Doughnuts and confusion

19 Aug

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Dear America, your recipes are confusing. There are many things you’re getting very right – your food meets with my wholehearted approval; I hold a profound love for your trash TV; you’ve produced some wonderful writers – but measurements is not one of them.

Today I decided – inspired by Felicity Cloake’s ‘how to cook the perfect…’ blog on the Guardian website – to attempt doughnuts. It is Sunday, after all. I love a good Sunday afternoon in the kitchen.

I didn’t actually use Felicity Cloake’s recipe, but instead bastardised one of those that she linked to as research: an American blog called 101 Cookbooks. I liked the idea of baking them rather than frying, because fussing around with a massive pan of hot oil seems like a lot of hassle, not to mention fried-cake guilt. Although once they’ve been dipped in melted butter and sugar, they’re still not exactly an innocent treat…

The recipe called for cups, which left me confused like a kitten that’s managed to get itself tangled up in a ball of wool. Until I remembered that I had this bad boy stashed away at the back of the cupboard.

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I just don’t really ‘get’ cups as a measurement. I’m sure it’s meant to be easier or more convenient, but it doesn’t strike me as either – especially as I presume everything has to be level, which isn’t that simple when it comes to flour. And as for trying to measure out tablespoons of butter… Nightmare. Please just use grams and millilitres, America. It’s way better, I promise.

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Still, once made the dough was a pleasure to work with (in fact I loved the recipe as a whole), and I had great fun setting up a little production line for buttering and sugaring the doughnuts once they were out of the oven. They turned out a little flat, but that’s entirely my own fault for not shaping them into balls. The recipe was for ring doughnuts, see, but I am British and so the idea of a doughnut with no jam in the middle strikes horror into my heart. So I made little hollows inside each with a wooden skewer and then piped in a happy splurge of raspberry.

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Oh, and America, another reason your recipes sometimes make me sad: I only have them on the internet, not written down in books and the like. Which leads to situations like this. I am sure flour and technology are not meant to mix:

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Incidentally, WordPress stats do suggest that some people in the US do read the blog. If so, For all my joking, I’d genuinely be interested in your thoughts on cups as measurement, and how UK recipes read to you. Get in touch!

One Response to “Doughnuts and confusion”


  1. Plenty of lemons were harmed in the making of this pesto | More Salt, Please - March 18, 2013

    […] measurements proved, as ever, my nemesis. I’ve said it many times and I’ll repeat it once more for emphasis: since when is a ‘cup’ a reasonable […]

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