VooDoo Donuts: Countdown To Halloween

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on October 19, 2012

I never celebrated Halloween until my family moved to the USA from Australia in the 70’s, and for a young kid, it’s just another way to be happy and carefree. After all, isn’t that  what being a kid is all about? It’s caught on now in recent years in Australia, but I’m shocked that this fun celebration took so long for them to embrace.

Halloween is actually a spinoff of the Celtic celebration observed in both Scotland and Ireland called Samhain, a pagan celebration honoring the dead and since Australia is a country full of immigrants with a great majority of them coming from Ireland, I’m surprised that it took so long to catch on!  I went to school with lots of people with names like Doyle, Flaherty, Haggerty, Collins, Healy, Williams, Potts…

Well, you get the drift…

Samhain is the time between the end of Summer and the end of the Fall, when it is believed that the natural and supernatural worlds collide allowing magical things to happen.

It was believed that when someone died, their souls roamed the earth until it was time for them to move on. During this time they revisited their homes and took revenge on their enemies, and October 31st known as All Hallows Eve, was believed to be an especially dangerous time. On this particular evening, which is the eve right before All Saints Day (November 1st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd), these vengeful spirits had one last chance to wreak havoc on the living before finally moving on. To avoid being recognized by these roaming souls, Christians would wear masks and costumes to disguise themselves.

Halloween is one of my favorite celebrations and I’m a sucker for a good scary movie which more often than not, turns into a marathon of scary movies with friends and family…

Of course I always like to make lots of goodies for this fun celebration, and one thing I really wanted to make this year was a VooDoo doughnut. I was inspired to re-create this after a donut store in Portland actually called themselves Voodoo Doughnut and created a donut voodoo doll as their namesake product.

These are just too cute and I just HAD to make them this year…

Since I’m not anywhere near Portland, I had to create a great recipe so that I could enjoy one of these little morsels as I begin to count down the days to Halloween. I used my tried and true rich donut recipe but I made a few changes. In order to get a really fluffy texture for the dough, I used twice the amount of yeast. I also added oil instead of butter and I used more water than milk. Oil acts as a conditioner and allows the dough to remain pliable, which is what you want for a classic yeast donut. This should be more light and fluffy and not as rich as other donuts I have made.    

Like any other yeast product, this is very susceptible to moisture in the environment. So if it’s warm and dry, you may need to add a little extra water…if it’s rainy and wet, you may need to add a little less. The quantity of water is an approximation, so make sure to use your judgment when preparing the dough. The final result should be pliable but not sticky. 

So go and make a couple of VooDoo donut dolls and put a spell on someone you secretly love…I guarantee that if they’re not madly in love with you now…spell or no spell… they will be crazy for you after eating one of these donuts.

VooDoo Donuts

2 tablespoons yeast (1 oz)

4 ½ cups flour

2 teaspoon salt

½ cup sugar

1/3 cup oil

3 yolks, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1¼ cup water, warm

½ cup milk, warm

2 tablespoons vegetable oil for bowl

Jam or custard of your choice

Sugar to roll in

Add the yeast, warm water, milk, oil and egg yolks to the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk until everything is well combined. Add all of the flour to the bowl along with the sugar, salt and using your paddle attachment begin mixing the dough until it comes together and begins to pull away from the bowl. If you need to add a little more flours, add a little at a time. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead a little more on a lightly floured surface. Add the oil to a large bowl and make sure the entire inside of the bowl is well coated. Add the dough to the bowl, swirl around the bowl and make sure that the dough is well coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and several tea towels and allow it to double in size, about 30 minutes to an hour depending on how warm your environment is.

Once proofed, deflate the dough and roll out into a rectangle. Cut out rectangular shapes and make a few slits to create the head and the hands.

Place all of the cut outs onto a paper lined tray and cover with plastic to proof again for about 20 minutes before frying. When the dough is ready to fry, heat oil to about 350°F and add a few pieces of dough into the oil at a time and fry them until golden brown on both sides. Once the donuts have been fried, prepare the chocolate milk sugar glaze. Once they have cooled, fill a piping bag with your choice of jam and fill each donut. Then prepare the chocolate glaze and dip each donut in the glaze. Pipe on the eyes with some of the glaze or you can use a gel that you purchase from the cake isle at the store.  I used maraschino cherries and cut out little hearts which is a really cute addition…place them on the chocolate glaze once you have dipped them so that the icing dries with the heart in place.

Chocolate Milk Sugar Glaze

1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted

½ cup cocoa powder, sifted

5 teaspoons whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl along with the cocoa powder, add the vanilla and then a little milk at a time until the glaze is smooth and has no lumps. If you would like to make vanilla glaze to color separately, simply replace the cocoa powder above with powdered sugar, then color the vanilla icing into additional colors to decorate your VooDoo donut.

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