When I was around 12 or 13 the father of my friend Jodi took both of us to visit his Aunt Cavelle, my friend's great-aunt. Jodi talked-up Aunt Cavelle quite high and told me there would be doughnuts for us when we got there. At that point in time, I could never remember having a homemade doughnut before. I was just happy to be invited somewhere that the idea of doughnuts would simply be a bonus, if they were to appear.
When we arrived there weren't any stale doughnuts in a box to be seen. Instead, Aunt Cavelle said her hello's then went into the kitchen to fry up the doughnuts right there! We could here the sizzling of hot oil as yeasted dough was dropped into the pot and before you knew it, Aunt Cavelle re-appeared with a plateful of cinnamon and sugar coated doughnuts and oh-my-gawd they were still hot! They exterior of the pastry was slightly crispy and the sugar mixture coated our lips as it gave away to a soft and pillowy interior.
I can't tell you how many I ate that day but it wouldn't surprise me if it had been 3 since that is how many I ate yesterday when I fried up these Valentine-worthy versions. How sweet it is.
Cinnamon-Sugar Heart-shaped Doughnuts - Recipe
Cinnamon Hearts are little red, heart-shaped, hard candies spiked with a hot and spicy cinnamon flavour. Typically they are only available around Valentine's Day but in this world where stores advertise for the next spending occasion before the current one has arrived you can find them for several months of the year.
I like to play around with Valentine treat ideas simply because all us single gals know February 14th is not just for couples. At least that's what I'm telling myself. We don't need a significant other to have a good time! With a little sugar cookie dough, a simple ice cream base, Alton Brown's doughnut recipe, and a bag of cinnamon hearts, Cupid can take the day off.
Grind Cinnamon Hearts to Make a Powder
Instead of using a bottle of food-dye and extracts to flavour and colour your Valentine treats, grind cinnamon hearts to make a powder. With a coffee grinder (wiped clean before and after each use!), cinnamon hearts can be easily pulverized into a pink powder. Use the powder like you would icing sugar to infuse frostings, fondants, ice creams, or dust pastries with that unforgettable spicy cinnamon aroma and colour.
Perhaps you have seen pasta made with vegetable juice. Muted green from spinach is the first image that comes to my mind. I've always found the colour in these pastas also reflected the flavour - equally as muted.
So what is a method for intensifying the colour and flavour? Cook your pasta in vegetable juice.
This past Christmas was filled with baking orders, farm work, and caterings. After working with the tens of pounds of pastured lard, 20 lb sacks of whole grain flour, and kilos of dark chocolate, there was finally time to play with a new culinary technique and revisit an old one.
One such catering request by a client was a whole poached salmon which resulted in smoked salmon (old technique) and a better-late-than-never arrival of a water circulator resulted in cooking eggs a la sous vide (new technique).
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.