Sunday, January 13, 2013

Difficult Days: Sugar Coated Cake Doughnuts



Maybe you've noticed things have been quiet around here.  I wish I could tell you that I jetted off to Jamaica for a two week stint of sunbathing and drinking.  That would have been nice.  And a helluva lot better than the truth.  The thing is, my handsome man ended our relationship in the early hours of this brand new year.  It came without a great deal of warning, so you can imagine how majorly my little world has been thrown off its axis.  Life is still very raw, very sad, but somehow I'm carrying on through these difficult days.   He was a huge part of my life, and I was convinced that the right man had finally come along.  Turns out some of the best things simply are not meant to be.  Life can be quite beautiful, but it can also be incredibly unfair, dumping terrible circumstances on those who deserve it the least.  The hard part now is picking my heart off the floor and trying to fill the hole the handsome man leaves behind.




Before my life went to crap this horrible event, I had grand plans for my first post of 2013 - it was to be full of highlights of 2012, but just the thought of skimming through the posts, where I wrote so much about him and us, reminded me of him.  So scrap that idea.  The truth is I haven't cooked much at all.  Eating and sleeping, two things I tend to do very well, have been rather tricky lately.  My appetite has improved a little and I'm hoping to get back in the kitchen soon, for it really is where I feel my best.  Sleeping is more hit and miss.  If only I could wake up and it was all a nightmare.  I look forward to the days when my first thought upon waking won't be he's gone.




I can't thank my friends enough for all of their support - I'd be an even bigger mess if it wasn't for them.  Somehow hearing it will get better is incredibly soothing.  My mom has been especially awesome.  A couple of days after it happened she lured me out of the house with the promise of making doughnuts - and she makes the best doughnuts.  Yes, I'm going to eat my feelings and I'm okay with that.  Her recipe comes from this old cookbook, which has been around for longer than I.  It's full of really great, old timey recipes.  Love books like this.




Making doughnuts is a fairly simple and quick process.  These are non-yeasted cake doughnuts, so there is no rising involved - baking powder is the secret ingredient.  You can have a fresh doughnut in under an hour!  The dough is soft and supple and yields a tremendously delicious cake doughnut. I grew up on these!




My mom rolled the dough out and cut it into doughnut shapes.  I should note that I did absolutely nothing while these were being made - just snapped away on my iPhone.  Being brokenhearted even gets you out of doing the dishes.




Heat oil in a deep fryer, or if you don't have one of those, a large roasting pan with high sides will do.  Oil should be around 370*F.  Carefully fry them until golden on both sides - it doesn't take long.  Have a paper towel lined cookie sheet nearby to drop the finished doughnuts on.




The lady in the green apron is amazing.




While the doughnuts are still warm, toss them in a little granulated sugar.  Mom doesn't like adding cinnamon to the sugar, but you could if you wanted to.  You can also dust them with icing sugar instead, but mom is old school and just goes for the granulated.  Crispy and sugary on the outside, but oh so tender and cakey in the middle - turns out a doughnut is just what I needed.  We ate these with a cup of tea and watched bad daytime TV.  Distraction is good.




So there is my tale of woe and I hope I haven't bummed you out.  I don't like writing about sad things, nor do I enjoy being so sad but I deliberated on how and what I should write for my first post break-up post.  I could have thrown a detox salad your way and kept my mouth shut.  Or I could have told you the truth and I'm glad I did.  Heartbreak, unfortunately, is universal.  Maybe you've done the ugly cry in the farmer's market too, or drove by the place where you had your first date and wanted to scratch your eyes out.  This is no picnic but each day does get better, and I know over time the pain will go away.  But like the song says - the hardest part of love is letting go.  A cheesy lyric full of truth.

Sugar Coated Cake Doughnuts  

2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup 2 % milk
1 cup all purpose flour, plus more to make soft dough, about 3 -3 1/2  cups TOTAL flour. 
3 heaping tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1.5 L canola oil for deep frying. You want enough oil to come halfway up the sides of your pan. No higher!
granulated sugar, for coating

In a large bowl, beat eggs slightly and add sugar.  Beat in the cream and milk.  In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  Add the dry to the wet and stir together.  Add enough additional flour to make a soft dough.  Pat out softly onto a lightly floured work surface and roll until about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into doughnut shapes.  In a large roasting pan with high sides, pour in the oil and heat to 370*F, or until you drop a piece of dough in and it turns golden.  Fry the doughnuts, a few at a time until golden on both sides.  Hot oil, so be careful!  Place on a paper towel lined bake sheet.  When all of the doughnuts are fried, toss the ones you want to eat in granulated sugar.  If you are freezing some, do so without the sugar coating.  They freeze really well - just thaw and toss in sugar.  Makes about 2 dozen doughnuts.  Recipe easily doubled. Adapted from The Heritage Collection of Home Tested Recipes, by Chatelaine, 1968. 

