Notes: Our annual Hanukkah party was a bit low-key this year: due to sickness, many families weren't able to come, including our co-hosts. Nonetheless, I forged ahead with my deep-frying plan. Tim Horton's sells a cruller, one of my favourite donuts (the others being sour-cream glazed, and walnut twist), but I've never tried to make them.
This recipe calls for making the pâté à choux batter, then piping it into rings, and freezing it briefly, for easier transfer from pan to oil. I couldn't find my piping bag for the first batch, and just made blobs with a cookie scoop. This turned out to be a mistake. After freezing them for a few hours, the dense mass was not fully cooked by the time the outside was golden brown. Cutting the blobs into smaller pieces made bite-sized cruller bits that were perfect. You know when it's cooked when the exterior starts to crack and split, due to the steam expanding the interior.
I bought a pastry bag before the second batch, and used a star trip to pipe rings. These turned out much nicer, delicate and hollow, with a pronounced eggy flavour. They really need a sprinkling of sugar or dip into glaze, as a whole donut is pretty plain on its own. As with most deep-fried items, eat them fresh, as after a few days, they're just greasy sponges.
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