One perk of being a food blogger is the occasional freebie. When I was asked to check out a Martha Stewart enameled cast iron pot, I was all over it. The email came at the perfect time. I’d been dreaming about making doughnuts at home, but didn’t have the right pot for the job.
I got the smallest size: a 3 quart round casserole (in orange) and it worked great. The pots go all the way up to 8 quarts, but for doughnuts, the smaller size worked best because it was big enough to fry a few at a time, and you don’t need as much oil as you would with a larger pot.
When it comes to making yeast doughnuts, you’ve got a few choices: make them from scratch, using a recipe like this one that takes 2 and a half hours, or buy a package of buttermilk biscuits from the grocery store, pop them in the oil, and have fresh doughnuts in about two minutes.
I think it’s already obvious which method I tried.
Ask me to name my favorite bakery in San Diego and not only will I immediately say “Azucar“, once I start thinking about the Cuban-style patisserie in Ocean Beach, you’ll probably have to shake me by my shoulders to stop the visions of sugary treats dancing through my head. Vivian Hernandez-Jackson’s take on tiramisu was one of my first SD Sugar reviews, and I’ve also featured the bakery’s triple chocolate espresso cookie in a spread in San Diego Magazine. So, when Vivian invited me back to try some of the bakery’s newest creations, I jumped at the chance, and tried three items: doughnut muffins, the “It’s Your Birthday” cake, and the Turron de Havana.
For me, eating donuts is like time travel. As soon as the glaze hits me, I enter a nostalgic time warp where I experience the same level of joy as I did as a kid, munching on a donut and getting sprinkles all over the back seat of my parents’ car. In San Diego, donuts aren’t nearly as plentiful as my homeland, but there are some gems. And last weekend, I was lucky enough to have a tour guide to one of the longest-standing fried dough emporiums in the county: Star Dust Donuts.
As a transplanted Canadian, I take my doughnuts very seriously. On a weekly basis, I pine for the deep-fried dough of my homeland: Honey Dip, Marble, and Sour Cream Glazed doughnuts from Tim Hortons, washed down with a frosty Iced Capp. And though the food scene in Southern California does have its advantages, when it comes to doughnuts, the options are severely lacking. Though my better judgment advised against it, my crippling doughnut cravings (and curiosity) drove me to try 7-Eleven’s 2 for $1 Glazed Doughnut deal. At best, I’d discover a reasonable replacement for my beloved Timmy’s, and at worst, I’d be out a buck.
One of my favorite things about San Diego (aside from the palm trees, beaches, and cheap Mexican food) is its proximity to San Francisco. Hop in a plane and you can be there in about 2 hours (including baggage pick-up and BART). On a recent four-day binge vacation full of discovery, eating, and lots of walking up hills we sampled some truly spectacular sweets. Here are some of my favorites:
Here’s what I love about living in a new city: you get to experience places for the first time as an adult, which always makes me feel like a kid. Had I grown up in Escondido, making a trip to Peterson’s Donuts would have been a frequent occurrence. I would have started young, with a few donut holes after whatever swim practice, and graduated to sneaking home donuts in my backpack after school. But, since I grew up thousands of miles from Peterson’s, I got to experience my very first glazed (and cake) donuts as a full-grown adult. Let me just say, the glee that came from selecting my donut victims (and the resulting sugar high) was no less intense than it would have been multiple decades ago.
Just about every neighborhood in San Diego hosts a “Taste Of…” festival each year, and Taste of Adams Ave might be my favorite. After attending the Gaslamp and Downtown events, I finally learned how to do these events right: be picky, share samples, and know when to quit. This time around, I focused most of my efforts on trying mostly sweets, a relatively easy feat since only a handful of places were handing out desserts.