Royal Foodie Joust: July

It's almost the first of the month and do you know what that means? The Royal Foodie Joust over at the forum presided over by Jenn, the Left Over Queen is underway.
Erin of Skinny Gourmet, won June's challenge with a three way 1st place tie with Feedingmaybelle and Cookinpanda. We had to have run-off elections and everything. The first time ever on our forum. It was crazy! There are some talented cooks out there and I'm proud to see their work first hand in the joust competitions.
I haven't entered a joust since March of this year, and I was in California at the time and opted not to blog about my entry. I might tell about it in posts to come, but to be honest, it wasn't up to my usual standard of cooking. I'm surprised I even entered it. I was slightly embarrassed.

ANYWAY, we are here to discuss my entry for the July joust!
As winner of the joust, Erin picked three ingredients for the joust: apricots, ginger, and butter. I wanted to do something savory at first (moroccan meat patties with apricot relish) but I got into a frying mood and decided to go sweet and undertake the ultimate fried dough.

Apricot doughnuts in gingered chocolate ganache.

I adapted this from a recipe from the March issue of Bon Appetit. I have so many magazines and other food paraphenalia to read, I don't get around to reading Bon Appetit and Gourmet when they come in the mail. At the grocery, I see the mags in therack and I'm like, "I'll get to you as soon as I can! " I just unwrapped the March issues last night (I know, I know, I know).

One side down, one side to go!
Krispy Kreme who? This is what they were talking about when they said "Hunka hunka, burning love"

Dusted, sugared, and ready to roll

Another look.

Gingered Chocolate Ganache
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon organic blue agave sweetener
4 Tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper, finely ground
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (optional)

Heat heavy cream in a bowl in the microwave or on the stove just until simmering. Add agave, ginger, pepper, chocolate, and butter. Whisk ingredients into the heavy cream. As the ganache cools, it will thicken.

I used powdered ginger here because I wanted to impart the ginger flavor without the texture of the fresh ginger in the ganache. I bought my ginger from the Asian Grocery in town to ensure its freshness. Many times you get spices and you have no idea of its origins or how long its been on the shelf. This grocer rotates stock pretty often, so I know I can trust him.

The finer the grind of black pepper, the spicier it is. I added pepper to the pot (hee hee) to help acentuate the ginger's spicyness. I also didn't want too many black specks in the sauce, making people think I didn't wash my plates before serving them (the whole premise behind white pepper, which I CANNOT stand and will never use) I can't wait to make truffles with this! Oh, and make candied apricots with the leftover fruits...yum yum yum.
The butter gives the ganache its reflective sheen.
Apricot doughnuts Makes 2 dozen
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
3 fresh apricots, peeled, pureed
3 egg yolks
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup nonfat milk
Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar and powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Cream together the oil, sugar, and egg yolks. Into another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir into the first mixture alternately with 1 cup milk. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened, handling dough as little as possible.
Roll dough to about 3/8-inch thickness on a floured surface. Let rolled out dough stand for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat canola oil to 375 degrees F. Fat should be at least 1 inch deep. Cut doughnuts out with floured 2 1/2 or 3-inch doughnut cutter, circular cutter, glass, or jar lid. Use a (clean) floured soda bottle cap or medicine bottle cap to cut out the doughnut's center, if you do not have a doughnut cutter. Oil is ready when a doughnut center browns in about 1 minute. Keep temperature as steady as possible.

Fry doughnuts in the hot oil, turning carefully with a slotted spoon, fork, or tong after 30 to 45 seconds. Continue cooking and turning until browned nicely. This will take about 1 1/2 minute total frying time. Drain doughnuts on paper towels or lined sheet pan covered with a cooling rack.

If your apricots are very fresh and thin-fleshed, don't worry about peeling them. Since they are so small, you want as much yield as possible. There are dried apricots, canned apricots, apricot puree, and even apricot nectars available as well. If that's what you have, use them.

These doughnuts cook very quickly so be on patrol. I'm surprised I was able to take photos of the frying because it went so quickly.
As I'm writing this, I'm nibbling on leftovers, dipping my doughnut in Brazil Ipanema coffee licking my plate of the ganache. And I don't even like chocolate! (Nothing is wrong with me, I promise) Today is going to be a good day...

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. OMG. Those llok so good. I will be strong and resist the tempatation to cook a batch up and eat them all.

  2. I am just plating my entry right now, but early ideas were moroccan and donuts. For the former, we were thinking lamb and apricot bistilla and for the latter, ginger donuts filled with apricot preserves and topped with brown butter glaze. Apparently, We were sympatico this month.

  3. Ohmagah, I don't even know HOW to cook like that!

  4. Oh my heavens.. divine. And I hear ya on not unwrapping the magazines. I have the same problem. I have to catch up in the worst way.

  5. Oh my! I'd like a dozen please :). That gingered chocolate ganache sounds like a brilliant idea.
    Good luck in the Joust!

  6. OH. You're awful! Seriously, why do you tempt me with these? I've had donuts on my mind lately. I'll have to vote for you!

  7. I'll have two with a tall black coffee flavored coffee please!

    Nicely done Nik. Good luck in the joust.

  8. Those are so rockin out Nikki! I love it! I think this is some fantastic job on your part! Best of luck!

  9. oh my those look like sticky goodness! Doesn't it seem like the joust entries get better every month?

  10. Courtney: THANKS! Resistance is futile, you know.

    Maybelles parents: Yes, ma'am (or sir), GMTA. And you BBQ and slaw look great, too. Looks like something I'd whip up around here.

    CC: Krispy Kreme is two block away from my house. I watched them very carefully...

    Lys: I literally have 20 magazines waiting to be read. I need to get rid of a subscription or eight.

    Lore: You got it! Thanks for your support.

    Emiline: I'd rather have a doughnut on my head than a piece of beef or ham. Thanks for your support, too. I'm SOooo looking for you on Facebook.

    Don: Are you sure yo don't want half-caf? Or non-fat? With a twist? Or whatever else they're putting in coffee these days?

    Jenn: Thanks so much! I appreciate you coming by to see what's going on in here.

    Kat: They sure do. I'm seriously impressed every month. I don't want to get cooked under the table LOL

  11. Now this is certainly not fair... making those delightful donuts and not sending any over!! They look super!

  12. Dharm: if you'll cover the shipping, you got a deal! ;)

  13. These look awesome. I have recently learned to make doughnuts and I consider it a dangerous thing. I might end up doing stuff like this!

  14. Rachel: It is a dangerous skill to have. Of all the skills my hands possess, it's the doughnuts that'll probably do me in one day. LOL. I need to not make anymore for a while (because you know I made more than just the four shown in the pics)

  15. Now YOU know these look darn good. I don't do my hand at anything sweet baking skill suck major. I think I want to try something though.

  16. Darius: A lot of people tell me that they don't bake. Especially chefs. You don't have to measure when you throw stuff in a pan to cook it. Baking involves measuring, weighing, and precise measurements, or else it all goes to hell. Patience and care are all it takes. I think you can bake some, too. Start with biscuits. They're majorly easy.

  17. Coming by to say Hi and how yummy these look! Someday I will have to do a Joust too!


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