Although I expected the frying to be the challenging part of this process, a thermometer made it simple as can be. It doesn't look promising in its raw state, but as soon as you slip a little ball of the sticky dough into hot oil it sinks to the bottom, puffs up, and develops brown blisters on top. When you flip the cake halfway through cooking, its glorious brown belly confirms that you are in fact making a perfect cake doughnut in your own kitchen. Minutes later, it sits on your cooling rack, demurely powdered and seemingly innocent of the oily fug that has settled over the room.
Although this was my first time making them, I’m beginning to think that these light and crispy doughnuts are going to become a fall tradition around here. They would be perfect served warm on a crisp autumn morning with a hot cup of coffee, but I brought mine to share with friends at a Halloween party. Judging by how many were consumed, I guarantee that a platter of these freshly fried doughnuts will be welcomed with truly gratifying enthusiasm...if your friends and relations are normal human beings.
1/2 cup corn flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Vicious American Wheat IPA from North Peak Brewing Co.
2 Tbsp. oil (plus oil for frying)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
In a heavy pot, pour oil about 3" deep and heat on medium-high for about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low, trying to keep the oil temperature around 350-375 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients, then add liquids and egg and stir to make a smooth, thick batter. Use two spoons to scoop out walnut-sized balls of batter and drop them into the hot oil. Allow each side to cook for 10 seconds to achieve a round doughnut shape, then continue cooking approximately four minutes, turning occasionally, until doughnuts are uniformly dark golden brown and cooked all the way through.