ANNOUNCING: Change is part of life, and apparently, it's part of blogging, too. As of September 5, 2013, I'm merging The Virtual Goody Plate with Disco Mom Takes on the World and whatever else may henceforth spill from my fingertips (and kitchen), into one great new blog. I hope you'll join me there in exclaiming, "THIS IS AWESOMELAND."

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Study in Blue

Is anyone else head over heels for the new Sherlock series?  I'm mad for it, dangling from the Season 2 cliffhanger by my fingernails.  The first episode of Season 1 is called "A Study in Pink", so I'm paying all geniuses involved  a little homage here as I wade through last month's efforts to come up with something blue for Dessert Club.

After realizing I'd just drawn the worst possible color, I set to brainstorming every possible way I could interpret "blue" into a dessert.  Bleu cheese.  Blue cornmeal/corn chip.  Blueberries.  Dried blueberries.  Blueberry preserves.  Blue raspberry.  Blue Jell-o (whatever flavor that is.)  Blue cotton candy.  "Blue ribbon ______." 

I first thought of some kind of blue corn muffin with a sweet blue cheese spread.  I ordered some blue cornmeal and collected recipes, intent on avoiding the "easy" route of just making something with blueberries, in favor of a more creative, and, if I was lucky, pleasantly surprising creation.  So I made some blue corn muffins.  A few kinds in fact.      
But they weren't very blue.  And they weren't very good.  Not when I would be competing with colors like white, pink, and brown.  Next I tried a blue corn biscotti with dried blueberries and pine nuts.  Sounded promising.  But even a dip in blueberry syrup or blue-white chocolate coating couldn't redeem them.  Where was Sherlock when I needed him?!

I looked at recipes I could make with blue Jell-o - poke cupcakes and the like, but I just couldn't bring myself to avoid natural foods that were at least close to the color blue, or blue in name.  So I reluctantly but resignedly turned to the blueberry.

I wasn't down about it for too long, though, because there are some amazing blueberry recipes out there.  I looked at blueberry crisp marshmallows, blueberry pie pops, and even considered trying to make a blueberry bagel (still might.)  In the end, I settled on a blueberry doughnut, because I simply love my doughnut pans and don't use them enough.  When my test batch came out of the oven, I started to look around the kitchen to see what on earth I could use to crank up the blue factor.  

I mashed blueberries to make the glaze, but it was really a bright pink more than a blue or purple, so I did add a few drops of blue food coloring.  Then I found a genius discovery in the back of my baking cupboard - a jar of lavender sugar my sister-in-law sent me from England, which I cherished but hadn't really known what to do with.
I glazed, sprinkled, took notes for next time, and I had my recipe.
The night of Dessert Club, I added dried lavender to the batter as well as the topping, just a little for some essence.  I took out the cinnamon and added a hint of nutmeg and ginger. 

And I stacked them all up on a bed of blue rock candy from World Market.
I didn't win Dessert Club this time around.  But I had quite a journey getting there.  It was good for me, having to think and improvise, push past my comfort zone, and risk making a mistake that would be all mine.  Kinda like a certain detective I know. 

Lavender-Blueberry Doughnuts (print recipe)
Makes about 24 doughnuts

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp dried lavender buds
1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed, picked over, and dried

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Scant 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, mashed
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 to 3 drops blue food coloring, optional
Lavender sugar, for sprinkling

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 an position an oven rack in the center.  Lightly coat the doughnut pans with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  To make the doughnuts, in a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger and lavender with a whisk. 

3.  In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla with a whisk until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes.  Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a large wooden spoon until completely combined.  Gently fold in the blueberries until just combined.  Do not overmix.

4.  Using a pastry bag with a hole cut in the tip just larger than a blueberry, divide the batter equally among the doughnut wells.  Bake the doughnuts for 8 to 10 minutes, until they spring back when lightly touched.  Remove them from the oven, invert the doughnuts on a wire rack, and allow them to cool completely.

5.  To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, mashed blueberries, lemon zest, and as much lemon juice as needed to make the right consistency.  Dip the top of each doughnut in the glaze and lift, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl.  Alternatively, use a pastry brush to "paint" the glaze over each warm doughnut.  Sprinkle with lavender sugar and serve.

Recipe adapted from So Sweet: Cookies, Cupcakes, Whoopie Pies and More from Sur La Table

1 year ago: Pistachio-Cardamom Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (my Frosting for the Cause post)
2 years ago: Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet (so good)
3 years ago: Double Chocolate Mall Muffins

1 comment:

Celeste Elaine said...

I just had to tell you; yesterday I gave told a friend at work about your blogs. She told me she woke up at 4 am this morning and got on to view your brilliance.
Had to pass that along!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...