I know. I'm two weeks late posting this, but better late than never, right? I did it. I overcame a long standing kitchen fear... I deep-fried something in oil. I'm pretty competent in the kitchen. Heck, I've made some wonderful and sometimes challenging recipes, from paella to macarons. I'm good at following directions, and using my intuition. However, oil is a constant struggle. I sauté things in oil all the time, and that usually works well, but I have been known to fall into autopilot and burn a pan of oil, by turning it to high like I'm boiling water, and then walking away. I've experienced more than one grease fire over the course of my home-cook career. I also have serious issues with oil splatter. I've been burned. I've ruined clothes. Not to mention, the shrieking that happens and startles the whole family.
You may be wondering why I would choose to deep-fry something based on my troubled history with the like. Two reasons really, I prefer to face things that frighten me (this sometimes takes a while), and my son's best friend was coming over. He'd just turned 13. His family is from Hawaii, and Malasadas are one of his favorite foods. Thankfully, as you can see pictured above, I have a kitchen elf that sifted all of the flour for me. Here's the link to the recipe I used, and I'll give you some added tips below.
Pictured above is the dough. On the right is what it looks like after two hours. You want it to rise enough that it doubles in size. That's the easy part. You can: watch TV, take a nap, paint your nails, plot to take over the world... The trick with this I think is that you do want a standing mixer like the original author suggests. I don't have one of those, because I'm cheap. I used a hand mixer and not only did it ball up like cement, crawl up the wands, and try to consume the rest or the mixer, but towards the end when I had finally added all of the flour, it spit dough all over my kitchen. That was fun to clean up. I guess, at least, my toaster got its annual scrubbing.
On the left, you see the finished dough balls, cut out and ready to be dunked. I loved the tip of putting them on parchment paper for the final rise, and then cutting them up, so you can use the paper to lower them into the oil. It's so simple, and prevented splash back. I didn't have a 2 inch biscuit cutter, so I used a small drinking glass. It worked perfectly. On the right, is about $6 worth of oil. Homemade donuts, similar to homemade clothes, are probably better quality and made with love, but they aren't less expensive. We live in an age where sometimes it's more cost effective to go with factory produced products. The recipe said to use 2 inches worth of oil in a dutch oven. I think you could get away with one inch to save some money and waste. The dough floats on the surface of the oil the whole time anyway.
Two minutes on each side, and Ta Da! You now have fresh donuts. We rolled them in cinnamon and sugar, and then filled them with coconut pudding (Haupia). Its obscene looking, right? I think you could easily make the pudding thicker by adding a little more corn starch so it's not so drippy. I followed the recipe to the letter, and she did warn that it's thinner than typical donut filling. Regardless, they were a hit. Everyone thought they were delicious, and I felt a deep sense of accomplishment. Would I do it again? Probably not. I can buy a dozen donuts for less money, and it'll take minutes to pick them up, as opposed to the four hours it took to make these bad boys. Still, it was a fun experience. I'm glad I faced my fear, and my house is still intact.
I'm a not-for-profit worker that loves food, both healthy and indulgent. I've eaten the 12 egg omelette at Beth's Cafe: toast, hash browns, and all. Take that Adam Richman!