April 30, 2012

Doughnuts & passion fruit juice

April 30, 2012
The springtime fertility fest of the Northern Hemisphere, May Day, originates from the pre Christian era of pagan tradition. It stood for the day cows were released onto the pasture and bonfires were lit to drive away evil spirits and disease. The etymology of Finnish Vappu is traceable to the German Walpurgisnacht, a night of witchcraft, after Saint Walburga who was canonized on May 1st, possibly in AD 870. It was celebrated with homemade mead and dancing.
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Although sima, a fermented drink, is still associated with the festival, the rest of the tradition has turned into a street carnival of students and working class. It is, along with New Years Eve and Midsummer fest, by far the wildest public holiday in Finland. Sobriety is an unknown virtue during Vappu. If civilisation was the reason of Christianisation of paganism, I wonder how successful it has been. Isn’t our modern culture producing another type of tribe, able to build tiny mechanical appliances while being disconnected, more than ever, with nature, ourselves and the Truth?
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Sima, munkki (doughnuts) and tippaleipä (funnel cakes) are served on May Day. Although I follow a different, Vedic moon calendar of annual events, and rarely bother with Western holidays, I used the occasion to develop a yeast-free doughnut recipe. It turned out perfect! The doughnuts were crispy and airy. Instead of using milk to thin the batter, try carbonated water. It makes the doughnuts light and less dough-like. Although the batter is more liquid than the one made with yeast, with the help of an ice-cream scoop, it can be spooned into the hot oil. The doughnuts are bite-size and small. Using a piping bag it is easy to impregnate them with chocolate filling. After all, Vappu is a fertility fest!
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Serve the sugar infused doughnuts with a refreshing passion fruit juice. It is a combination made in heaven!
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Written on obscure pieces of paper, no wonder my recipes get lost half of the time!
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Thank you.

40 comments:

  1. What fabulous doughnuts! Very addictive looking. A lovely post with gorgeous pictures.

    Happy Vappu!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. oh my Lakshmi! These would be dangerous to have on hand, so utterly sinful and gorgeous!

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  3. Yet again, your knowledge enlightens me. The doughnuts look and sound wonderful!

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  4. OMG! This is justtt amazing Lakshmi :) Love the recipe (eggless) and pictures and everything in here. And your posts are always inspiring.

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  5. They look very good Laksmi. One of "have to try" recipie. Are they soft like yest donuts or have a hard skin? Do they have big empty bubbles inside to fit the filling? Pictures beautiful as usual are not very informative of how they look inside? Do you have any to e-mail them to me? Please, please!!
    And look how photogenic your husband's hands are;-)))

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  6. Your work is simply inspiring!

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  7. May 1 is a weird day in Germany, or at least in Berlin. A bunch of anarchist or anarchist-like people running through the city and burning things. And then on the other side, we have neo-Nazis marching through the city. It's no fun like in Scandinavia.

    These look fantastic! I love how you "impregnated" the doughnuts. :) And wonderful pictures as always.

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  8. That does sound like a match made in heaven! The color of the drink and that chocolate oozing out from the doughnut is making me smile :) Your work is always a piece of art that can make even that 'obscure pieces of paper' look pretty!

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  9. Stunning photos! Love that vintage silver tray...gorgeous! I never knew one was supposed to eat doughnuts on May Day. What a great excuse :)

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  10. It's nice you like the recipe.

    Cintamani - unfortunately I don't have more accurate pictures. These doughnuts are different from Polsko pączek, according to the hubby, Mr Handsome Hands (although at home he is known as Mr Nakkisormi, nakki being serdelek and sormi palec :-) The outside crust is very thin and crisp. I wouldn't say it is hard. No need for a chainsaw to cut it. It is perfect and as it should be. The inside is soft, light and somewhat airy. It is very fine, perhaps rather cake-like than chewy, dense or substancial. It is definitely different from yeast dough. These melt in the mouth. Because the inside is so etherial, it is easy to pump them full of chocolate or jam. The size inspires to pop them into the mouth one after another without getting a heavy feeling. If you want them to be more solid, use milk instead of carbonated water, or use more condensed milk. You will figure out the consistency you like. I'm not a refined cook or eater, I have a peasant taste, and I'm amazed and happy with anything that contains sugar :-)

    Erin - May 1st in Berlin sounds pretty scary!

