A luxurious pumpkin brioche is converted into soft and pillowy brioche donuts with a silky molten chocolate truffle center, then dusted in a sweet pumpkin pie spice sugar.
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dep• ri•va•tion (deprəˈvāSH(ə)n) – the lack or denial of something considered to be a necessity.
But what really is a true necessity?
Is it Air?
After having spent some time in Shanghai, I was constantly horrified by the cloud of pollution that perpetually cloaked the city. Just looking at the seemingly impenetrable haze provoked hesitation before each breath for fear that the toxins would be inhaled into my body and start waging a war on every molecule of my being. But, the good news is that I am still here. . .well at least for the moment.
So, is this proof that clean, untainted air is not a necessity but rather the most precious of luxury items? Perhaps so precious that it will always remain just out of reach for even the wealthiest of humans.
So, so easy to have any time your little heart desires, right? A quick flick of the wrist and that gleaming nozzle releases a fury of life sustaining liquid. But have you considered just how lucky you are to have something so valuable always at your fingertips?
Not all are so fortunate.
After having lived in Africa, I witnessed just how scarce this commodity can be and the efforts required by many to provide a continual supply in order to sustain life. Day in and day out, women, young & old, make the long, tiresome trek to fetch the very same liquid that is nearly always within inches from most of us in the developed world. And this is during the good times – when water is more plentiful. During the drought, the search for water can be an arduous and desperate task. One that bears the strains of life and death.
Surely nothing you find on this site will fit within this category and I would venture to guess that most of your diets consist of food that would be considered anything but basic.
I bet when you are thinking about the necessities in your life. . .these basic essentials are not the first things that pop into your mind, are they?
They certainly wouldn’t have been on my list of necessities because, like you, I more often than not take these things for granted. Sure, water may not have been consistently flowing from my taps in Africa, but I was always lucky enough to have access to tanks or bottles of water safe enough to drink.
For example, there were the flights to South Africa every couple of months just to haul back the heavy bags of food that my Bengal kitty so needed to keep his kidneys functioning. And the unsweetened cocoa powder that is a regular ingredient on this site? Well, that was always on the top of the Mr.’s shopping list when he flew to Angola for business trips. And sugar? There was a sugar shortage when I lived in Kenya – so you could forget about doing baking of any sorts. Oh. . . and how I yearned to brush my teeth from a gushing tap rather than a bottle of Dasani.
While I was often hyper aware of the absence of things that I once regularly enjoyed, I did not find myself completely deprived of indulgences – many of which helped soothe my soul and ease any frustrations associated with assimilating into a foreign land that couldn’t be any more different than the country I grew up in.
Probably one of the greatest enjoyments was the ready access to imported chocolates such as Lindor truffles (P.S. This is not a sponsored post, but rather a chocolate that helped soothe my woes as I went through the inevitable process of culture shock). I always had these little beauties stashed away in the pantry so that they could be whipped out at a moments notice when a little chocolate therapy session was so desperately needed.
It’s uncommon to have air conditioning in Kenya, especially in Nairobi, so my truffles were perpetually soft, always releasing a gush of silky chocolate the minute my teeth shattered their outer shell. I absolutely adored this and I used it as the inspiration for these Pumpkin Brioche Donuts with Molten Chocolate Truffle Centers.
These Pumpkin Brioche Donuts start off with a tender and buttery pumpkin brioche. It’s such a tasty excuse to use up any leftover pumpkin as we transition out of fall and into winter. Really, you could stop there and pop the risen dough into a loaf pan & bake it until it reaches a golden perfection. But why stop there?
I had some leftover Pumpkin Spice Truffles, so I decided to roll the brioche out, cut it into 2 1/2 inch rounds, and then wrap those rounds around the truffles. The Pumpkin Brioche was then deep fried until it reached a golden hue. And last but not least, it was rolled around in a pumpkin pie spice sugar for a sweet crunch.
The end result – sweet and pillowy brioche donuts that have a hint of pumpkin spice and a silky soft molten chocolate truffle center that oozes out and bathes the taste buds the minute you bite into them.
P.S. Awwww! Leaving so soon? Well, I’m going to miss you. But, if you must leave, I would love for you to take a few more seconds and join The Road to Honey family. All you need to do is enter your email address in the box in the upper right hand corner on this site. This will guarantee that you are one of the firsts to see any new posts from the Road to Honey. Oh. . .and rest assured I will never, ever share your e-mail with anyone else – pinky swear.
A luxurious pumpkin brioche is converted into soft and pillowy donuts with a silky molten chocolate truffle center, then dusted in a sweet pumpkin pie spice sugar.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 packet instant yeast, (about 2.5 teaspoons)
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 4 large eggs
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 35-40 Lindor Truffles (I used Pumpkin Spice Truffles
Place all ingredients in a shallow dish. Stir until well combined.
Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Stir the milk & maple syrup together.
Place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Sprinkle the yeast on top of the milk & carefully add the flour.
Mix on low until well combined & smooth.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap & allow the sponge to rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size (1-2 hours).
Cut the butter into 1 inch cubes. Set aside.
Add the first four ingredients (brown sugar through eggs) to the brioche sponge & mix on low with the paddle attachment until incorporated.
Switch the paddle attachment out for the hook attachment.
Add the flour & mix on low until the dough comes together (2-3 minutes).
Increase the speed to medium low & continue to work the dough until it becomes smooth (about 5 minutes). Stop the mixer every minute & push the dough down off the hook & back into the bowl.
Reduce the mixer speed to low & slowly add the butter, a little at a time over the course of 3 minutes.
When the butter begins to blend in, increase the speed to medium high & continue to beat until the dough becomes smooth & shiny (about 5 minutes more). Push the dough down off the hook as needed.
Coat a large bowl with canola oil & turn the down around in the bowl to lightly coat the dough.
Place a piece of plastic wrap tightly around the bowl & allow the dough to double in size at room temperature (about 2 hours).
Once the dough has risen, place it on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper.
Roll the dough out until it is 1/2 inch thick.
Cut out a 2 1/2 inch round using a biscuit or cookie cutter. Alternatively you could use a glass that is roughly 2 1/2 inches and trace it with a knife to cut out the round.
Place a truffle in the center of each round & wrap the dough around it.
Pinch the seams to seal the chocolate in the center.
Place the donuts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet & loosely cover them with a damp paper towel.
Allow the donuts to rise for an hour.
Heat 2 to 3-inches of oil in a heavy, high-sided pot over medium heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees F.
Working in batches of 3, drop the doughnuts into the oil & fry until they float.
Turn the doughnuts over in the oil & continue cooking. Cook the doughnuts, until they are uniformly golden.
Transfer fried donuts to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
While the donut is still warm, roll it in the Pumpkin Pie Spice Sugar (about a 30 seconds-1 minute after placing on paper towel) until it is evenly coated.
Best eaten the day they are made. I prefer mine after then have cooled slightly as the molten center thickens up a bit.
This recipe was adapted from Gesine Bullock-Prado’s Pumpkin Brioche Buns.