Instead of a desk and a computer, my work environment as a former pastry chef was equipped with industrial-sized ovens and mixers. File cabinets and clipboards were replaced with rolling pins, pastry bags and recipes. Aromas of freshly baked cakes, cookies, and breads wafted from my baker’s rack daily—it was heaven, or maybe hell, on earth.
Moderation in everything was my mantra. It didn’t hurt to have the self-control of a Zen monk battling the urge to scratch an itch either, but one thing I simply never indulged in was donuts. White flour and sugar fried in grease just did not hold a lot of appeal for me. I have not had a donut in years.
That was until pastry chef Waylynn Lucas reconfigured that traditional law enforcement treat and came up with the Fonut. Her Los Angeles store has become a big hit with offerings that range from the standard cinnamon sugar to an innovative chorizo cheddar. Baked not fried, Fonuts appeal to a wider market. Her concoctions range from the savory to the sweet and incorporate healthier ingredients like soymilk, olive oil and gluten-free flours. Try them for yourself!
Lemon Fonuts Recipe (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Mix together 1 cup gluten-free flour, 1 cup almond meal, ½ cup packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt and the zest of two lemons in a large bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix together 2/3 cup soymilk, ¼ cup canola oil and ½ of a juiced lemon.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend.
Pour the batter into a six-cavity doughnut pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the donuts spring back when touched.
Let stand in donut pan for five minutes and then remove to a rack to cool.
Mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice to desired thickness and dip the tops of the fonuts into the glaze and allow to dry on a rack.
Frankly, a lot of the recipes are nothing but a glorified cake done in a small pan, but that’s okay—it helps to control portion size. If you don’t want to shell out the nine bucks for the pan, these treats can alternatively be baked in a muffin tin. But the donut pan is way fun and the small batches allow you to get as creative as you want.
So get your baking fix on and whip up batch. My next attempt will be strawberry buttermilk Fonuts!
What do you think of the Fonut? Do you consider this a healthy alternative? —Karen