Friday 4 September 2015

Sweet Pizza Doughnut Dessert

   I'm at a bit of a loss for what to call this. Doughnut pizza? Doughnut cake? Well, in short, it's doughnut, but neither as rings, holes or balls, and it's baked not fried. So it's the lesser of two evils, but still not exactly healthy.
   It was something I've wanted to make for a long while, but things kept getting in the way and, as I'm just working my way off of a plateau I seem to have over-worked myself onto, I've been keeping a close eye on sweets and spacing them out as far apart as I can. So I only managed to make this yesterday afternoon. A final taste of summer, I suppose!

   My initial intention was a sweet pizza. I was planning to make a healthy one from scratch but knew the recipe would yield more than I needed, so I looked up what to do with it and sweet pizzas came up - namely pizza dough with a sweet or neutral sauce and sliced fruit.
   I had my heart set on it, but I made adjustments to the pizza dough and those adjustments actually made a 'sweet pizza' a little less viable, but I made the perfect amount for the pizza, anyway. There was nothing left over.
   So I started thinking about it and looking up pizza dough recipes that would only make a small pizza so I could use it for a dessert, but in the end I just wasn't happy with the idea of a bread. I'm sure it's lovely, but as it's so difficult to make soft, airy dough at home, it would have come out thin and crispy. I had my heart set on something doughy.
   I was lying in bed a few nights later and it occurred to me: a sweet, doughy base...a dough nut. It's virtually the definition of 'sweet dough'!
   So I dug up the video recipe I'd used to make my glittery doughnuts and gathered up ingredients. I wanted it to be clean, but after past experiments, I just don't like using coconut oil in baked goods. The coconut flavour doesn't seem to come out very well in savoury, but as neither myself nor Seeg like coconut, that's a good thing, but any time I used it in a cake, all I could taste was coconut. So I used standard butter instead.
   I did use unrefined caster sugar and organic flour, but at the end of the day, it was a basic doughnut recipe. Having said that, though, since I made it in my kitchen rather than buying the dough pre-packaged, it was already a lot cleaner than it could have been.

   I made the mix the same way I would had I been making doughnuts, but rather than form it into rings with either a cutter or a doughnut pan, I left it as it was, dropped it onto a baking sheet lined with lightly floured parchment, and tossed it in the oven.
   The topping is also really simple, it's a while chocolate ganache, but I used Greek yogurt instead of cream. It really shocked me how good it was - I don't mean to toot my own horn, but it was absolutely amazing for so simple a thing, and I was actually worried it wouldn't work out.
   I finished it off with some black berries, then added a few smaller berries to serve, and that was that! The base was delicious - just the right sweetness and nice, soft and doughy. The ganache set wonderfully and the yoguhrt and white chocolate complemented eachother amazingly, and the fruit added a burst of natural sweetness. I also added enough berries to the portion afterwards to get everyone 1 of their 5 a day. Yay!

You will need:
For the doughnut:
1/2 cup unrefined castor sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of milk
50g melted unsalted butter
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
For the ganache:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt, room temperature (not Greek-style)
150g white chocolate
Fruit - fresh or thawed freshly-frozen - to top.

1. Mix the egg, sugar, vanilla and melted butter in a bowl until combined.
2. Add the baking powder, milk and sieve in the flour, then mix until it forms a wet dough.
3. Cover the bowl with cling film and set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a baking tray with parchment or grease-proof paper, sprinkling a little bit of flour over it for good measure.
5. After 30 minutes in the fridge, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it down. It'll probably stick to your hands initially.
6. Drop the dough onto the parchment and shape it into a circle or oval with your hands - I've always found that an oval works better as a desert as it looks less pizza-like and so invites less suspicion from sceptical boyfriends.
7. Bake for 20 minutes, then let cool.
8. Now to make the ganache! In a double boiler (pan of water on the hob with a heat-proof bowl set on top of it), melt the chocolate. White chocolate burns easily, so don't walk away from it. Keep stirring. This prevents the chocolate from staying in one place and burning, and it also causes it all to melt a lot quicker.
9. Add the Greek yogurt and mix in a mixer or with a handheld mixer until combined. Resist the urge to stick your finger in it.
10. Once the doughnut base has cooled, cover in the ganache like you would sauce over a pizza.
11. Take your fruit or other toppings and arrange it on top. 1 of your 5 a day is typically 80g of fruit, but that's not always the case with everything. The NHS has a great list of what constitutes 1 of your 5 a day and it sits at the top of my bookmarks. If ever I'm uncertain, I just open it up, hit ctrl-f and type the fruit or veg I'm looking for.
   Try to get a 5-a-day serving of fruit onto each portion of the pizza - small fruits like blueberries might be easier to do that with than large fruit, as a mix of red berries would look quite attractive even if it was heaped on. I chose to go more minimal and spread blackberries across mine, then served smaller berries on the plate beside it.

   This sweet pizza was divine. Yes, I used real sugar, yes, I used plain flour, and yes, I used butter, but there are only so many substitutions you can make in baking and I wanted this to be delicious. So I used unrefined sugar because it was the cleanest real sugar I could get. There's nothing wrong with an egg, there's little wrong with plain flour unless it's been bleached to high hell, and while butter isn't great in large quantities, even butter has nutritional value. Once in a while, baking with basic ingredients like these won't do you any harm.
   And while I don't like to use fat-free yogurt, the only real Greek yogurt I can seem to find is FAGE Total 0%, but at least this provided a good amount of extra protein and other nutrients that cream would not have, and as it was fat-free, the butter in the doughnut isn't as bad.
   Having said that, I did use a whole Milky Bar. And I'm not even sorry.
   The fruit was enough to qualify as 1 of my 5 a day, so I ended up getting more good out of this than I expected, and as it followed a healthy, wholesome dinner and was my first taste of sugar for a week, who the hell cares if it was naughty? I don't.


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