Good things from a small kitchen.
There was some coverage this week in a magazine on the Chef at the Chiltern Firehouse in London, Nuno Mendes and some of the coooking he was doing there. In particular I heard he was doing some really good crab doughnuts and that got me thinking about other things you could do with the humble doughnut with a more savoury flavour, after all there are lots of fried doughs around the world that aren’t confined to being sweet, Slovak Langos for instance.
In looking for a filling I settled on peking duck, something that is already eaten wrapped in a panake with sweet and slightly sour plum sauce and the added fresh crunch and zing of cucumber and spring onion. So to kick off i got four duck legs and slowley roasted them with plenty of salt and chinese five spice until the skin was crisp and golden and the flesh was easy to pull apart.
To make the dough for the doughnuts i used this recipe online http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/doughnuts_89027, the only thing i changed was to half the amout of sugar, although the mix was really quite wet to start with it soon came together and as long as I kept the board and my hands well oiled was easy to work with. After the first proving of about an hour i kneaded again and then formed the mix into individual balls and allowed to rise again for about an hour, the result was pretty big airy balls of enriched dough.
As i was going the extra mile here and making everything from scratch I decided to make my own plum sauce as well ( I sometimes find the shop bought variety a little too gloopy and sweet). I added about six stoned plums to a pan with a little water, sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and chinese five spice and then boiled away until I had a dark, silky sauce which had a great balance of flavours and the fresh slightly sour edge of the fresh plums.
As I’d slow cooked the duck earlier in the day i now shredded it and warmed it in a pan while i was cooking the doughnuts in batches. I dropped the plump balls of dough into oil at about 180c and flipped them over until they were golden on both sides and cooked through.
When the doughnuts were all cooked I sliced them through the midddle and filed them with the duck, spring onion, cucumber, a little corriander and the home made plum sauce, to finish I gave the doughnuts a quick dusting with a sugar, salt and chinese five spice mix which finished the doughnut look and taste.