As promised, here is a representative sample of the truly wonderful chocolate-glazed donuts that Julie made over the weekend.
Professional-looking, right? And I promise you that I did not supervise Julie at all during the entire process. The recipe comes from a book I edited a few years book, A Baker’s Field Guide to Doughnuts by Dede Wilson. It's supposed to make about 14 donuts; Julie’s were small so she got about 20. Be sure to let your eggs and buttermilk come to room temperature ahead of time, and start early enough so that you can refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.
Chocolate Cake-Style Doughnuts
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
½ cup sifted Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup neutral vegetable oil, plus more for deep-frying
2 ounces semisweet chocolate (not more than 55% cacao)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
Heat the oil and chocolate together in a microwave or double boiler until the chocolate melts. Whisk until smooth; remove from heat and cool slightly.
In another large bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer (or whisk by hand) until pale and creamy. Beat in the vanilla along with the melted chocolate mixture, then add the buttermilk and beat until combined. Add the dry mixture in two batches and stir with a wooden spoon just until the dough comes together. The dough will be fairly soft. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with a triple layer of paper towels. Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pot or deep-fat fryer to 350° to 355°F. (I dragged out my trusty old Waring Pro, which delighted Julie.)
While the oil is heating, dust the work surface generously with flour. Scrape half of the dough onto the surface, dust the top of the dough lightly with flour, and roll out to ½-inch thickness. Cut out doughnuts with a lightly floured 3-inch round cutter. (We don’t have a donut cutter, so Julie used a large cutter for the outside and a tiny one for the hole in the middle.) Gently gather the scraps, press them together, roll out the dough, and cut out as many additional doughnuts as possible. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Fry a few doughnuts at a time; do not crowd. Fry for about 1 minute and 40 seconds, flip them over, and fry for about 1 minute and 40 seconds more on the other side, until just cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove each doughnut from the oil and drain thoroughly on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.
Make the glaze (see below; Julie needed to make an additional half recipe) and dip the donuts into it. DEVOUR while still warm.
Hard Sugar Glaze
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons water
Place confectioners’ sugar in a medium-size saucepan. Whisk in the water until it begins to combine; it will be thick before you heat it. (Julie fretted about the thickness and added a little more water; it still came out fine.) Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until it liquefies and becomes completely smooth and very warm—but not hot—to the touch. Do not let it simmer. The cooking will be brief—about 15 seconds. Remove from the heat and use immediately.