Autumn is definitely here now. I am back in full length sleeves, two layers (minimum) and closed shoes. The sandals have been returned to their boxes and moved to the back of the wardrobe. The feather duvet is on the bed.
I love it!
I also quite like pumpkins. Can we talk about pumpkins for a moment?
I know at this time of year they are everywhere, but they are such a versatile vegetable. I wish they were around for more than one month. There are various varieties of squash around for longer, but the pumpkin . . . not so much.
For these little doughnuts I bought a small pumpkin (make sure it is a culinary one and not one grown for lantern carving purposes only), cut it up, steamed it and pureed it. It was while the knife was stuck in the pumpkin and I had to wiggle it out whilst fearing I might lose a digit or two, that I remembered the one and only thing that I am not too keen on about this mighty veggie. It is so damn hard to cut. It’s like it’s skin is made of Kevlar, or some other rock hard, bullet proof material. Seriously. How much protection does one vegetable need? It’s almost as if they don’t want to be eaten.
Sometimes I think it would be a lot easier to hunt down a tin of ready pureed pumpkin.
But not as much fun.
Or potentially life threatening.
Maybe it is my pumpkin cutting technique that is at fault rather than the actual pumpkin that is the problem?
Maybe bigger pumpkins are easier to cut up?
Can I also just say that several people walked in and out of the kitchen whilst I was wrestling with said pumpkin and no-one, not one of them, offered to help me. Even when I was using my whole body weight as a counter-lever to try to get the knife to move.
The most I got was the comment “it’s a good work-out for your arm”. . .
Anyway . . .
Let’s talk about the chocolate dipping sauce.
It’s ridiculously easy to make and even easier to eat. All I did was melt together some coconut oil and dark chocolate chips, then stir in a teaspoon of agave syrup. When warm it is very runny, but will solidify as it cools. When completely cold it has the texture of chocolate spread (thanks to the agave syrup) so you can spread it on your doughnuts rather than dip them in it. Win, win.
Also, any left over doughnuts that are a day or two old (if they last that long) make a mighty breakfast dipped in beaten egg and fried in a little butter, French toast style. Dollop the chocolate sauce over the top and voila! Breakfast of Kings!
Oh and I nearly forgot – the doughnuts and the sauce are dairy free too!
That’s a large bit of hazelnut on that doughnut in the centre. In case you were wondering.
Pumpkin & Hazelnut Mini Doughnuts with Chocolate Dipping Sauce
For the doughnuts:
- 1 large egg
- 44ml unsweetened almond milk, or milk of your choice
- 41g pumpkin puree
- 15g unsweetened apple sauce
- 14ml flavourless oil, such as vegetable or rapeseed
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 30g (1/4 cup) sorghum flour
- 35g (1/4 cup) sweet rice flour
- 38g coconut sugar, or light brown sugar
- 14g ground hazelnuts, I bought whole ones and ground them down in a mini food processor
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp granulated sugar – for rolling the doughnuts in
- 1 tsp ground hazelnuts – for rolling the doughnuts in
For the chocolate dipping sauce:
- 30g coconut oil, I used the odour-less one for this
- 30g dark chocolate chips, dairy free if necessary
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit, and grease a mini doughnut pan with a little oil.
- In a large jug beat together the egg, milk, pumpkin puree, apple sauce, oil and vanilla extract (I mix everything in a jug as it is easier to pour the batter into the doughnut pan, but you can mix in a bowl and spoon the batter into the pan).
- Add the flours, coconut sugar, ground hazelnuts, spices and baking powder to the mixture and stir until just combined.
- Carefully pour the batter into the doughnut pan, until each one is 3/4 full.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch. Test with a toothpick if necessary.
- Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the doughnuts are cooling, make the chocolate sauce by melting the coconut oil either in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, or in the microwave. Add the chocolate chips and stir until they have melted completely. You may need to heat for a little longer in order to get them to melt. Stir in the agave syrup and set aside.
- Once the doughnuts have cooled, mix the granulated sugar and ground hazelnuts together in a flat dish or plate and roll the doughnuts in the mixture until coated.
- Serve with the chocolate dipping sauce.
Due to the moisture level of the doughnuts, the sugar won’t stick around for long on the surface. Therefore I would recommend that you either eat them straight away or don’t roll them in the sugar / nut mix until just before you want to eat them.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2014