Everybody loves a doughnut. And you just have to love something called a Munkki! These delights are one of the first things I seek out on a trip back to Finland. Sweet but not cloying, moist and light with the familiar Finnish bite from cardamom – an absolutely perfect adaptation of the fair-ground-hot cinnamon doughnut we loved as children; and still love today.
I admit I’m not a big deep fryer. I’ve always been a little nervous around the open flame of the stove at HQ combined with large pots of highly flammable liquids. I’ve often brushed off the occasional thought of buying a dedicated bench top deep fryer – own it and they will fry kind of mentality – you know what I mean. So I’ve not dabbled too much in the way of deep-fried delights.
To my surprise these treats have gone some way towards allaying my fears of the home-fry. In fact it was quite enjoyable to watch the little fluffy balls of dough burnish up to a delightful gold. Plus, it brought us one step closer to having bona fide munkki within reach sans 24 hour plane flight. Win!
14 grams of dried yeast (25 grams if using fresh yeast)
1 egg, lightly beaten
500 ml of warmed milk
250 grams of caster sugar
2 teaspoons of ground cardamom
1 teaspoon of cardamom seeds roughly crushed
100 grams of melted butter
800 grams of plain flour
250 grams of quark (substitute with smooth ricotta if quark is hard to locate)
2 heaped teaspoons of sea salt flakes
1.5 – 2 litres of canola oil for frying
200grams of caster sugar
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
Makes approximately 50. If you don’t need 50 doughnuts, (can’t imagine why) then halve the recipe, but keep the whole egg.
In your mixer, with the dough hook attached, combine the yeast, milk, sugar, salt and cardamom. Combine the quark, egg and melted butter and add to the mixture. Sift the flour and add to the mix in 4 – 5 lots allowing the flour to incorporate between each addition. Beat for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough will be very soft.
Allow to rise for 30 minutes. If it’s a cool day, below 20 degrees, give the dough another 15 minutes.
Once risen, take tablespoon-fulls of the dough and roll into small balls. The task is made much easier by coating the spoon and your hands with a little oil. Leave the balls to rise for another 15 minutes.
Heat your oil to 180 degrees Celsius. Test the heat by dropping some stale bread into the oil. If the bread crisps up nicely, without scorching to a crisp, you’re ready to fry!
Gently place each ball into the oil and allow to cook, part way through a gentle nudge will flip them over to cook on the other side. Once ready remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and allow to drain for a moment. Immediately place the doughnuts into a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and coat well. Move to a plate to cool. And repeat.
The result is something you have to taste to believe. The addition of the quark gives these doughnuts a moist springiness that leaves you wanting more.
What more could you want form a doughnut; except another doughnut, or possibly this totally delicious variation.
Blood Orange Curd Filled Doughnuts
Proceed as above with the Munkki. Once cooked, don’t roll in the sugar and allow to cool completely.
4 egg yolks
75 grams of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of caster sugar
Juice and rind of three blood oranges (100 mls)
Icing sugar for dusting
Combine the sugar, egg yolks, butter and the juice and rind of the blood oranges in a small saucepan. Stir over a gentle heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is combined. Bring to a simmer while stirring and cook for a few minutes until think and the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. And there you have it. Allow the curd to cool and transfer to a piping bag.
Back to the Munkki. Using a piping bag with a small nozzle attachment pipe a small amount of the curd into each doughnut.
Roll each doughnut in icing sugar and prepare to be mobbed by hungry fans desperate to have just one more.