Okay, we’re on to recipe number two of my holiday donuts. I have already shared a baked eggnog donut recipe, now it’s time for another baked donut that is filled with creamy, orange chocolate. A highly underrated holiday flavor combination, in my opinion. When I was a kid, my parents would occasionally put one of those chocolate oranges in our stockings. You know the one that you have to crack on the counter or with a small hammer to have all the “slices” fall magically apart? Yeah, that one. I am not even sure if they make them anymore. But, they used to be a favorite of mine. Something about that flavor combination is a real winner. Obviously it doesn’t strictly have to be centered around Christmas time, but since I always got them in my stocking, I always affiliate that flavor combo with the holidays. This donut flavor is inspired after that sweet treat.
These donuts are baked, not fried, per usual. They are yeasted, so there is a rising time period that is necessary. But, it’s well worth it. These donuts are fluffy and addicting with their orange sugar coating. The center is filled with a creamy, thick orange chocolate ganache. Trust me, it’s easier than it sounds. As usual though, baked donuts are the best the day they are made. The donuts lose their fluffy texture after a day, but certainly not any of their flavor. So, if you’re planning on making these for guests or Christmas morning, I would definitely plan ahead. Although I have not tried this method, you could prepare the dough the night before and set it in the refrigerator to rise over night. Just let it come to room temperature for an hour before rolling out and cutting.
Donut recipe adapted from Glazed, Filled, Sugared & Dipped
For the donuts
- 3 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
- 3 cups bread flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
For the coating
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 orange, zested
For the chocolate ganache filling
- 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract, or 2 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk together the yeast and milk. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until bubbly.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the bread flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the flour mixture into the yeast mixture. Stir in the egg and vanilla extract until just combined, then mix in the butter. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 5-8 minutes, until the dough pulls completely away from the bowl and dough is smooth.
- Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Place in a grease bowl, turning once to coat, cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm spot. Let rise until nearly tripled in size, 2-3 hours.
- Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Gently deflate the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thick. Using a round 2 1/2-3 inch round biscuit cutter, cut the dough into rounds and place on the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the dough only once. You can discard the scraps or bake them for bite-sized snacks.
- Place the donuts in the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until light golden brown.
- While the donuts are still hot, using a pairing knife or the end of a pastry tip, cut a small hole in the side of each donut to fill with the filling later. Whisk together the orange zest and sugar in a shallow bowl. While the donuts are still hot, dip the donuts in the melted butter to coat, then roll in the orange/sugar mixture, shaking off any excess.
- If serving the donuts within in the hour, making the filling.
- To make the filling, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Once simmering, remove from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the orange extract. Let the ganache cool until thick enough to pipe in a frosting bag. This will take some time at room temperature. You can speed the process up by placing the ganache in the refrigerator, just be sure to whisk the chocolate every 10 minutes or so.
- Once the ganache has cooled and thickened but is still creamy, spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Place the frosting bag into the hole of each donut, and pipe the ganache into the center of the donut until the donut puffs slightly. Repeat until all the donuts have been filled. Serve immediately.
Once filled, the donuts are best eaten within a few hours. But, if you aren't picky or serving these for a party, they are definitely acceptable to eat within a few days.