Introduction: Fresh Watermelon Donuts
If you're American, you have had watermelon. Watermelon is very versatile. It has a subtle flavor so it can be used in a variety of ways ranging from candies to salad to salsa. It is truly an American favorite and a summer icon. When using watermelon, one has the flexibility to be very creative, and I've decided to add another strange twist to the punch bowl.
The reason I call it "Fresh" is because the flavor I added to it. Chervil, or French parsley, gives it almost refreshing after taste. I know what you're thinking... parsley and donuts?? GROSS. Quiet the contrary my friends. Sugar CAN be mixed with green stuff AND taste yummy. When combined, you get the sweetness first, and then followed by a subtle refreshing after flavor. They do work together, and I'll show you! Lets get started!
Step 1: Do Your Homework
In order to use the ingredients harmoniously, you need to research it first. Find out what goes well together. TASTE chervil before you use it. After a little creativity and thinking, the results may surprise you. :)
OK, so let's do DONUTS. They're fun, wacky, and creative. They also can be easy to blend ingredients together.
Find what icing will work well with donuts and how you could incorporate chervil. What frosting?? Well, cream cheese frosting is ALWAYS good. Maybe incorporating chervil in the frosting will work. And yumm... lets make it watermelon flavored. And for the donuts? well, lets make them look like watermelons!
After awhile, your kitchen counter-top will be filled with ingredients! Today we're making it from scratch. Here's what you'll need...
FOR THE WATERMELON ICING
1 Cup of Chervil (made into a paste with a mortar and pestle) So more like 2 tablespoons of paste
1 tablespoon Watermelon Jello powder (this will help make the icing taste like watermelon)
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
5 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons watermelon puree (made fresh from a watermelon)
red and green food coloring for more color enhancement
FOR THE DONUTS
1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2/3 cup milk, at room temperature (or maybe even a little on the warm side)
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
7 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, at room temperature, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
Canola oil, for frying
Step 2: Lets Make Some Dough
Now, .... if you've ever made homemade donuts, you MUST know it takes at least 10 hours to make. This to blame on you DOUGH. You take hours to rise! Makes you wanna just go buy them for 3 dollars instead. But you know, gotta love that at-home and freshness of it. Good food takes good time, and the patient ones get rewarded ;)
You will need a dough hook for this. It's the one that looks like if Captain Hook went classy. It's very important. Also your blender will sound like it's getting a workout! Just be sure to thank it when it's done. LOTS of work ;)
--start by adding the warm milk and package of dry yeast together in your mixing bowl. Let it sit for a minute and stir on low so all yeast gets absorbed. The warm milk is what activates the yeast and you definitely want that working ;)
-- in the same mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt eggs and mix on low for one minute or until everything looks combined. Continue mixing for another 2 or 3 minutes on low. You want everything well combined before you add the butter.
-- Next add the butter pieces a few at a time on low speed.
--Continue mixing all ingredients together for 6 minutes or until the dough is soft
Step 3: Wrap and Chill
the dough should look malleable yet almost firm. It should be easy to take it out of the mixer and ball up.
--remove the dough. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours. No more than 15. 15 hours of boredom. Find a hobby!! For me, I simply waited till after work.
Step 4: Add Coloring, ROLL OUT and Rise
TICK-TOCK. OK, you did it, you waited fooorever and got the dough to look like a giant pillow. This is all thanks to the yeast by the way. It is now ready.
--sprinkle a good amount of flour on a clean surface.
-- add green food coloring to the dough. I did it in stripes in hopes to get that watermelon look.
-- work the color into the dough until you get it the color you like it. warning however! Don't over kneed the dough. You don't want to make bread.
--Roll out the dough into 1/2 inches think. Add flour as needed.
-- grab a biscuit cutter, 4 inches wide will do. Cut out 9 donuts. You can mix the remaining parts into a ball again, roll out and make more donuts.
--sprinkle flour on a baking sheet and place the donuts on it. Give them enough space to GROW because guess what, it's time for MORE WAITING.... YAY. They need to rest in a warm place for 2-3 hours.
--Turn on your oven. What I did was turn it to 100 degrees for 5 minutes, then I turned it off. Then I placed the donuts inside.
Step 5: Fry Those Guys
TICK TOCK. well I can watch a few episodes of Game of Throwns ...
haha. 3 hours later, they should have ballooned under the heat. They should feel very tender. They are ready to be fried.
-- take out your fryer. Fill it up with some canola oil to about 350 degrees. MEANWHILE. While the oil is getting hot prepare the frosting. SEE THE NEXT STEP. The oil will be ready when you throw in some flour and it crackles.
-- I fried 3 at a time for 2-3 minutes in oil. Turn them with chopsticks or use a fork. Then cook for another 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to look too long. My first ones came out burnt!
when golden brown, remove them and let them cool. They need to be cooled before frosting can be added, otherwise it will melt off.
Step 6: Making Watermelon Frosting
Lets start with the puree. Puree is easy. Just scrape a watermelon clean to the rind and blend it in a blender. You want the bulky remainder. This is what will give the frosting a watermelon punch.
--put the cream cheese and unsalted butter in the mixer and blend until incorporated
-- add the watermelon puree
-- add the confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, and the watermelon Jello powder. Beat together until smooth.
-- now separate the frosting into two different bowls. Color one side red, and the other green. Now.. to get that green and iconic pink.....
Step 7: Chervil Green Frosting
You want a nice green color. Well chervil can do that by turning it into a paste. The chervil can almost have a yellow hue to it. So you want to cheat a little and add some green to it. ;)
I started by dicing up the chervil, and then using my mortar and pestle turned it into a paste. I then added it to the frosting for the green side.
Step 8: Pink Frosted With "seeds"
The frosting will have a slight pink tinge already thanks to the watermelon puree and Jello powder. But we want to liven it up a bit, so food coloring is needed.
Also to add more of a watermelon effect, add Nestle mini chips to the mixture. To make it look like seeds!
Step 9: Piping and Frosting
Now, there are many ways to frost bakery items, but donuts can be difficult. Cream cheese frosting is on the thicker side so it turned out to be easier for me to frost the donuts like a cake. I started out piping it on but the "seeds" got stuck and blocked the frosting even after we cut a bigger hole. So if you do want to use piping, add the seeds after!
Step 10: Finished Product!
Frost your donuts in whichever color you like. They all will tie in beautifully with the watermelon look. I even added some more frosting inside the donuts to give more sweetness to the bunch.
The finished product REALLY does taste like a fresh watermelon from the garden with some sugar on the side. They are really good and really refreshing thanks to the chervil. Who ever would have guessed we could have summer in a donut? ;)
If you have any alternatives to this recipe or comments i'd love to hear them!! Enjoy and have a great day!
Second Prize in the
Ferrous Chef: Watermelon