December. This heart full of tears and of night.” – Albert Camus, Notebooks.
The tree is up. The balsam branches wildly twinkled with warm lights, hints of gild. There’s tapered candles, and wood, woven stockings hung on brass animal-esque ornaments. I could go on and on, but I won’t. It’s become hard to embrace the Christmas season. Not, because I don’t love it…I do, trust me, I do. It’s more that, lately, I’ve been feeling like there’s something missing, something I’m so desperately desiring to experience.
It’s those traditions that evoke a ferocious bestial sense of comfort in the dead of winter. Watching friends on the other side of the world be coated in vast blankets of snow. The smell of a tree, a real tree. Gatherings by the fire in the hearth. Fog. The evergreen wreaths. Baking with all the aromatics – citrus, spices and herbs whilst being surrounded by the heat of the oven and chill of first frost.
It could be down to an inmost fear of missing out. A desire for greener (in this case, cooler) pastures, an experience so far from my come-accustomed own. I’ve done the Australian Christmas. Oh boy, I’ve done it. This perpetually hot climate, seems to negate anything cozy. It’s in my nature to be hopelessly bent and restless. And it’s time for something else. Even if it’s just the winter baking that I get behind. I definitely can get behind that.
These Brioche Doughnuts with Matcha White Chocolate Glaze were created with the idea in mind that new traditions can be just as consoling too. Brioche, always. Deep-fried brioche forever. They’re fluffy, crisp on-the-outside and soft on-the-inside. Coated in the most sticky-sweet matcha and white chocolate glaze too, with the addition of Aiya cooking grade Matcha only making them better too.
Brioche Doughnuts with Matcha White Chocolate Glaze are worthy of a celebration. The looming date of Christmas is rapidly approaching and I still haven’t decided which dessert way to swing on the impending day. Doughnuts seem a good choice, doughnuts are always a good choice. You can make the brioche dough the night before then fry them in the morning. You could coat them in a cloud of a matcha powdered sugar instead of the glaze too. They’ll probably look all the more festive. Or do both, I won’t judge.
*This post is sponsored by Aiya Matcha, as always all opinions are my own.
- 45 millilitres (1.6 ounces) whole milk
- 7 gram (.25 ounce) sachet of instant yeast
- 250 grams (8.8 ounces) plain flour
- 50 grams (1.8 ounces) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod
- 125 grams (4.4 ounces) unsalted butter, very soft at room temperature
- 1 litre (39 ounces) neutral oil, for frying
- 400 grams (14.1 ounces) white chocolate, finely chopped
- 125 millilitres (4.4 ounces) heavy cream
- 1-2 tablespoons (depends on personal taste) Aiya cooking grade Matcha
- 1½ teaspoons neutral oil
- Place the milk in a small saucepan set over low heat, Heat, until it is lukewarm in temperature. Remove the saucepan from the heat then using a fork, gently whisk in the yeast until it is evenly distributed. Set the mixture aside to prove until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix on low speed to combine. Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix to form a rough, shaggy dough, about 4 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla bean seeds. Let the mixer knead the dough until it is smooth and combined, about 4 more minutes.
- Add in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, until it is all incorporated. Knead on high speed until the dough is smooth and velvety, 8 minutes.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm draft-free area until the dough has doubled in sized, about 2 hours. When the dough has risen, knock it back in it’s bowl then re-cover the bowl and set it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours, but preferably 24 hours. This slow rising process will allow the dough to develop a more intense flavour, and a softer texture.
- When you are ready to make the doughnuts, transfer the chilled dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out with a lightly floured rolling pin until it is about 26 centimetres (10.5 inches) wide and about 1.3 centimetres (1/2 inch) thick. Using a circular doughnut cutter (2¾” or 7 cm’s), cut out as many doughnuts as you can. Make sure to keep the holes for frying too. Re-roll the remaining scraps and again, cut out as many doughnuts and their holes as possible. Set the doughnuts aside on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and loosely cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. Place the tray in a warm place to prove for a further 1 hour.
- When the doughnuts have risen, pour the oil into a large and deep saucepan. Heat, over a medium-low temperature until it reaches 175 C (350 F). Watch the temperature closely! The pace should quicken as it nears close to temperature.
- Gently pick a doughnut up and place it in the oil. Fry on one side for 2 minutes then flip with a metal strainer or spatula and fry on the other side for a further 1 minute or until golden brown all over.
- Remove the doughnut and let it cool on a kitchen paper towel lined baking tray whilst you repeat with the remaining doughnuts, making sure to fry no more than 3 to 4 at a time. Set the doughnuts aside whilst you make the matcha white chocolate glaze.
- Place the finely chopped white chocolate and cream in a medium sized heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water and on medium-low heat. Do not let the water touch the base of the bowl. Add in the Aiya cooking grade Matcha and oil. Stir with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. It should be a pourable consistency but if it is not add a bit more warm cream until it flows smoothly. Remove from the heat and immediately dip or pour the glaze evenly over the brioche doughnuts. Let sit for 10 minutes until the glaze is just beginning to set before serving.