42 comments:

  1. Hang in there Renee. It sucks, what you're going through. Remember, ultimately it's his loss. If he can't see what a great girl he had, then he's not the one for you.

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  2. Ug, so hard. I've been there, and know just how awful it can be. That feeling in the pit of your stomach will go away, you will re-envision a future, and things will get better. In the meantime, keep eating doughnuts. (Time and doughnuts heal all wounds.) Sending you support from my corner of the cosmos...

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  3. I agree with Shelley. Living well is the best revenge.

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  4. Looking forward to your posts of the new year. A nice fresh start! No need to dwell on the past.

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  5. I'm so sorry Renee. it's nice you have a close relationship with your mother, I'm sure it helps a lot.

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  6. A wonderful post. I think it's really good that you shared. You have incredible perspective and you'll be just fine.

    The Chatelaine cookbook was in our house too. It brought back a flood of nostalgia just seeing the cover again, so thanks for that!
    T

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  7. So sorry to hear your sad news. I've had my heart broken before and I just wanted you to know that it does get better with time. The best thing is to focus on the little things that make you happy for now - purrs from your cat, that first cup of coffee in the morning, sunlight on a winter day - stuff like that. Sounds so cliche, but it does work and it will get better. In the meantime, focus on you and do something special for yourself.

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  8. As a mother, my first instinct is to reach out to give you a hug. Try to imagine, across the miles and through the internet, that I am patting you on the back and saying "It will be okay". Because if I were there, that's exactly what I would do. Then we would go out for some "retail therapy" and buy something bright and cheerful for you. In the meantime I will be following along and looking forward to all the new and lovely writing you'll be doing this new year.

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  9. Awww, Renee so sorry to hear of your sad news. I agree wholeheartedly with anonymous so can attest to the fact that it does get better. It is interesting to note that I have this cookbook somewhere around here.I am sure it was my moms.

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  10. So sorry, Renee. Sending you a virtual hug. And I agree with movita ... donuts will make even the darkest any day a little brighter.

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  11. i'm so glad you spoke your truth as it is so important to do so. i'm so sorry for you. being in the midst of something similar i can hear and feel your pain. at least you have your mom and other friends for support - please lean on them and accept what i can give. i wish i could give you promises of happier endings and making it through but i don't know if you will just as i don't know for myself. be as gentle and as tending of yourself as you are able.

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  12. :(
    It sucks. Big time. And it sucks that we all have to go through it. I guess what's good about that is it means we can all sympathize with just how sucky it is. You, my dear, are awesome. And somebody equally awesome will come along when he's meant to. But in the meantime, just focus on being the awesomest Renee ever and while you're busy doing that, suddenly you'll notice that, meh...you really don't miss him that much!

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  13. First *hugs*. I am so sorry. I remember my grandma making cake donuts and they are a huge comfort food for me too.

    But... shouldn't that be 170C, not F?

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  14. I'm sorry that your ex chose to end the relationship. It is incredibly hard and devastating, especially when you did not see it coming. Hang in there and know that just as it can for the bad, your life can turn around on a dime for the better too.

    Glad you have good supportive friends and family.

    P.S. Your Mom's donuts look delicious. Perfect comfort food from a perfectly wonderful Mom :)

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  15. Renee,so sorry to hear your news. It's never a good time to break up but is definately more poignant during the holidays. I'm glad to hear you have such good people to support you during this time. Thinking of you and sending big hugs from Edmonton.

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  16. I'm so sorry. I've been there before, and I remember how awful it is to have the bottom fall out of your world without any warning.
    It really does get better eventually, though, especially when you've got an amazing mom who says all the right things and makes you big piles of fresh donuts. That's pretty awesome.
    Sending you lots of virtual hugs.

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  17. You guys, I am overwhelmed by your kinds words. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Wish I could hug you all, or at least give you a fresh doughnut :) Thanks again. Lorene - thanks for pointing out the temperature error - it should have read 370F.

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  18. Renee! Take care of your heart (doughnuts are a good start)
    I had a very painful, messy breakup with my boyfriend of 5 years around 4 years ago. I couldn't eat, couldn't function, a total total mess. But things got better and better and it will be the same for you. You deserve someone who can appreciate all of your awesomeness and will realize that once they have you they should never let that get away. Get lots of hugs from your friends and be super nice to yourself.

