Pouring raing, the sound of sizzling dough, the scent of lemon and cardamom, the grit of the sugar between my fingers. I think you need to experience these things. I think you need to make a batch of Lemon Cardamom Spiced Longjohns.
Donuts always have been and (I’m speculating) always will be my favourite of the entire realm of sweet treats. Second place goes to ice cream, third to pie. The bright pinks, dinosaur shaped donuts never appealed to me, it has to be said. I was always just transfixed by that automatic hot cinnamon donut machine. Seeing the little rounds of dough drop out of the sky and into the hot oil, where the floated along, flipped over, and then skated down into the pit of sandy cinnamon sugar.
So if, by some unfortunate chance, I did get one of the icing-topped donuts, I was the weird kid in the cornere picking the icing off and eating the delicious dough underneath. Carbs always have and always will be my first love. These Lemon Cardamom Spiced Longjohns are a celebration of that love.
The dough for these is a yeasted buttermilk recipe – a riff on my favourite Blackberry Jam & Custard beauties from my book – and it makes for a light, super tender, puffy donut. The very perfect thing to toss in the ashy grey sugar we’re making. Ground black cardamom, and plenty of lemon zest provide the high notes for this sugar, both providing a citrus scent, but the lemon is a higher pitched tone than the dusky cardamom. Cinnamon anchors the whole deal and keeps things donutty.
Sometimes I feel like I could rename The Sugar Hit ‘things to eat with coffee’. But for realz, this donut might just be the best thing you eat with coffee all year. Cinnamon, lemon and cardamom are all best friends with dark roasted beans and as the police force knows only too well, fried dough and coffee are made for each other. These made me happy. I hope you try them!
- 2 cups (300g) plain flour
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp dried active yeast
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 50g (2oz) butter, very soft
- flavourless oil, for frying
- For the coating:
- 2 cups granulated sugar (I used caster sugar)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamom
- First, place all the ingredients for the donuts, except the butter, into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Work on a low speed for about 4 minutes, or until well combined and elastic.
- With the mixer still running, add the butter piece by piece, until it is all worked in and incorporated. There should be no visible pieces. This will take about 5-8 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (about 45mins-1hour, longer if it's cold).
- When the dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto a well floured surface. Pat the dough out into a rectangle, just over 1 cm/1/2 inch thick. Cut the rectangle evenly into 8 longjohns. Place onto a lined baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic and leave to rise for a further 30 mins.
- Heat about 2 inches of oil to 180C/350F in a wide, deep pan, making sure the oil comes no more than halfway up the pan.
- Cook the longjohns, one or two at a time (making sure the pan doesn't get crowded or overflow) for about 1 minute on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Place a rack to drain, and proceed until all the donuts are cooked.
- Place the sugar for the coating in a large bowl, and add the lemon zest and spices. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips for a few minutes to infuse.
- Toss the still warm donuts into the sugar to coat thickly. Serve.