I discovered these heavenly things completely by accident while in New York. Ralph and I had secured spots for the St. Patrick's Day parade, and I went off in search of coffee to keep us from freezing to death (I don't deal well with cold).
I saw a lady sitting outside a tiny little patisserie having a cup of coffee and one of these. I asked her if the shop was any good and she excitedly told me that this doughnut she was having was amazing. I wasn't convinced, but went inside and ordered one anyway, with two cups of coffee.
Can you tell it was cold? I wasn't wearing my gloves and windbreaker yet at that point. Of course, it hadn't started snowing yet. Why do I look like I'm smiling at some sort of drooling psychopathic dog who's about to attack me? That's me trying to decide whether to be happy about an amazing parade or burst into tears and demand to be taken somewhere with heating (I really don't deal well with cold). The parade won- for a while..
That cruller was just incredible.. They just look like doughnuts on the outside, but inside they're doughey and holey- like an eclaire. In fact, they are eclairs, just deep fried ones. I fell in love with them that day. I wonder why they're not more ubiquitous? I was determined to make them at home, and blow everyone away. And boy did I.
From Food Network
1 cup water
114 g unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cake flour
3 - 5 extra-large eggs
Canola oil, for deep frying
3 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup milk
1) Place water, butter, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a strong boil.
2) Remove from heat, add all the flour, and stir hard with a wooden spoon, until it's uniform.
3) Return to the heat, and stir continuously while cooking the dough a bit to evaporate some moisture. Do this for about 2 minutes.
4) Place mixture into a bowl, and start beating.
5) While beating, start adding the eggs, one by one. Make sure each egg is perfectly incorporated before adding the next. After adding 3 eggs check- if the dough is glossy, and slowly drips off the beaters, it's done and no more eggs should be added. Otherwise, add eggs until the dough becomes the right consistency.
6) Line a couple of baking sheets with wax paper. I drew outlines on mine so that I knew how to pipe the crullers (about 2 1/2 inch rings, I used the outside squares).
7) Fill a piping bag with the mixture.
8) Pipe rings onto the wax paper:
9) Place the baking sheets in the freezer for 1 hour. This will make the crullers easy to lift.
10) Make the glaze: mix the milk and icing sugar until smooth.
11) Heat up about 2 inches of oil on a medium heat.
12) Gently lift off and place the crullers in the oil, fry until golden, and turn over. Drain on paper towels once cooked.
13) Dip the crullers into the glaze, and drain.
14) Let them cool, then serve for breakfast, or tea, or naughty midnight snack that you eat alone before falling into the sweetest sleep.