ANYWAY, we are here to discuss my entry for the July joust!
As winner of the joust, Erin picked three ingredients for the joust: apricots, ginger, and butter. I wanted to do something savory at first (moroccan meat patties with apricot relish) but I got into a frying mood and decided to go sweet and undertake the ultimate fried dough.
I adapted this from a recipe from the March issue of Bon Appetit. I have so many magazines and other food paraphenalia to read, I don't get around to reading Bon Appetit and Gourmet when they come in the mail. At the grocery, I see the mags in therack and I'm like, "I'll get to you as soon as I can! " I just unwrapped the March issues last night (I know, I know, I know).
One side down, one side to go!
Gingered Chocolate Ganache
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon organic blue agave sweetener
4 Tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper, finely ground
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (optional)
Heat heavy cream in a bowl in the microwave or on the stove just until simmering. Add agave, ginger, pepper, chocolate, and butter. Whisk ingredients into the heavy cream. As the ganache cools, it will thicken.
I used powdered ginger here because I wanted to impart the ginger flavor without the texture of the fresh ginger in the ganache. I bought my ginger from the Asian Grocery in town to ensure its freshness. Many times you get spices and you have no idea of its origins or how long its been on the shelf. This grocer rotates stock pretty often, so I know I can trust him.
The finer the grind of black pepper, the spicier it is. I added pepper to the pot (hee hee) to help acentuate the ginger's spicyness. I also didn't want too many black specks in the sauce, making people think I didn't wash my plates before serving them (the whole premise behind white pepper, which I CANNOT stand and will never use) I can't wait to make truffles with this! Oh, and make candied apricots with the leftover fruits...yum yum yum.
The butter gives the ganache its reflective sheen.
Apricot doughnuts Makes 2 dozen
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 fresh apricots, peeled, pureed
3 egg yolks
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup nonfat milk
Granulated and powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
Cream together the oil, sugar, and egg yolks. Into another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir into the first mixture alternately with 1 cup milk. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened, handling dough as little as possible.
Roll dough to about 3/8-inch thickness on a floured surface. Let rolled out dough stand for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat canola oil to 375 degrees F. Fat should be at least 1 inch deep. Cut doughnuts out with floured 2 1/2 or 3-inch doughnut cutter, circular cutter, glass, or jar lid. Use a (clean) floured soda bottle cap or medicine bottle cap to cut out the doughnut's center, if you do not have a doughnut cutter. Oil is ready when a doughnut center browns in about 1 minute. Keep temperature as steady as possible.
Fry doughnuts in the hot oil, turning carefully with a slotted spoon, fork, or tong after 30 to 45 seconds. Continue cooking and turning until browned nicely. This will take about 1 1/2 minute total frying time. Drain doughnuts on paper towels or lined sheet pan covered with a cooling rack.
If your apricots are very fresh and thin-fleshed, don't worry about peeling them. Since they are so small, you want as much yield as possible. There are dried apricots, canned apricots, apricot puree, and even apricot nectars available as well. If that's what you have, use them.
These doughnuts cook very quickly so be on patrol. I'm surprised I was able to take photos of the frying because it went so quickly.
As I'm writing this, I'm nibbling on leftovers, dipping my doughnut in Brazil Ipanema coffee licking my plate of the ganache. And I don't even like chocolate! (Nothing is wrong with me, I promise) Today is going to be a good day...