I just love doughnuts. There’s something about a ring that really screams out “I AM CUTE! EAT ME!” in such an enticing way. I can’t describe this feeling in a more specific way than that. Anyways, orange and cream cheese, it’s such a common flavor combination in most Japanese and Asian bakeries, and I figured with something cute like a doughnut, why not meld it with those flavors, and make an orange-cream cheese doughnut? It’s cute, simple, and there’s nothing really offensive about it.
For my doughnuts, I actually had to debate whether or not I wanted to do fried or baked. In the end, I opted for yeast-leavened and fried. If I am going to make a doughnut, I’m making a doughnut. Not a doughnut-shaped muffin-cake. For the glaze, I’m making an orange curd, and then finishing the doughnut with a cream cheese icing. I’m going to prepare the cream cheese icing without powdered sugar, just because I want it to melt on the tongue, and that’s a texture you can’t really achieve with powdered sugar.
For the doughnuts:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
1 packet instant dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water – 110 F
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick butter – melted
1 cup milk – heated to 140 F and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Canola oil for frying
Allow yeast, honey, and water to mix together and sit for 10 minutes at a range from room temperature to 110 F. Melt together milk and butter and cool to just room temperature. Combine ingredients. Knead the dough and allow to proof for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature.
Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out rings. Allow the dough to proof and laminate for another 15 minutes.
Bring oil to 350 degrees F. The best way to test this is to put a cube of bread in the oil as it heats. Once the bread begins to turn brown, then the oil is ready. Fry the doughnuts at that temperature for 1 minute per side. Make sure to place the doughnuts on a paper towel once they are fried to drain any excess grease.
For the oil, make sure to adjust the temperature on the stove if you are not using a deep frier, because if the oil is too hot, then the doughnuts will turn dark and overcook when frying.
For the orange curd:
2 oranges; juiced and zested
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 oz. cream cheese frosting
In a bowl, combine the egg yolks and cream cheese frosting with the sugar. In a pot, heat the orange juice and zest with the salt until it releases steam. Slowly temper the cream-egg mixture with the orange juice. Continue whisking over high heat for 3 minutes. Strain.
For the cream cheese icing:
6 oz. cream cheese frosting
3/4 cups water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat sugar, salt, and water in a pot until the sugar dissolves and the water is simmering. Whisk in the cream cheese, stirring constantly to remove lumps. Finish with the vanilla extract. Strain and transfer into a piping bag.
Dip the still warm doughnuts into the curd to glaze. Using the piping bag, drizzle the icing over the curd. Allow to set before serving.