OFFICIALLY THE YEAR OF THE DONUT

20140707-210023-75623905.jpgI suppose it's time I made this official. I mean, I've been working up to it for sometime (see here and here) and it's important to be honest about these things. So, henceforth, I will happily and hungrily refer to 2014 as The Year of the Donut. Are you with me?* * You kind of have to have bought a donut tin on eBay, if you want to be with me.

These were a kind of autumnal / wintry 'let's put root vegetables in our cake' recipe that I dreamed and adapted from a few around Pinterest. Last year I made pumpkin and nutmeg muffins with pecan streusel (and cream cheese filling)(seriously), and this year it was donuts. As you do. They were easy as could be and I shared a few with my grandmother and cousin on Sunday, and a few with friends after a lovely dinner last night.

OK, and one for breakfast this morning while I was walking to the train. My lips felt sticky from the sugar all morning which was about the best thing ever.

PUMPKIN, GINGER AND CINNAMON DONUTS

INGREDIENTS * 1 3/4 cups of flour * 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder * a pinch of salt * 1 teaspoon of ground ginger * 
1 teaspoon of cinnamon * 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg * 1/2 a teaspoon of allspice * 1/3 of a cup of vegetable oil * 1/2 a cup of brown sugar * 1 egg * 
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
 (I used the good stuff) * 3/4 of a cup of steamed and pureed pumpkin (I used a quarter of a kent pumpkin, which I had prepared the night before) * 1/3 of a cup of milk (add a little at a time, as this will depend on how runny your pumpkin mix is) * 50 grams of butter, melted * 2/3 of a cup of sugar
 (half white, half brown) * 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

METHOD Preheat the oven to about 180 C and lightly grease a donut pan.

In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt and spices together. I use a whisk to make sure there aren’t any lumps without having to actually sift anything. In a large bow, or a mixer, lightly beat together the veggie oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and half of the milk. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing till smooth and creamy. Add a little more of the milk if the batter seems too dry.

I then spooned it all into a plastic lunch bag (because I don’t have a pastry bag), snipped the end off, and piped the mix neatly into the donut tin. You can spoon it into the tin, but I found this messy because I get impatient and have two left hands. Fill each space about two thirds full, to allow them to rise nicely. Bake for about ten minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack while you get ready with the topping. Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly in a bowl, and on a plate gently rub together the sugar and the cinnamon till fine and even. Then lightly dip the donuts in the warm butter, and coat in the sugar and cinnamon mix.

They are best eaten immediately, or within the hour – if you leave them too long the coating becomes a little greasy and grainy and you can't feel quite as smug about your amazing kitchen skills.