Writing is harder than cooking, and here’s why. After reading this excellent article on my new favourite site of all time, I got to thinking about what prevents me from creating as many posts as a human post-making machine can post. And it is this: writing is a lot harder than cooking. Editing photos is a lot harder than cooking. Photography is a lot harder (for me) than cooking. And that’s ok. Because the beauty of the thing, for me, is that I love them all. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it’s not the most rewarding thing you’re going to do that day. So why is writing so much more difficult than cooking? Well, I can only speak for myself here, but in cooking, inspiration is easy for me to come by. I get inspired to cook about three times a day, when I’m HUNGRY! There is no better motivator for me than being hungry, and I hate the idea of wasting a chance to eat something truly delicious and exciting. So – new recipe? Beautiful composition of flavours? Labour of love over new and fascinating techniques and combinations? No trouble at all my friends, just wait until I am next feeling greedy. Writing on the other hand, is something that I get the strong urge to do occasionally. Sometimes, it’s true, I feel like I must sit down and spill an idea out onto the keyboard, lest it be lost forever in the maelstrom of my mind. Usually, it’s when an idea that I have been thinking about for a while suddenly becomes clear to me. Or sometimes a thought comes right out of nowhere fully formed, and then it has to be immediately transcribed for posterity. Clearly I am no Shakespeare. I am not writing the great American novel here. Or the great Guatemalan novel for that matter. This is just what chooses to spill forth from my brain, and I’m OK with that. But it’s not always easy. I struggle sometimes to find something that I feel is worth telling you guys. So I just make something Christmassy instead. Everyone loves Christmas, right? So here is a snow-white donut, with a christmassy red dipping sauce. My take on a fresher tasting jam donut. Enjoy everyone, and if you have any ideas for what you like to hear about, do let me know. Remember there are no bad ideas in brainstorming.
Sugar and Spice Donuts w/ Raspberry Sauce
Adapted from Baked: Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
For the donuts
3 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
50g butter, melted and cooled
Sunflower or Canola oil for frying Raspberry Sauce
2 tbsp icing sugar
Cover a baking tray with cling film or baking paper. Stir together all the dry ingredients for the donuts in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre, and add in the remaining ingredients before whisking them together with a fork, and then slowly drawing in the dry ingredients from the side of the bowl. Mix gently until the ingredients are well combined into a soft sticky dough. Sprinkle your bench with plenty of flour, turn out the dough and pat out into a rectangle(ish) that is about 1cm thick. Using a donut cutter, or a large and a small cookie cutter (I use a large cookie cutter, and the wide end of my largest piping tip) cut out as many donuts as you can, before patting the dough back together and cutting again. Place the cut out donuts onto the baking sheet, and stick it in the fridge while you’re heating up the oil in a large wide saucepan (I use a small dutch oven). The oil should be between 170 – 180C, but I judge by the fact that each donut should take about 3 minutes to go brown on the first side, and then another minute on the second side to be cooked through. Place them on several layers of paper towel, and leave to drain while you cook the rest.
Meanwhile, to make the raspberry sauce, place the raspberries in a sieve and push through and to make a thin puree. Add back about half the seeds from the strainer, and then stir in the icing sugar to dissolve. Chill the sauce, while you toss the now cooled and drained donuts in pure icing sugar. Serve the donuts with the sauce, and sing carols, or whatever makes you feel especially joyful.