Saturday, 30 August 2014


Corn yeast risen doughnut, piped with Creamed Popcorn filling, topped with Salted Caramel icing and Crumbled popcorn. 

                      This dessert came from the result of two dishes on the same day colliding. I had set out to make corn yeast doughnuts on the day but with a simple sweetened cream corn custard filling. I also while on the corn as the subject made a clam and corn chowder and set out to attempt the great Grant Achatz dessert from the Alinea restaurant, 'liquid popcorn with caramel froth'. Although while making the liquid popcorn I had scaled back the recipe to a third, in doing this the ratio of liquid was wrong and with the starch in the corn the mix became a thick custard consistency instead of a drinkable one. The mixture had turned to a perfect piping bakers custard consistency only tasted of buttered popcorn from the movies. This prompted me to ditch making the Achatz recipe for the time being and use the creamed popcorn for the filling in the corn yeast doughnuts, so it went from there and I managed to finish the chowder also.          
                    So to make this dessert I first prepared the dough for the doughnuts and then while the dough was rising I prepared the filling by accident, followed by the salted caramel icing. Below is a list of the preparations, the ingredients and detailed methodology.

CORN YEAST DOUGHNUT- I first cut the kernels off a half cob of corn and mashed them in a small saucepan with a half cup of milk, this was then brought to the simmer and then removed from the heat, allowed to steep and infuse for 5 minutes before being strained, reserving 1/3 cup of corn infused milk. To this warm milk infusion I added 5g of granular yeast and 1 tbsp of caster sugar, mixing to combine, this was then set aside for 5 minutes to activate the yeast. In a mixing bowl I then whisked 1 egg until pale and thick, to this I added 50g of caster sugar, a pinch of salt, 15g of melted butter and the yeast corn milk mixture. This was then mixed to combine before adding 250g of 00 flour gradually, a half cup (62.5g) at a time to form a dough that came away from the side of the bowl but quite sticky to the touch. This was then covered and placed in warm place for an hour until doubled in size. I then flipped the dough over and recovered, allowing another half an hour. At this stage I heated some canola oil to 170C in a pot on the stove, rolled pieces of the dough into balls and flattening them to 1cm thick, using floured hands. These were then fried in the oil until golden in colour and cooked through the middle, once cooked the doughnuts were drained on paper towel and coated in caster sugar before being filled with creamed popcorn, iced with salted caramel icing and topped with crumbled popcorn.
CREAMED POPCORN FILLING- This was made by placing 60g of prepared popcorn, 3g of salt, 45g of butter, 30g of caster sugar and 375g of water into a medium saucepan and simmering on a medium heat for 5 minutes. This was then strained and then blended to form a paste, this was then placed in the fridge to chill before being spooned into a piping bag and piped into the centre of the doughnuts.
SALTED CARAMEL ICING- In a saucepan over a medium heat I melted 2 tbsp of butter, I then mixed in 3 tbsp of milk and 1/2 cup of brown sugar, his was boiled vigorously for a minute. I then removed the pot from the heat and beat in 1/2 a cup of confectioners sugar, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and a 1/2  tsp of sea salt.
CRUMBLED POPCORN- This is a mixture of ground popcorn which was made using the coffee grinder, a little salt, icing sugar and powdered butter. The powered butter is a simple mix of melted clarified butter with N-zorbit which is a modified tapioca starch used in cooking to turn fats and oils into powders, in this case butter.

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