Making the batter for the doughnuts is as easy as it gets, but the most important instruction is to fill the doughnut cups in the pans three-quarters full. Yes, I learned that the hard way. After mixing the dry ingredients in a large bowl, the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, and stirring the wet into the dry, don’t overfill the pans. If the cups have too much batter, you won’t have holes in your doughnuts. I got it right on my second try. After baking, the doughnuts cooled for a few minutes before being tapped out of the pans. Then, they were each dunked into melted butter and then dipped into cinnamon sugar. You could dunk and dip both sides, but I only did one side for each doughnut. The chocolate sauce is simple to make and can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated as needed. Chopped dark chocolate, or feves as I used, is placed in a bowl. Cream is brought to a simmer in a saucepan. Off the heat, sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, almond extract, Kahlua, chile powder, and a pinch of salt are added to the cream. The cream is then poured over the chocolate which is whisked until smooth. You can use whatever pure chile powder you prefer, and chipotle is suggested. Instead, I used a big pinch of ancho powder and a little bit of cayenne. You’ll want to taste and add small pinches of chile powder until you’re happy since the richness of the cream flattens out the chile flavor. I wanted a subtle earthiness from the ancho and just a slight tingle from the cayenne. It took a few added pinches and taste tests to get it just right. Serve the chocolate sauce in small cups for dunking the doughnuts or for pouring the sauce on top of them.
Buttery, cinnamony doughnuts are ideal vehicles for this rich and flavorful chocolate sauce. After this, I think my new baked doughnut pans will be getting plenty of use. And, now I have to ponder my lack of mini Bundt pans and possibly do something about that.
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