Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sufganiyot with: Caramel Filling & Caramelized Sugar Glaze and Ganache Filling & Chocolate Glaze

Homemade Sufganiyot...
it doesn't get better that this!!
This year I decided it was time to make sufganiyot for Chanukah.  In the past my poor family has had to put up with the Dunkin Donuts and bakery ones.  Don’t feel too bad for us – they were all good…just not homemade.  I also decided that if I was going to go through the effort of making sufganiyot they were not going to be jelly ones...not nearly interesting enough (aside from the fact that dear husband strongly requested no jelly donuts please!).  So I picked my favorite fillings and decided to make Sufganiyot with Caramel Filling & Caramelized Sugar Glaze and Ganache Filling & Chocolate Glaze.   A while ago the thought of making any one of the three – sufganiyot, caramel, or ganache, would have had me running through the house terrified!  Not anymore!  This year is different because I learned some very simple tricks to simplify them all. 

The Sufganiyot:  The basic Sufganiyot recipe is based upon one that I found in the December 2011 edition of Bon Appetit.  There is an article for Doughnuts with Grapefruit-Vanilla Jelly.  Intriguing…but probably not making them this year!  The picture of the donuts is incredibly appealing – so I decided to modify the recipe to make standard Sufganiyot dough.  I really liked the fact that the recipe contained apple juice, similar to my pizza dough recipe.  The Sufganiyot dough is not complicated to make, it just takes a while for the dough to rise – twice.  The trick to frying the doughnuts is to maintain a constant oil temperature of around 350° F so they don’t burn or turn into hockey pucks!  I keep a digital thermometer in the oil to make sure that the temperature doesn’t change too dramatically while frying.  It seems to work pretty well, and the Sufganiyot actually turned out simply fabulous this year!

The Caramel Filling:  Caramel can be tricky to make.  Often the sugar crystallizes in the pan, leaving a big mess.  The answer to that problem came from one of my favorite chefs – Alton Brown.  I’m a big Alton Brown fan.  I love the fact that he clearly explains the chemical process for everything he makes.  You can check out his caramel making trick in the notes below, but suffice it to say - it’s amazing.  It makes caramel making so simple that even my teenage son can do it!! (see notes #1 - #3)

The Caramelized Glaze:  I have to admit I have a bit of a problem…every time I see granulated sugar on top of a pastry I feel the need to pull out my mini kitchen blow torch and caramelize the sugar.  Considering that I filled the sufganiyot with caramel, caramelizing the sugar on top seemed to be the next logical step!  (OK, I admit…most people don’t think that way.  I just can’t seem to help myself!!).  The result…YUM!!!!

The Ganache Filling:  Ganache seems scary because it’s a French word, and anything that’s name is in a foreign language often can be daunting.  Here’s the secret.  Ganache is just a fancy word for whipping cream and chocolate.  That’s it.  (see note #4)

Now if making the caramel and ganache from scratch is way too time consuming you can use store bought thick caramel and chocolate fudge ice cream toppings.  Very good, but not quite as good as homemade.

So, one of my biggest culinary fears was overcome this year by understanding how the ingredients work together in each of these recipes.  So cool…and now you understand too…and it didn’t take a Chanukah Miracle either!

For those of you that are looking for a fast, easy, and delicious latke recipe, you can check out my Hash Brown Latke recipe.  The basic recipe can be found in my Chanukah blog from last year, and for more variations you can find them in my Chicago Tribune Newspaper Syndication article!  (Yup, Chicago Tribune Syndication!  If you live in Chicago IL, Baltimore MD, Ft. Lauderdale FL, Orlando FL, Hartford Conn. Allentown PA, or Newport VA please look for my Chanukah article!). It's currently out on a Chicago Tribune online version with no pictures under the title Hanukkah Miracle.  I also have some recipes for Chanukah on in the cooking section –  Easy Chanukah Recipes - And Miraculously Fun Too!.

Finally, I have had the privilege of being nominated for the Best Kosher Food Blog in the Joy of Kosher contest.  Here’s my shameless plea:  PLEASE VOTE!!  Let’s show them what a girl from Chicago can do!   It’s as easy as clicking on this link (or the banner at the top of the page), scrolling to Kosher Everyday by Sharon Matten and clicking VOTE!  Did I mention…PLEASE VOTE!! Thanks SO much!! Here’s the current link again (in case you missed it before):

  1. I use a special “bismark tip” made by Wilton to fill the cupcakes.  You can find it at your local kitchen supply store…it’s currently part of their cupcake set.  It makes filling donuts and cupcakes incredibly easy. 
  2. Our family doesn’t have Cable TV, but I own several Alton Brown DVD’s and they are a lot of fun to watch.  In one of his shows, Alton Brown explains how to make caramel and why the crystallization occurs.  He said that if you add a similar but different sugar (like corn syrup) to the granulated sugar, crystallization won’t occur.  It really works, and it makes the process of making caramel incredibly simple. 
  3. When my teenage son’s chemistry teacher told him to bring in a project that shows a chemical process he actually made caramel in class – not only wowing his impressed teacher but his friends as well! 
  4. By heating the cream first, then adding the chocolate and waiting until the heat from the cream melts the chocolate, you don’t run the risk of burning the ganache.  So simple.  By adding a little butter or margarine, you end up with a beautifully soft ganache that is perfect for filling your cupcakes or sufganiyot. 