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  11. Nessie - Oh yes, it's a doctor's order. No May Day should go by without doughnuts :-) The tray was a miracle find of 5 € from a fleamarket! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it.

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  12. After reading this post and seeing these pictures, I will crave them on every May day... Hopefully will make them too....
    These look gorgeous Lakshmi...
    You inspire me in so many ways....

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  13. Beautiful pictures, mouthwatering doughnuts! Love the way you describe the things in your post. I could just stare at those pictures for hours. The chocolate on the doughnuts just makes me want to eat them right away.

    Fabulous, as always!

    Best,
    Sihi

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  14. Your posts are always a treat to even look at!! I can only imagine how awesome they must taste! Great work! Absolutely brilliant!!

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  15. Oh, these are beautiful. I just discovered your site - such a lovely space! Can't wait to try out some of your recipes.

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  16. Thank you!

    Sarah - when I visited your blog, I wished I were a better cyber-reader and able to follow blogs. Your writing, quotations and mood transmitted by the images is lovely.

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  17. beautiful pics lakshmi like always and a lovely post.

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  18. I lose all my words when I sit down to comment in your posts :) They are all beautiful beyond words. And donuts with carbonated water! now that is something I want to try. How delicious they look all skewered up and with the "Fresh" juice. I love the tray! and the oozing chocolate (no donuts here on may day:( ) and even your obscure paper looks beautiful!

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  19. Is it possible to substitute the condensed milk and butter to make it vegan? It looks amazing!

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  20. Thanks!

    Dawn - I haven't tried a vegan version and won't be able to say how they would come out. You will have to experiment with the recipe. I'm sure there is a way. You could try to fry a vegan sponge-cake batter. Let me know if you do :-)

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  21. Deliciosossss!!! Unas fotos maravillosas como siempre!!
    Besoss

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  22. Amazing photos and recipe. I have been searching for egg-less donut recipe for a long time. Can't wait to try them.

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  23. Passion fruit juice is my all time favourite drink. Lovely doughnuts as well!

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  24. Lakshmi,
    I've not been a great fan of donuts, but from your description of them and the pairing with passion fruit as you wrote it, is quite tempting to try.. Passion fruit is calling my name!

    Wow! It is fascinating to note the similarities in different cultures.. Similar actions and reasons - cows are led to cross bonfires on Sankranthi, the Indian harvest festival during the month of January..

    That tray, those straws and even that obscure piece of paper are making for perfect props there.. Dreamy pictures as always..

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  25. enjoyed the info! doughnuts look great!

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  26. I love passionfruit! They are not very easily available in the market here so most of the time some friends give it to us if they grow it in their farm.
    I usually leave the seeds and the pulp in the juice and i love the crunch they add ;) so good...

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  27. How lovely! I love that the doughnuts are yeast free - that always seems to save some time. And to pair them with that vibrant passion fruit juice - fabulous!

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  28. Oh my! Delicious! Love the clicks.

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  29. I found your blog a little while ago and been peeking in in time to time. The photos are delicious and so are the recipes...

    And I didn't realize earlier you are from Finland too. Not until you started to talk about Vappu. :D

    Näyttää herkulliselta!

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  30. Hei Mervi,
    taidatkin olla ainoita suomalaisia lukijoita, jotka ovat eksyneet tänne :-) Kiva, ja tervetuloa!

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  31. Utterly gorgeous!!! Love doughnuts accompanied with a delicious passion fruit juice!!

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  32. Piti tulla vielä sanomaan (kommenttiisi viitaten): Olen huomannut oman blogini kanssa, että englanninkielisyys on hyvä suomalaisten karkoittaja. Kumma kyllä, ottaen huomioon yleisen kielitaidon.

    Tulen käymään useamminkin! Kovin on herkullisen näköistä.

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  33. AnonymousJuly 14, 2012

    can you tell me where you got the bottles for the juice --too cute...looks so yummy - wonderful light breakfast..... :)

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  34. Anonymous - The bottles I have bought from a local department store (Anttila) for storing berry- and fruitjuices.

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  35. Oh so beautifil, oh so chocoladish - looks like the ultimate heaven of sweetness!

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  36. Pleasant drink for a hot day. I prefer it a tad sweeter. It is not very concentrated but I actually prefer it that way.

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  37. I can't take my eye from this wonderful doughnuts.

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  38. Doughnuts is my all time favorite sweet food

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