1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
3 heaping teaspoons of corn starch
15 g butter
Pulp of a half vanilla bean
100 g flaked almonds
40 g sugar
50 g cream
1 sachetvanilla sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp butter
Some powdered sugar for decoration
Piping bag with filler tube nozzle
Round cookie cutter, Ø 9 cm
Deep-fryer or big saucepan
In the latter case, a thermometer with a measurement range of up to 200 °C might be helpful. You can also use a wooden stick, e.g. a wooden spoon, to know when the oil is ready for frying.
Heat milk to 37 °C. Whisk together crumbled yeast, a cup of warm milk and a tablespoon of sugar and let stand for 5 minutes. In the meantime, lightly beat the egg in a small cup, and melt the butter in a small saucepan. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, the remaining milk, salt, and the remaining sugar. Knead until smooth and elastic. Add some more flour or milk if necessary. Cover bowl and set in a warm place for 1 hour.
Roll the dough out onto a lightly-floured counter top to 2 cm thickness. Cut with a cookie cutter, cover loosely with a clean dish towel, and let donuts sit to rise for another hour. In the meantime, prepare the filling.
Whisk together sugar, powdered sugar and corn starch with 50 ml of the milk in a small cup. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean. Pour remaining milk and vanilla seeds into a small saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring continuously. Remove from heat and stir in dissolved corn starch. Let simmer over medium heat for two minutes (do not forget to stir!). Remove from heat again and add the butter. Let it melt for a couple of minutes, then stir pudding until smooth. Prevent skin formation by pressing plastic wrap directly against the surface.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or a big saucepan to 165-175 °C. If you have neither a deep-fryer nor a thermometer, use a wooden skewer to know when the oil is ready for frying: If it bubbles around the skewer, it is ready. Slide donuts into the hot oil using a scooping iron or similar. Fry donuts on both sides until golden brown. Remove from hot oil and let them drain on a wire rack.
Fill every donut with as much pudding as possible, using a piping bag with filler tube nozzle. Let cool on a wire rack.
In a frying pan, heat all ingredients of the topping but the flaked almonds until the sugar is dissolved. Add almonds, bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat. Stir until the sugar caramelizes and turns golden brown. Immediately spread caramelized almonds on donuts. I recommend to hurry up with that part as the almond mixture hardens pretty quickly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy :)
Note: Store donuts in a box that is not completely airtight. They taste best when fresh but are still tasty on the next day. As they are delicious as hell, they won't survive another day anyway :)