Hibiscus Donuts

Hibiscus Donuts is a chain of donut shops with locations on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. The shop specializes in traditional Hawaiian-style glazed hibiscus doughnuts that are often served as ice cream cones for dessert.

Hibiscus Donuts are a popular donut shop in the United States. The “hibiscus donut voodoo” is a type of donut that is made with hibiscus flowers and rosewater.

I first encountered hibiscus in the form of tea. Every day as soon as it became hot at a farmer’s market in Boston, my supervisor and the farm owner would look at me and say, “Fennel, coffee run?”

“Yes!” I’d answer with a grin. I accepted his payment card and inquired about the drink orders of the other staff.

Cap made of ice. 1 sugar, iced coffee ‘Red Eye’ is a term used to describe 2 splenda, iced coffee, milk 

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I strolled a block from the market to a downtown coffee cafe. I stood in my shoes and cotton tank top among businessmen in suits and ladies in pencil skirts and heels. My hands were often a little grubby from carrying the wooden boxes off the farm truck that morning.

I’d ask for an iced hibiscus tea for myself at the conclusion of the order.

It felt like bliss. Cold and refreshing, with a bright and flowery taste that seemed perfect for the next hot day.

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I’m taken back to my summer at the farmer’s market every time I consume hibiscus now. Spring peas, tri-colored carrots, and haricots verts are being bagged. Having to lift huge buckets full with sunflowers the size of your head. I’m also drinking an iced hibiscus tea.

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Hibiscus appears in the sugar covering as well as the pastry cream, which practically bursts from the doughnut.

They’re amazing in every way. When I cooked these last week, I had a terrible time not eating them. Which, in my opinion, is a really good indicator.

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Ingredients

to make the dough

  • 1 cup of hot milk
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 1/4 tablespoons yeast (active dry)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • a single huge egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extract de vanille
  • 2 tblsp. butter, melted
  • 1 pound of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried hibiscus blossoms, crushed

pastry cream with hibiscus

  • 1 tablespoon hibiscus blossoms, dried
  • 1 1/4 gallon milk
  • 1 pound of sugar
  • a quarter-cup of lemon juice
  • 1 lemon’s zest
  • 4 beaten egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup flour (all-purpose)

Instructions

to make the dough

  1. Combine the milk, sugar, and yeast in a small mixing dish. Allow for 5 minutes of resting time, or until the yeast starts to bubble and froth.
  2. Combine flour and salt in a standing mixer bowl equipped with a dough attachment. Stir together the egg, vanilla essence, melted butter, and milk mixture.
  3. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on low speed, until it is soft and pliable (dough will be VERY sticky). It will take 10-15 minutes to knead the dough by hand. Pull a quarter-sized piece of dough between your hands and hold it up to a window to see whether it passes the window test. The glutens are strong enough and the dough is ready if you can see light beaming through and the dough does not break.
  4. Place dough in a large basin that has been greased with oil. Allow 1 1/2 hours to rise in a warm location after covering with plastic wrap.

in order to make pastry cream

  1. Prepare the pastry cream in the meanwhile. Combine dried hibiscus, milk, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until the milk is scalding (steaming) but not boiling, stirring regularly.
  2. Combine egg yolks, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and flour in a separate basin. It’s ok if the mixture becomes pasty. Just make sure everything is well combined.
  3. 1/4 cup hot milk mixture into egg mixture, whisk to incorporate, then gently pour everything into the saucepan, stirring the whole time.
  4. Increase the heat to medium and whisk continually until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat and strain into a basin using a fine mesh strainer.
  5. Cover pastry cream with plastic wrap and chill until absolutely cold.

returning to the donuts

  1. Deflate the dough with a gentle punch, then roll it out onto a lightly floured work area. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick, then cut into circles using a circular 3-inch pastry cutter and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow to rise for 1 hour, covered loosely with a cloth or plastic wrap.
  2. Combine the remaining 1 cup of sugar and the coarsely crushed dried hibiscus flowers in a mixing bowl. Remove from the equation.
  3. 2 quarts canola oil, heated to 350°F in a big heavy-bottomed pot 3-4 at a time, fry doughnuts for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side, or until gently golden brown. Take the pan off the heat and throw in the hibiscus-sugar mixture.
  4. Finally, transfer the pastry cream to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip. In the middle of each donut, pipe pastry cream. DEVOUR!

 

Hibiscus flowers are used in many countries to make a variety of food and drink. One popular use is the hibiscus flower tea, which can be made with dried or fresh hibiscus flowers. Reference: dried hibiscus flowers.

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