Sunday, March 30, 2008

First (real!) post--Sweet Potato Donuts

This is really a story about how awesome Coinstar is--there is one in the Duane Reade downstairs from my office and so periodically I take my tin of loose change down there and convert it to Amazon gift certificates. It's great! And it has greatly enabled my purchasing of new cookbooks (not that I really neeeed anymore but who can resist?)

Anyway, so the last time I had a gift certificate I was browsing Amazon, trying to decide between a couple of different dessert books when I stumbled across The Sweet Spot, written by Pichet Ong, an apparently self taught pastry chef who's worked for Jean Georges Vongerichten. I've been looking for a book of Asia desserts for some time now and the recipes in this one sounded like a nice balance between traditional sweets and more "fusion" desserts. I mean, I was sold from the moment I saw the recipe for passion fruit dan taht (egg custard tarts).

Sadly, for some reason there were no passion fruits to be found this weekend. I'm not sure why--I can only guess that some other person had also just received their copy of the Sweet Spot and had hogged all the passion fruits for their own efforts. So I decided to try out the sweet potato donuts with roasted apple filling instead. Now, these donuts are baked, not fried and they are slightly fiddly to make just because it takes time for the dough to rise and then to cook the apples separately (although you can do that while your dough is rising) but the biggest problem I had was in shaping the donuts. You can see from the photo above that they sort of look like hockey pucks--that's because I baked them in muffin tins and the batter was too loose to form into a ball shape. However, it was totally worth the effort--the sweet potato flavor really comes through and then you get a lovely tart apple chunk as a nice contrast in the center. They were maybe a tad sweet for my taste; the next time I make them, I'll probably reduce the sugar a bit and add a bit more spice.

Now, to track down some passion fruits so I can make those egg tarts!