Introduction: Cockroach Donuts (Boston Cream)
First Prize in the
Halloween Contest 2017
Give your guests the creeps with these donuts disguised as cockroaches! But they won't be creeped out for long once guests dig their teeth into the mouthwatering chocolate glaze, soft and chewy caramel shell, and into the deliciously oozing vanilla bean Boston cream. And if you're expecting cockroaches would have some crunch, these donuts do not disappoint -- the antennae and legs are all made from thin, crispy fried strips of donut dough.
I'll show you how fun and straightforward they are to make.
I've entered this into the Halloween Contest for the Food Category. Your vote is surely appreciated!
Step 1: Ingredients & Supplies
The doughnut, chocolate glaze, and cream filling have been adapted from Genius Kitchen.
1/4 cup warm water
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
Chopstick (or something for flipping)
Large pot with 2" canola oil
Boston Cream Filling Ingredients
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Chocolate Glaze Ingredients
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
4 tablespoons hot water
Soft caramels (I used Werther's Soft Caramels)
Black food color
Food color paintbrush
Oval cookie cutter
Piping bag with piping tip
Step 2: The Dough in Donut
Donut doughs are very simple to make. They only extra needed is time for a second rise. All ingredients are pictured and listed in the ingredients page.
1. Add yeast in 1/4 cup very warm water. Whisk until dissolved. Wait 5-10 minutes for yeast to bubble up. This means it is activated.
2. Heat milk and add butter. Stir until butter melts.
3. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl (preferably the same bowl that will be used for kneading, if kneading with a machine).
4. Add all wet ingredients.
5. Mix thoroughly until combined. The mixture will be lumpy.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a dark, warm place until doubled in size (approximately 1 hour).
7. Once doubled in size, knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
8. Place dough on a floured surface and you are ready for the next step!
Step 3: Cockroach Bodies
Here is where I wish I had used a 4" oval cutter. Instead, I used 3" Easter egg cutter. I would advise using 4" oval cutter, and elongating the donut for a narrower cockroach body and maybe even trimming off the sides so the cockroaches aren't so obese. Or if using a 3" Easter cutter as I did, it might be better to squish the cutter to a narrower shape (however, you might not quite get the egg shape back perfectly on your cutter)
1. On floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll dough out to a 1/3" thickness.
2. Cut dough using oval cookie cutter.
3. Place ovals on a generously floured parchment lined tray.
4. Reserve half as many ovals for the next step.
5. Cut reserved ovals in half.
6. With a silicone or pastry brush, brush water on the top third of oval.
7. Place half an oval on the top third of oval.
8. Repeat until all ovals have a half-oval on the top.
9. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
Save dough remnants for antennae and legs.
Step 4: Fry Them Up
Once the dough has had its second rise:
1. Using a very sharp knife, slit the half oval across as shown.
2. Repeat on all donuts.
3. Heat oil to 370F over meadium heat. Carefully place 4 donuts in oil. Do not overcrowd the pot.
4. Cook 1 minute on each side. I used a chopstick to flip the donuts.
5. Using a fryer sieve, retrieve the donuts from the oil.
6. On a cooling rack lined with paper towels, let donuts cool.
Step 5: Antennae and Legs
1. Gather dough remnants into a ball and roll out very thin (1/16" thin).
2. Using pizza cutter, cut thin (1/8") strips of dough.
3. In 370F hot oil, fry the strips.
4. Cook strips 1 minute each side.
5. Retrieve from oil using a fryer sieve and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
Step 6: Boston Cream Filling
1. Combine all ingredients (pictured and listed on ingredients page) in a sauce pan.
2. Whisk together until combined.
3. Over low-medium heat, whisk continuously.
4. Remove from heat once thickened (pastry cream).
5. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and chill (in freezer for quicker results, just make sure it does not freeze).
6. Once the pastry cream has cooled, whip heavy cream to firm peaks.
7. Add pastry cream to whipped cream.
8. Whip on high until combined.
9. Put cream in piping bag.
10. Insert nozzle into donut and pipe donut with cream until slightly heavy.
Step 7: Chocolate Glaze
1. Melt chocolate and butter over low heat.
2. Add icing sugar and mix until combined.
3. Add water and stir. Remove from heat and into a bowl.
4. Dip tops of donuts into chocolate glaze.
5. Repeat for all donuts.
Step 8: Soft Caramel Shell
1. Place caramels in a bowl and microwave for no more than 10 seconds, just until they are more pliable but not melted.
2. Put caramels into a ball between 2 sheets of plastic wrap.
3. Roll until very thin (1/8").
4. Using a pizza cutter, slice into thin 1/8"-1/4" strips.
5. Place first caramel strip below the bulb of the cockroach's head. Using kitchen shears, cut caramel strip to size along the side of the donut.
6. Repeat until cockroach body has a series of caramel stripes.
Step 9: Paint It Real
Using black food color and water:
1. Start painting from the head of the cockroach.
2. Paint the areas of the sides of the head. Paint some shading and details. It helps to have several images of a hissing cockroach on hand for reference.
3. Paint the bottoms of the caramel stripes, as well as some shading on the center and sides.
4. Add a dot on each caramel stripe, along each side of the cockroach.
5. Using a loaded brush and very light touch, add tiny specks on the caramel stripes.
6. Don't forget to have fun!
7. Go through the crispy fried strips of dough for pieces that resemble antennae and legs. Don't be afraid to break off from larger pieces to make the shapes and sizes you need. Just be gentle.
8. Insert antenna. I discovered piloting a hole using bamboo skewers made this process easier and the antenna not likely to break upon insertion.
9. Insert legs.
10. Paint antennae using short horizontal strokes.
11. Paint legs.
And you are done! Time to eat!
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