When I interviewed Del Sroufe this week on It’s All About Food I knew I would be making this recipe soon. It’s in his newest cookbook, The China Study Family Cookbook. It is a MUST-HAVE vegan cookbook with all kinds of yummy comfort foods made with REAL ingredients, like this doughnut recipe for example. The ingredients that make this recipe so fantastic are the sweet potato and date purees. This recipe may be made with wheat flour OR an All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour. It made be made as a quick bread with baking powder, or allowed to rise with yeast. It’s your choice. I find the doughnuts made with yeast are subtly lighter and springier.
Makes 6 doughnuts
2 sweet potatoes
2 cups pitted dates
2 cups water
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour OR All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour – we used Bob’s Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
7 tablespoons (divided) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder (or 1 package of yeast)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional – I don’t use any)
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons almond butter or any nut or seed butter
Preheat oven to 350oF
Make the Sweet Potato Purée:
Rinse sweet potatoes and scrub the skin with a food brush. Rinse and shake dry. Place on a baking sheet and pierce with a fork a few times. Bake for about an hour until tender. Let cool to room temperature. Scoop the flesh into a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. (Sweet potato puree may be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.)
Make the Date Purée:
Combine dates and water in a saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until the dates are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the cooking water. Puree the dates in a blender or food processor, adding just enough water to make creamy consistency. Let cool to room temperature. (Date puree may be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.)
- FOR THE BAKING POWDER QUICK VERSION:
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder, baking powder and salt (if using).
In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, 3/4 cup date puree, plant milk and vanilla.
Spoon the batter into the wells of a nonstick doughnut pan.
- FOR THE YEAST VERSION:
Proof the yeast:
Warm the 1/4 cup of plant milk slightly (about 110oF)
In a bowl mix the yeast and 1/4 plant milk. Set aside for about 5 minutes. Mixture with thicken.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder and salt (if using).
In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, 3/4 cup date puree and vanilla. Add in yeast mixture.
Spoon the batter into the wells of a nonstick doughnut pan. Let rise in a warm place for 30-60 minutes until double in size.
Bake until the doughnuts spring back when gently pressed, 12 to 15 minutes.
Let the doughnuts cool slightly in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Frosting the Doughnuts:
While the doughnuts are cooling, combine 1/2 cup sweet potato purée, 1/4 cup date purée, 2 tablespoons nut or seed butter and 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder in a bowl or food processor and mix until smooth and creamy.
Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of the chocolate frosting over each doughnut and serve.
1. Pour 1/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut on a plate and press a frosted doughnut on top to cover it with the coconut.
2. Replace the cocoa powder with Maca Powder and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla for an energizing vanilla frosting.
3. Try sesame tahini or peanut butter in place of the almond butter.