Most of my family will go for a Boston Cream doughnut before any other, so I was thinking that I could go a step further with my homemade doughnut recipe by leaving the hole out, injecting the fried dough with pastry cream, and topping it with chocolate. That's exactly what I did. For some reason, I can't seem to save and import all the photos I took of this process, so the photo of this finished doughnut will have to do.
Here's the recipe:
BOSTON CREAM DOUGHNUT
pastry cream (recipe below) made a few hours in advance, or the day before
1 loaf frozen bread dough, partially thawed
chocolate ganache (recipe below)
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
In a medium sized bowl, mix egg yolks with sugar. Sift flour and cornstarch together and add to egg yolk mixture, making a paste.
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat milk over moderate heat until bubbles form around edge. Very, very slowly, pour a ladle-full, or about 1/2 cup, of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, stirring vigorously and constantly to prevent eggs from clumping. If they do, strain out the solids and discard. Then pour the egg yolk mixture, again very slowly and stirring constantly, back into the pot of hot milk. Bring to a full boil and let boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract. Pour into bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature and then cool in refrigerator.
*If you don't want to/can't make pastry cream, you can substitute cooked vanilla pudding, but real pastry cream is by far the best. DO NOT use instant vanilla pudding. It's just not good enough for this doughnut!
(Photos of dough slicing, thawing, rising from the glazed doughnuts post here.)
Slice loaf of partially thawed bread into 8-12 rounds.
Place rounds on a cookie sheet that's been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Spray tops of rounds with cooking spray and cover with dish towel or a piece of plastic wrap. Allow to thaw completely and rise to about doubled in size. To speed this process, you can put the cookie sheet in an unheated oven (turned off) over a pan of hot water -- I used 3 cups boiling water -- and watch to see that the dough has risen to twice its original size, usually in about half an hour but it may take longer depending on how frozen the loaf was. Once it's risen, the dough can be fried.
In another saucepan, heat about an inch of canola oil to a shimmer (med/high heat) and when it's really hot, around 375 degrees if you have a candy thermometer (and not until), carefully and gently drop a round or two at a time into the oil. Be careful not to press the dough, or deflate it. Cook until the bottom begins to brown to a nice golden color, and then carefully flip over (I used a fork and a big spoon) and continue to cook until the other side reaches the same shade of golden brown.
Remove from sauce pan and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Continue until all the rounds have been fried. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. At one end of doughnut, insert small knife and swipe it back and forth inside the doughnut to create a cavity, careful not to cut through the other side or the bottom.
Inject doughnuts with pastry cream, roughly a tablespoon or two each. If you have a pastry bag, fit it with large tip. Fill pastry bag about a third full and poke tip well into hole you cut at the end of each doughnut. Use enough pressure to fill slowly, stopping as you sense the doughnut is full and to prevent pastry cream from oozing out of the end. If it does, just wipe it away. If you don't have a pastry bag, you can buy them now in any grocery store in the baking aisle. It's worth it. You can also make a paper cone pastry bag by following these directions. Buying one is easier!
Frost tops with chocolate ganache.
(simpler than you ever thought)
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet is fine)
3/4 cup heavy cream
Heat heavy cream just until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, catching it before it boils but is nice and hot. Remove from heat and pour hot cream over chocolate. You can also heat the cream in the microwave but must be careful it doesn't boil.
Stir until the chocolate melts and allow to cool until it's thick like the glaze you'd see on an eclair or cream puff. Don't let it get much more solid than that. Drop about a tablespoon of ganache on the center of a doughnut and spread carefully over the top. Allow to set.
Eat one doughnut and share the rest!