Here is another item scratched off my kitchen bucket list– Donuts.
I’m not a huge fan of donuts. In fact, if I’m honest with myself (and you guys), I give a donut a 4.5 in my scale of favorite things to eat. And that is saying a lot, because donuts are basically fried dough, and seriously who does not like FRIED dough?
Anyone? Anyone? I thought so.
But one thing I did know is that I wanted to learn how to make them, so this weekend Gutsy Cooks menu line up called to make them in our technique week. Finding the right recipe to try was hard. We had three choices; Jelly Doughnuts from Croatia, Bomboloni from Italy and Sweet Potato donuts from Malaysia.
I keep going back and forth between the Italian Bomboloni and the Kuih Keria, the sweet potato donut from Malaysia.
On Saturday, I decided to make the sweet potato option for three reasons. One: I was not in the mood to deal with yeasted dough and wanted to make them fast. Two: I have always been a sucker when it comes to trying recipes from distant countries, especially if they are labeled “street food” fare. And three: Tom loves anything that has sweet potato as the main ingredient.
Since this was my first time making them, I did not deviate from the inspiration recipe. But, I could not help myself and did a bit of research. I could not find many differences from the process and the only ingredients that seem to be altered between recipes was the type of flours used. Some called for regular flour only, while others added tapioca flour as well. Another big difference was the type of sugar use to make the final syrup covering. Most of the recipes that I read up on used regular white sugar to give them their final sugar syrup coat. But, the street vendors used Gula Melaka (palm sugar) instead, giving the already golden color donut an extra dark, caramelized look. Eating Asia has a great post and stunning pictures of the whole making/cooking process.
The other trick was to use just enough flour to bind everything together – too much flour and your final results will be a stodgy keria.
Once I got all of my tips and ingredients together I set out on my Malaysian cooking adventure.
Another surprise came when I realized that I had tapioca flour which I could not, for the life of me, remember why I would have even had that in my pantry. But, there it was.
They were fast to make. Once you steam the sweet potatoes and cool them off, it’s all a matter of mixing in the flour and then forming. Then into hot oil they go to fry up until golden in color. Then you take them out, let them rest (and drain off the cooking oil) for a bit and then coat them in sugary syrup.
I’m not a huge sweet potato fan, so I was not sure if I was going to like them and while they had a different taste – not, that they were bad - they actually reminded me of the Italian potato gnocchi with a sweet taste profile. Tom on the other hand loved the. By the time I had finished cooking the first batch, he had eaten 4 (I made them a bit small).
This meant one thing for me: I was not having any donuts this weekend… or was I?