Last week I did something a little scary, a lot vulnerable, and a bit awkward but totally fun: I Facebook Live’d. Is it a verb? Probably, totally not. But we talked rhubarb fritters and that’s all that really matters. If you want to check it out it’s still up on my feed (for how long? I have no idea.) or watch it below. You all were so fun, so supportive and encouraging. Thanks to those of you who tuned in! To date the demo has been viewed over 5,000 times and that, my friends, is awesome (and terrifying).
Facebook live is the most recent (or one of) social media tools to hit the internet. Being a grandma in internet-land (I mean I’ve been blogging for nearly 10 years!) I have watched many things come and go. I’ve seen vibrant, active websites become internet ghost towns and witnessed “the next big social app” fall apart before it caught on. I still feel a bit old – wasn’t snapchat were the young kids went for sexting and now I’ve JUST started snapping (nws-ashrod). Oh man, now I just sound like a real life grandma. But Facebook Live is fun. Super fun.
With Facebook Live I get to cook for you in more than 10 second clips and we can interact through questions and comments in real time. Away from the internet I get the opportunity to teach many cooking and baking classes so I’m thrilled to be able to use those skills with all of you. I’m not sure if this is one of those things that is going to catch on or be left in the dust by whatever is coming next but in the meantime I’m having fun and I hope you come join. I’ll be doing another live demo this Thursday (4/14) at 2:30 pm PST. I haven’t quite settled on what we’ll be making (currently thinking cocktails because it’s DATE NIGHT!) so if you have any ideas please let me know. Or if you have any questions you want me to answer feel free to write them on my Facebook page or leave in the comments below. Or tune in and ask live! The internet is fun.
These rhubarb fritters were last week’s demo as I said and I wish I could have shared them through the screen. They’re perhaps a bit more doughnut than fritter. Meaning there is more dough to fruit than what I originally intended and you are welcome to add more rhubarb if you’d like but I was thrilled with the result. What I particularly love is that the rhubarb is cold poached in sugar and a bit of spice for an hour or so before the doughnuts are fried. The sugar soaks into the rhubarb sweetening it from the outside in while still maintaining a bit of crunch. The only time the rhubarb is cooked is during the frying process so you get a vibrant rhubarb tang, a pleasant freshness but – with the help of the glaze – enough sweetness to satisfy.
The glaze is made from the reduced liquid that comes from the cold poach along with a good bit of lemon juice to offset the flurries of powdered sugar that is whisked in. If you have a vanilla bean on hand I’d eagerly suggest you add that as well as I’m such a softy for those black flecks and the perfume they bring with them.
While we were devouring our doughnuts after the show Brandi walked in (we filmed at The Pantry where I often teach) with rhubarb mousse. So if you happen to have some rhubarb mousse lying around please do as we did and stuff your fritters with it. Rhubarb and more rhubarb is totally my idea for a good time. Mousse or no mousse these beauties are sure to sweep the internet or more likely, and even better, been seen in our kitchen on repeat.
4 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
zest from 1/2 a lemon
3/4 cup water
1 stick butter, soft
1 1/4 pounds rhubarb
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
oil (sunflower or other flavorless oil) for frying
1/2 cup reduced rhubarb syrup (reserved from the rhubarb filling)
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
juice from 1 lemon
pinch flake salt, in the glaze or to finish the doughnuts
Put all the dough ingredients, apart from the butter, into the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook and mix on a medium speed for 8min, or until the dough starts coming away from the sides and forms a ball. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for a minute.
Start the mixer up again on a medium speed and slowly add the butter to the dough, about 1 tablespoon at a time.
Once it is all incorporated, mix on high speed for 5 minutes until the dough is glossy, smooth and elastic when pulled.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise until it has doubled in size, about an hour. Knead the dough just briefly it to get the extra air out, then re-cover the bowl and put into the fridge to chill overnight. This overnight rest gives the dough a deep flavor with a soft, sour tang. If you are in a hurry you are welcome to skip this step and just carry on.
The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and gently press it into a large rectangle about 1-inch thick.
Trim the ends off the rhubarb and cut the stalks into small dice, about 1/4-inch cubes. In a bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and rhubarb. Give this mixture a stir and then let it sit for at least one hour. Stir the rhubarb occasionally.
Drain off the syrup into a small saucepan. Reduce the liquid to 1/2 cup and then set aside.
Layer 1/3 of the diced rhubarb onto the right half of the doughnut dough. Fold the left side over the rhubarb like a book. Gently press the dough down again, give it a 90° turn and repeat the process until all the rhubarb has been layered in. Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap then let rest from 10 minutes.
Gently roll the dough out to about 1 1/2-inch thickness then cut into 2×2-inch squares (or really, whatever size you’d like). This dough can be quite sticky when it has lost its chill from the refrigerator so don’t be afraid to use a good bit of flour to keep it from sticking.
When the dough feels light and airy, no longer cold, and springs back very slowly when touched they are ready to fry.
Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large high sided sauce pan or dutch oven. When the oil has reach 350°F the doughnuts are ready to fry. Add the doughnuts to the oil, a few at a time as you don’t want the oil temperature to drop too much. Fry for four minutes, flipping them over halfway through so they brown evenly. I like them good and dark – color equals flavor! Remove them from the oil after four minutes to a rack set over a sheet tray or paper towels set on a plate.
Let cool slightly before drizzling the glaze over the top.
For the glaze:
In a bowl whisk together the reduced rhubarb syrup along with the juice of 1 lemon and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Whisk until no clumps remain. If it looks too wet add a bit more powdered sugar. The thicker the glaze the thicker it will be on the doughnuts.