We are snowed in here in Southwestern Ontario, so what better thing to do then make donuts! (Actually, I can think of a few things, but this was a good option :) ).
Mark and I's favourite Tim Horton's donut (doughnut?) is their Honey Cruller. At some of the other donut joints around, they are also called French Crullers. Since Mark's celiac diagnosis in December, we have both missed having these donuts. Okay, not me, since I eat them when I am at my place, but I do feel bad for him for not being able to eat them too.
This recipe comes from a great site called "The Art of Gluten Free Baking". Love this site! All the recipes have been good so far, and this one is excellent. I didn't totally follow the choux pastry recipe on her site, but I did like the beautiful photographs and step by step instructions. Her advice to use aluminum foil to transfer the crullers to the oil is genius.
As far as the choux pastry recipe goes, I used my regular recipe but substituted Jeanne's flour mix for the wheat flour. I've modified my regular recipe to use more of her mix, and I think the crullers need to cook until they are fairly well browned. A candy thermometer would help! If you don't have one, drop a 1 inch cube of potato into the oil, and if it starts bubbling around it and is softened but not browned in about 60 seconds then that should be about right. A thermometer really helps, though.
Mark's favourite picture of the crullers:
Oil for deep frying - I used about a litre of oil
Deep pan for frying in - I used a heavy wok
Paper towels for draining the crullers
Inspiration from The Art of Gluten Free Baking: link is here.
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of butter (which equals about 1/4 pound)
pinch of salt
1 cup plus 1/4 cup of gluten free flour -- I recommend Jeanne's flour mix, but any GF Flour will work. Make sure it has some xanthan or guar gum in it though - I'm pretty sure it is necessary for this recipe.
(if you are NOT using Gluten-free flour, just use 1 cup of white flour INSTEAD of the GF flour)
Bring the water to a rolling boil in your wok or deep sided pan. Add the butter and let the butter melt. Remove from the heat, and dump the flour in all at once. Stir together until combined, and then put it back on medium-low heat and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. It's hard to stir it - your arms will get tired, but keep working at it! Set the timer for 2 minutes if you're like me and can't keep count that long. The dough should form a ball, and not be sticking to the sides of the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. There are two options for incorporating the eggs one at a time: stir them in by hand, or use a stand mixer. The mixer is awesome! Today was the first time I've ever used the mixer for stirring in the eggs. I've always used the second option, which is to stir them in by hand right in the wok or pan.
Whichever method you choose, just be sure to beat the eggs in one at a time. If you are using a KitchenAid or other stand mixer, dump the cooked dough into the bowl, turn it on to medium, and beat each egg in until well incorporated. Same thing if you are doing it by hand, it just takes a little more work. The dough will look like it has completely failed - a sloppy, greasy mess. Keep mixing! It will eventually come together nicely.
Wipe out your wok or pan, make sure there is no water or flour residue in it. Pour in about 3 inches of oil and heat to 350-360 degrees. This is where a thermometer comes in handy! (I didn't have one either.) Go back to Jeanne's blog, and check out her method for using tin foil to transfer the crullers to the oil. She says, and is completely correct, to butter some aluminum foil, pipe the crullers onto them in 3 inch circles (I did hearts), and cut out around the cruller. When your oil is hot, put the cruller tin foil and all into the pan. The foil will release very quickly, and you can just pull it out with a pair of tongs.
Each cruller cooks for about 5 or 6 minutes, and should be nicely browned all around. I didn't cook my first few long enough, and although they still turned out okay, the crunchier ones were really good.
Glaze with any glaze you like - I used 2 Tbsp of Almond Milk, 1 cup plus 1/4 cup of icing sugar, and about 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Whisk it all together, dip in the tops, and the glaze will drain down the sides and coat the rest of the donut.