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Lemon, ricotta and olive oil cake doughnuts by chef Ashley Jacot De Boinot photographed at Glory Hole Donuts on Queen St., W., Toronto, March 14 2013. (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)
Lemon, ricotta and olive oil cake doughnuts by chef Ashley Jacot De Boinot photographed at Glory Hole Donuts on Queen St., W., Toronto, March 14 2013. (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)

Lemon ricotta doughnut holes Add to ...

With her bandana and tattoos, 28-year-old Ashley Jacot De Boinod looks like she might be tough to crack, but the owner of the six-month-old Toronto phenomenon Glory Hole Doughnuts – where a batch sometimes sells out 10 minutes after it is made – is warm and vivacious, with a great sense of humour. She is also hard-working. On weekends she arrives at work at 1 a.m. to start mixing the yeast dough that will become the doughnuts – in flavours such as Butter and Toast, Elvis With Marshmallow and Kensington Brewing Co. Beer – that draw lineups down the block.

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But the pastry chef takes time to play, too. Usually that means having the girls over to the house she shares with her husband and treating them to a meal of charcuterie and baked pasta before, yup, a platter of homemade doughnuts. Instead of the yeast variety Jacot De Boinod bakes at work, these ones are cake, can be whipped up in minutes and are just as irresistible.

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Ready time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: Makes 12 to 14 doughnut holes

Ingredients

Vegetable oil for frying

1¼ cups cake flour, sifted

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

3 large eggs

1¼ cups full-fat ricotta (the drier the better)

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

Water, as needed

Method

Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 375 F or fill a tall saucepan halfway with oil and gauge the temperature with a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, ricotta, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla.

Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Using two spoons, form the batter into quenelle shapes and drop gently into hot oil. The quenelles will float. Cook for about 30 to 40 seconds, then turn and cook on second side until evenly browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove the doughnut holes from the hot oil and allow them to drain on a wire rack or paper-towel-lined plate.

To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir in water by the teaspoonful until the glaze is smooth and lump-free. Roll the doughnut holes in the glaze while they are still hot.

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