Any reason to go out for a romantic dinner, though, is one I can’t generally bring myself to be down on… or stay in for a romantic dinner. Or stay in for doughnuts and beer… because let’s just be honest, the gloomiest gloom of winter is upon us and all I really want is doughnuts and beer. (We’ve covered this.)
Luckily, local brewery DuClaw totally gets me, and sent over a sampling of their limited edition chocolate raspberry stout (roasted malt, raspberry and chocolate — basically the perfect Valentines beer) for our celebration. Mark being Mark, immediately transformed said tasty beer into the most romantic creation imaginable, which I gladly give you below.
… a suggestion, should you also be staying in and feel like salty sugar-covered beer doughnuts might just be sexier than any old chocolate-covered strawberry ever could be.
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons DuClaw Chocolate Raspberry Stout
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate salt (or sub 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder)
1/2 cup sugar
Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate salt (we bought ours at The Meadow, but you can make your own — see above). Set mixture aside.
Heat 5 cups canola oil in a large stock pot to 375 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Mix wet ingredients in a second bowl, then pour into dry ingredients.
Don’t overmix the dough — it can be lumpy.
Using two tablespoons to shape, create rounds of the dough by scooping with the tablespoons from both sides. Before placing in the hot oil, roll the dough briefly with your palms to form a more uniform ball and then cook for 4 minutes or until golden brown.
Place cooked doughnuts on a paper towels to drain and cool slightly. After a minute, while still hot, take doughnuts and roll in salt/sugar mixture to coat well.
Boom — you have doughnuts.