½         cup                  apple juice,  (110°-115° F  or “baby bottle warm”)
2 ½      teaspoons         active dry yeast, or one ¼ ounce packet

2          tablespoons      canola oil
3 ½      cups                 all-purpose flour
2          tablespoons      sugar
4          large                 eggs
1          teaspoon          kosher salt
                                    non-stick vegetable spray
                                    vegetable oil (for deep frying)
1          cup                  granulated sugar (for rolling the donuts)

Dissolve yeast in apple juice.  Allow to foam for 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, flour, sugar, eggs, salt, and yeast mixture.  If using an electric mixer, knead with a dough hook for approximately 5 minutes until a sticky dough forms.  Remove dough from the bowl, spray the bowl with non-stick vegetable spray, then return the dough to the bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for one hour.

When the dough has risen, roll it out to a ½ inch thickness.  Using a 2” round cutter or a glass, cut out round donut shapes.  Allow the dough to rise for an additional 30-40 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large pot – around 2”- 3” deep, to 350° F.  You can use a digital or candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature, adjusting the flame to maintain a constant 350° F.  Place the doughnuts in the oil without crowding.  Fry until browned, between one and two minutes on each side.  Remove from oil and place on a wire rack to cool around 2 minutes.  Repeat for all the donuts.

For Caramel Donuts with Caramelized Sugar Glaze:
Place the granulated sugar on a plate.  After cooling the donuts for 2 minutes roll them in the sugar.  Fill with the prepared caramel.  Optional:  Using a kitchen blow torch, caramelize the sugar on top of the donuts.  Serve fresh!

For Ganache Filled Donuts with Chocolate Glaze:
After cooling fill the donuts with the prepared Chocolate Ganache.  Spread the chocolate glaze on the donuts with a spatula or just dip them directly into the glaze.  Serve fresh!

1          cup                  sugar
1          tablespoon       corn syrup
¼         cup                  warm water
½         cup                  whipping cream (pareve)
4          tablespoons      butter or margarine
1          teaspoon          pure vanilla extract
                                    additional water and a pastry brush (preferably silicone)
In a 1 or 2 quart saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and warm water.  Stir to combine.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring continuously, until sugar is completely dissolved.  Continue to cook over medium-high heat without stirring, occasionally washing the sides of the pan with the pastry brush with water to avoid any possible crystallization on the sides of the pot.  Cook until the sugar mixture turns a rich amber color.  Carefully add the cream, stirring until completely smooth.  Add the butter or margarine and vanilla extract.  Allow to cool, stirring occasionally until thickened.

12        ounces             semisweet chocolate chips
1          cup                  whipping cream
2          tablespoons      butter or margarine
In a 2 quart saucepan, bring cream to a boil over medium heat.  Add chocolate chips.  Swirl pot to coat chips with the cream.  Do not stir.  Allow the chips to sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth.  Add the margarine, and stir until smooth.  Allow the ganache to cool and thicken before filling sufganiyot.

Chocolate Glaze
2          cups                 confectioners sugar
½         cup                  cocoa
5          tablespoons      warm water
1          teaspoon          corn syrup
Combine all the ingredients and whisk until smooth.

For the Sufganiyot:
Let the ball of dough rise...
After the dough rises
roll it on a pastry board...
Roll it to 1/2 inch thick...
Cut out the dough and let it 
rise again for 30-40 minutes.
After the dough has risen,
heat the oil to 350° F...
Into the oil!
(just a minute or two on each side)
Cool them on a wire rack...
If making Caramel Sufganiyot,
roll them in sugar!
To Make The Caramel....
Place the ingredients in the pot...
Bring the dissolved sugar to a boil...
Not ready yet...
Check out the beautiful
amber color!  It's ready...
hurry, take it off the heat 
before it burns!
Add the cream...
Stir until smooth...
 then add
the vanilla & margarine....
Now it's caramel!!
(Let it cool and thicken before
filling the Sufganiyot)
For the Ganache:
Bring the cream to a boil....
Add the chocolate chips,
then cover with the hot cream...
Whisk until smooth...
then add the margarine....
Whisk some more...
and it's Ganache!!!
(Let it cool and thicken before
filling the Sufganiyot)
To finish the Sufganiyot:
Use a bismark tip to fill
the Sufganiyot!
For the Chocolate filled 
Sufganityot, dip in
the glaze or use a spatula...
For the Caramel Sufganiyot,
use a blow torch to 
caramelize the sugar on top!
(How fun is that?!!)
Check it out!!
It's Filled Sufganiyot!!
(and Shalhevet's hand...thanks
for modelling Shalhevet!)
The Sufganiyot are ready
for your hungry guests!!
Happy Chanukah!!

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The Chicago Tribune Syndication,
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