Forget the cupcake and don’t even think about picking up a macaroon. The “It” food of 2013 is the humble doughnut. Expect it’s not so humble anymore, so banish thoughts of Krispy Kremes and prepare to embrace gourmet doughnust.
We’ve got to thank the Americans for this one – last year New York went crazy for flavours including grapefruit Campari and molasses Guinness. While most of the UKs interpretations go lighter on the liquor, the flavour combinations are by no means simple.
As with all great British food trends, Nigella was ahead of the game, serving Soho House’s Electric Donuts (shame on her for not making her own), with their eclectic options such as maple bourbon and bergamot orange. The rest of London has been quick in jumping on the bandwagon, with the iconic Fortnum and Mason’s bringing in rose petal and mulled wine flavours, while Fulham’s Harwood Arms offer the drool-inducing fig jam with ginger sugar and sour cream, vanilla sugar with Bramley apple puree and lemon curd with sherbet and whipped cream.
Thankfully for the rest of the UK, the craze is spreading. The wonderful Michael Caines at Abode (found in Exeter, Canterbury, Manchester and Glasgow) has introduced gourmet doughnuts into the menu.
For those missing the dangerous sweet-tooth, do not despair – the savoury doughnut is coming up right alongside its sugary sibling. Alex Perrin of the Experimental Food Society predicts that: “Flavours such as chicken liver parfait, black pudding and bacon and fennel salt will be popping up on menus everywhere.” In fact, London’s Duck and Waffle have already embraced a stuffed ox cheek doughnut, and Vadas, an Indian spiced lentil concoction is becoming popular.
When it comes to fillings, it seems that anything and everything goes, as long as it’s experimental. Chances of seeing a traditional jammy doughnut are dwindling.
To really impress, go one better than Nigella and make your own. They’re fairly simple, but can take a few tries to master, luckily cooking classes around the country are teaching doughnut making. And if you find a real talent at the pastry, remember that the next series of the Great British Bake Off is right around the corner…
By Thea Babington-Stitt
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