Things are going to be a little quiet around here for a bit. Jesse and I are off to Quebec for our 2 week vacation, to explore the old towns and wonderful architecture, enjoy le fromage et le pain and evaluate coffee and boutique cafes. Most importantly we will take some time out together away from snow, Goose parkas and our strict daily habits of working, learning French, lifting weights and trialling recipes.
On our return I will be leaving my office job at the airline and establishing a small cafe & bakery here. In our community of 900 there are 3 restaurants, one of which (the Chinese restaurant) is closing down next week. Unfortunately the other two which are both based in the local hotels are not at all appealing to us and many of our friends.
At the moment, there is nowhere one can purchase a freshly baked brioche or a caramel slice from the display cabinet, and enjoy a relaxed morning over a good magazine and a strong, fresh
flat white coffee, amidst a hub of community activity. Sure, this is indeed a very small, isolated Northern town. But almost every resident has moved here from the city, where coffee shops and boutique cafes are in abundance. And, like any city folk, we crave it. Cafe-style food. Fresh, homebaked goods. Nutritious, hearty salads. Good quality, freshly ground and properly brewed coffee. And the only way to get this is to create it.
A big change and a big risk to pursue a passion I haven’t been able to satisfy through my 8 – 5 office job.
This audio clip by Alan Watts also had a part to play in having the confidence to take a risk and do something out of passion rather than obligation.
Lemon Glazed Baked Donuts
Recipe adapted from Leanne Bakes
I have made two sorts of donuts with my recently aquired donut pan – Chocolate & Orange and Lemon & Nutmeg. Both were wonderful – light, citrusy and fresh. Baked donuts are basically muffins. But shaped in a ring they are much more fun.
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup wholewheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk (or milk with a dash of vinegar to sour and thicken)
1/4 cup honey
2 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
zest from 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
juice from 1 lemon
Lightly grease a donut pan and preheat the oven to 425F. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients. In another bowl thoroughly mix together the wet ingredients.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients fold with a spatula until just combined, taking care not to overmix. You might see tiny pockets of flour – this is okay.
Spoon the batter into the greased donut pan, filling them 2/3 full. It may be easier to transfer batter to a piping bag and pipe into the rings. Bake for 8 minutes until they’re lightly golden and springy when gently pressed. Let cool on wire rack. Repeat with second batch, unless you have a 12 hole pan.
To make the glaze, whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth and glossy. Dip the donuts while they’re slightly warm into the glaze, or drizzle overtop.