Serves a Crowd

Tiny Doughnuts With Orange-Honey Glaze

August  9, 2021
5 Stars
Photo by Carolina Gelen
  • Prep time 50 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • makes about 30 doughnuts
Author Notes

This month’s Choose Your Own Recipe Adventure—an Instagram series where you call the shots!—called for the following ingredients: honey, milk, citrus, and chile powder. As if the chile powder weren’t enough heat, our audience also chose flambéing as the technique to be demoed in the video. I came up with a recipe inspired by my recent trip to Greece: doughnuts glazed with orange and honey. Glistening and bite-size, these are similar to loukoumades, or lokma, a fried dough covered in a sweet topping as soon as it comes out of the oil. Many opt for honey and sesame. But there’s also date molasses, or Nutella, or confectioners’ sugar. I grew up with the last one. This version is light and airy, with a bittersweet orange glaze and a dusting of chile powder and pistachios. Think of it as the most snackable dessert. (Editors’ Note: In our Instagram poll, “chili powder” was a typo. It should have been “chile powder,” which is ground dried chiles, not a spice blend.) —Carolina Gelen

Watch This Recipe
Tiny Doughnuts With Orange-Honey Glaze
Ingredients
  • Doughnuts
  • 1 cup (227 grams) lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon active-dry yeast
  • 1 cup (227 grams) lukewarm whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • Neutral oil (such as vegetable or canola), for frying
  • Orange-Honey Glaze:
  • 2/3 cup (151 grams) freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 large oranges)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup (112 grams) honey
  • 2 ounces orange liqueur or rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile powder (I used Carolina Reaper; cayenne works, too), plus more for serving
  • Crushed pistachios or toasted sesame seeds, for serving
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the water and yeast and mix until the yeast has dissolved. Stir in the milk, sugar, flour, and salt and mix until the dough resembles a thick pancake batter. If the dough is too runny at this point, mix in up to ½ cup (60 grams) of flour. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 to 40 minutes in a warm spot, until almost doubled in size and bubbly.
  2. Meanwhile, in a deep skillet, simmer the orange juice and zest until the mixture becomes thicker and darker, 15 to 20 minutes—you should be left with about 1 tablespoon of concentrated orange juice. Stir in the honey and turn off the heat.
  3. In a Dutch oven or deep cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat enough neutral oil for the doughnuts to deep-fry in.
  4. Using an oiled small ice cream scoop or an oiled spoon, scoop out tablespoon-sized portions of dough straight in the hot oil. (You can also pipe in the dough: Grease the inside of a piping bag and fill it with dough. Cut off the tip, then slowly start piping the dough in the hot oil, cutting it with a pair of oiled scissors.) Add just enough in the pan so each doughnut has an inch of space around it.
  5. Fry until golden brown on each side, flipping halfway through, 3 to 4 minutes total. Use a spider or strainer to transfer the doughnuts to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Once done, bring the orange-honey glaze to a simmer, then simmer for 2 minutes. Add the liqueur and, once the glaze starts to bubble again, add the doughnuts, tossing them in the glaze with a wooden spoon or by shaking the pan. Flambé using an electric lighter or the stove burner, then shake the pan until most of the alcohol has burned off and the flames have subsided. (Stand back while lighting and shaking, and be careful!) Keep tossing the doughnuts in the sauce for another 2 minutes or so, until all the glaze is stuck to the doughnuts.
  7. Pour everything on a serving platter. Top with crushed pistachios and a light dusting of chile powder.

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Carolina is a resident at Food52. She's also one of the hosts of Choose Your Own Recipe Adventure, our YouTube show where our Food52 readers pick the ingredients and techniques for a brand new recipe. Carolina recently immigrated to the U.S. from Transylvania, a place she spent most of her life. She continues to get inspired by the classic Romanian and Hungarian foods she was raised on, creating approachable, colorful, and fun recipes. For more cooking ideas and candid moments, check out her Instagram @carolinagelen.

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