Donuts or doughnuts? Who cares!! These ones have beer in them!! As a treat recently Daz and I trekked out to Healesville to visit the White Rabbit Brewery. There are two things that I really like about White rabbit beer. Firstly the White ale is one of my favs, very subtle, low on the bitterness and sweetend with honey....isnt everything better sweetened with honey? Secondly they have a very cute white rabbit on the logo, I base my drinking habbits on very important aspects.
These are some rabbits that I dont mind running over with my car.
After purchasing way too much beer for two people to consume, I contemplated using the beer to prepare a recipe. But what recipe? Beer Chicken....too cliché, beer battered fish....I’ll let the fish swim for another day. Then I channelled Homer Simpson and realised that Beer Doughnuts were the only way to go. As soon as I mentioned the idea to Daz, his eyes lit up...... “beer and doughnuts? But its not my birthday”. I did a quick Google search (where were we before the “don’t be evil” Google?) and came across this recipe.
Oh look, they've multiplied!!
Quick cross the road now while I distract this drive with my bare leg
What really appealed to me about this recipe is that the doughnuts are actually baked rather than deep fried, so in fact they are a healthier choice when doughnuts are concerned. So of course I made a couple of changes to the recipe, I can’t help it, I must always tinker with things. Once I made the batter it quickly became fluffy. I’ve never smelt the combination of nutmeg and beer before, and oddly I found it very appetizing, it instantly made me hungry! I half filled my pan and shove it in the oven. I followed the recipe and took them out before they began to colour.
They tasted pretty darn good, a tiny hint of yeasty beer and loads of nutmeg. They were really fluffy, with massive air pockets in the dough, in fact they were more cake like rather than doughnutty. I thought they really lacked the deep golden outer crust and I’m sad to admit I missed the greasy after taste you get from eating a regular doughnut.
I had some batter left over, so I made the decision to throw away my initial intentions to make a healthier doughnut and committed to deep frying the rest of the batter, I’ve always been the fickle type. First doughnut, disaster!! The batter was way too runny, it managed to turn into a fat pancake sucking up loads of the oil! Solution....I added a whole heap of flour to the rest of the batter. Heck, I didn’t have enough to make another oven baked doughnut so I might as well be a big kid and play with goop. Surprisingly, they turned out really well. They fluffed up exactly the same way as the oven baked doughnuts - resulting in crater sized air pockets. However, they still managed to soak up a lot of the oil. I would much prefer the oven baked version. Next time I’ll just let them cook for a lot longer and actually become golden brown. Screw you recipe, I will not listen to you!!
Beer Doughnuts (My tinkered version)
Prep time : 30 minutes
Makes 9 Doughnuts
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh ground is best)
1/4 teaspoon salt
60 mL buttermilk (at room temperature)
2 large eggs (at room temperature)
90 mL amber ale
4 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
1. Preheat oven to 170C. Grease a doughnut pan with a generous amount of butter.
2. Melt butter and let cool. Sift all dry ingredients together into large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter and beer until well-blended. Pour the liquid blend into the dry ingredients all at once, and mix just until blended (do not overmix, or the doughnuts will be tough).
3. Fill each doughnut form half full. Bake in the preheated oven in the middle rack for 9-12 minutes. The doughnuts should not be browned on top. Remove pan from oven, let cool for a minute, remove from pan and roll in castor sugar.