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  19. I just want to give you a hug (even though I've never met you, I think it would serve as a good introduction!) Heartbreak is never fun and I hope things look up soon. xo

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  20. Like Shelley said, his loss.
    Having felt, at one point long ago, what you're feeling right now I had written across my mirror in red lipstick (the same quote I wrote under one of your instagram photos) "Heartily know, when half-gods go the gods arrive". . that was my mantra for that entire year and I would read it each time I looked in the mirror. Make it yours & believe it! And don't forget to be kind to yourself.

    By the way the donuts look amazing. Is there a way to bake these?

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  21. Stephanie - wow - thank you :)
    Daring - how crazy is that we haven't met. Need to change that :)Things are looking up - thank you.
    Needful - that's a great quote. Girl needs a good mantra. Thanks so much.

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  22. Oh Renee, my heart hurts for you! This post says it all perfectly, and I'm glad you didn't sugar-coat it (ha ha) because this is real life and your honesty means a lot to your readers (me included). Warm doughnuts and a hug from mom are good medicine. Sending warm fuzzies your way! Sincerely, Jess

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  23. You are the most important person in your life! Never forget it, get up in the morning,and when you think ..he's gone, tell yourself, good and hum your morning away! I need to go make these beautiful doughnuts for my grandson, tell you Mom thanks for me.............Rick

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  24. I just discovered your blog which I love! But was so sad to hear about your breakup :( I completely understand and feel for you! Just know it is for the best in the end and you will be happier for it. Try to stay busy and keep the awesome posts coming :)

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  25. are you sure only one cup of flour. I'm in the middle of this and have a batter rather than fough

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  26. Hi Natasha - yes the recipe calls for 1 cup of flour. If it's too wet, then just add more flour. Not sure what happened. Good luck!

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  27. hmmm. no way 1 cup could ever form.a dough with 1 cup of fluids plus eggs. looked up other recipes and the ratio is usually 1 cup fluid to 2 cups milk. I took 3.5 cups of flour for me to form a rollable dough. they were delish. I'll post photos to my blog, www.theecstaticflash.wordpress.com. thanks!!

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    1. 1 cup fluid to 2 cups flour* , correction

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  28. I made these today and 1 cup of flour to ratio of about 1 cup liquid plus eggs was a pancake dough! I had to add about 2 or more cups of flour to form a dough.


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  29. Thanks Natasha and Bella - I checked the fine print of the original recipe and it said to add more additional flour to make soft dough - just what you guys did :) Thanks for catching my mistake!

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    1. Oh I'm so glad, I always panic when things like this happen.

      My mom and I have been trying to figure this out for the past half hour :) Thanks for letting us know.

      They turned out really yummy, going to add this recipe to my collection, for sure.

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    2. I'm glad you guys figured it out - I feel badly I overlooked that step in the original recipe. Let's just chalk that up to broken heart and somewhat broken brain :) Happy to hear you think they are as yummy as I do :)

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  30. Thanks for following up, Renee. And as for the break up, I was there not too long ago and sometimes I still am. Being in this rough place led me to dig deeper into my creative journey, cooking more, writing more, yogaing more, dancing more. I wish peace of mind, soon and very soon, but until then, search the darkness for all it's gifts. I made these in your honour! (NatashaN)

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    1. Natasha, thank you :) I've been keeping busy doing the same things as you and it helps. One day it will be better, for both of us.

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  31. Hey Ren, sorry to have missed this post as ironically I WAS in Jamaica soaking up some sun but you know my heart was with you....still waiting for you to confirm a visit! We'll heal your broken heart and have some yummy eats while you are here too....
    Love you
    Candus

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  32. I'm somewhat new to your blog but definitely not new to break-ups. Hang in there, keep busy and do everything you love to do (but not all at once).

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  33. Candus, you sweet girl, glad you had fun in the sun, only a little bit jealous. Hopefully I'll see you this summer!
    Sara, great advice - thanks for stopping by :)

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  34. Beautiful post Renee. While my heart ached with you, it was not bumming to read; the comfort your mom provided came through in your writing and even comforted me to know you are being well taken care of during a hard time.

    Everything will be ok. There is a lot of beauty in life and your blog proves that to me each week. Lots of love. xo

    Micki

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  35. Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people.Take care of yourself ....Hugs Susan Vancouver, B.C

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  36. Micki, thank you so much. Great words.
    Susan, thank you kindly :)

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  37. I posted photos and thoughts from making this lovely recipe here:

    http://theecstaticflash.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/doughnuts-for-a-cure/

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