Glazed Tadpole-oca donuts w/ salted peanut dust
Publishing a recipe that is aimed at overtaking an old one on a recipe blog like this, is a bit of a dangerous rabbit hole to fall down in.
For starter, it implies that the old recipe being replaced, however satisfactory it was left for the public consumption in good faith, was after all, only subpar in comparison. An uncomfortable admission that these recipes, or at least some of them, are only as good as the limits of their developers at the time whose standards may at some point surpass their own creations. That some recipes are ultimately, imperfect and transitory. Which then leads to the question that, well, if one recipe here is found to be less than worthy of eternity, or at least till the end of mankind due to disasters of cosmic proportions, then who knows how many other recipes here are potentially shy of such basic standard? Because if this isn’t the promised space that guarantees unequivocally immaculate cooking manuals that fill the empty pockets of our blip of an existence in a totally indifferent no-shit-given universe, then what are any of us even doing here? What’s the point? I mean do you know? Does she know?! And when I said she, I meant I. What’s the meaning of all this?? Do I even deserve to live??!!
So you see, a bit of a hole.
But sometimes, things have to be done, holes have to be jumped into. Which brings us, to this mochi donut.
A few years ago at an early age of this blog, I published a donut recipe that aspired to yet fell short of mimicking the lovingly supple and chewy texture of a Japanese donut franchise called Mr donut, or aka, the pon de ring donut. To my defense, the recipe was accurately differentiated as mochi donut instead of pon de ring, because it was made of sticky rice flour instead of tapioca flour, and obviously shaped as a traditional donut instead of a ring of beads which simply can’t avoid suspicious sexual implications as it was typed out loud. But even as a mochi donut, although deliciously soft and chewy while they were warm, it was slightly denser in texture and even mores so once they became cold. An issue for people, even if only an untrained few, who aren’t mentally equipped to ingest a dozen donuts in one short sitting.
The truth is since then, for years, I’ve been sitting on a tapioca flour-batter recipe that is extremely easy to put together and lands on a donut that greatly if not perfectly mirrors the light and airy, silky yet chewy texture that had pushed pon de ring donuts to stardom amongst iconic Asian pastries. But, I haven’t told a living soul about it.
Why? Let me focus on the word, batter, here, meaning a formless glop that is impossible to shape into ringed beads (stop it) without specifically designed pipping machines to do so, as it is done in Mr Donut factories. Meanwhile the other pon de ring recipes across the internet which purposely made the batter denser like a dough in order to be formed into tiny beads one by one that are then arranged and stuck together on a parchment before frying just so you can finally have a reason to hang yourself from your shower rod afterwards, is frankly, for a lack of better word, stupid.
So for years, I sat on this recipe thinking, nevermind, it’ll never work, until one day, all of a sudden I realized, I was the one being stupid.
Seriously, who cares if thy donuts aren’t carrying an unambiguous resemblance to cheap second-grade adult play toy? And if you’re screaming yes yes you do! to that question, who shall safely remain anonymous god bless the internet, then I shall make an even strong, gastronomical argument against such silliness. Because I realized, by not insisting on an uniform shape and dropping the batter into the fryer in a specific motion, the end result rewards me with these elongated “tails” that became extremely crispy and chips-like which stay crispy several hours after, a pleasant surprise that contrasts the pillowy “main body”, a puffed golden browned air balloon that deflates as your teeth sink into its unexpectedly weightless and uncluttered interior, proportionally coated on a single hemisphere with glossy, vanilla seeds icing.
Held delicately by its tail, a dainty bouncy morsel that curtsies with a crunch.
I call them, the tadpole-oca donut. And they come with salted peanut brown sugar dusts. Bead that.
” the end result rewards me with these elongated ‘tails’ that became extremely crispy and chips-like which stay crispy several hours after “
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- 1 cup (115 grams) tapioca flour/starch
- 1/2 cup (120 grams/ml) boiling water
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp (24 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Canola oil for frying
- 1 tbsp (15 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- Seeds from 1/4 vanilla bean or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (73 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp hot water
- 1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts
- 2 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
- PREPARE BATTER: In a stand-mixer with peddle-attachment (or handheld mixer, or with a whisk but it'll take some arm muscle), add tapioca flour and boiling water. Mix on low speed until combined then medium speed until a thick and sticky glop forms. Add milk and mix on low until combined, then medium speed until it's evenly incorporated into a loose batter. Mix in the egg until even, then AP flour, light brown sugar and sea salt (do not add baking powder now), and beat until a glossy and sticky batter forms. It's fine if there are tiny lumps here and there. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes until cold to prevent the baking powder to react prematurely due to the warm batter. You can also prep the batter in the fridge a few hours ahead of time.
- PREPARE GLAZE AND PEANUT DUST: Meanwhile, whisk melted butter, vanilla bean seeds (or extract), powdered sugar and hot water in a bowl until even. Set aside until needed.
- In a spice-grinder, pulse salted roasted peanuts and dark brown sugar until coarsely ground. Be careful not to over-grind it and turn them into butter. Set aside until needed.
- FRY DONUTS: In a frying pot, add enough canola oil until it reaches 2" (5 cm) deep then bring to and maintain at 375 F/190 C. Right before frying, whisk the baking powder into the batter until evenly incorporated. Hold one dinner spoon in each hand, then scoop about 1 heaping tbsp of batter with one spoon (no more than 1 1/2 tbsp because donuts too large tend to deflate afterwards), and scrape it off gently above the frying oil with another spoon. When the batter drops from the spoon, a "tail" of batter will get dragged out. Move the spoon a little to the side to let the tail drop away from the donut (instead of right on top of it). You want these little elongated bits because they create a super crispy texture in contrast to the chewy donut. Not all of them will look the same but it's fine.
- You can fry several at a time without crowding the pot and turn them as needed. If your kitchen is warm, leave the rest of the batter in the fridge before it's needed again. Each batch should take about 8 minutes to get golden browned. I like a little more color on these donuts than normal, again for the crispiness. Let the donuts drain on paper towel-lined baking sheets and repeat.
- TO FINISH: If the glaze has solidified on the surface, warm it up slightly in the microwave. Let the donuts cool for 10 minutes, then dip one side of it into the glaze, drain off excess, then dip the same side into the peanut dust to coat the glaze. Serve warm with more scattered peanut dusts on top.
Patricia HessMay 21, 2020 at 7:23 PM
Looks delicious Mandy (as always xx) – is talpole the chinese word for tadpole ?
mandy@ladyandpupsMay 21, 2020 at 9:32 PM
Patricia, lol sorry it was a typo I corrected it.
CathMay 21, 2020 at 8:40 PM
This looks to be so addictively delicious, I can not wait to try it. Just to clarify – If I prep the batter and let it sit overnight in the fridge, can I add the baking powder and fry it up right out of the fridge? Or do I need to let the batter warm up a touch?
Also, can I assume you meant 1/4 t salt for the donut batter?
Thank you for such wonderful recipes. It’s always a treat to learn about your discoveries and creations.
mandy@ladyandpupsMay 21, 2020 at 9:31 PM
Cath, I’ve let the batter sit in the fridge for a few hours but haven’t tried overnight yet (although I want to say it’s probably ok). And yes, you can whisk in the baking powder without letting the batter warm up (the whole point is to have the batter cold). 1/4 tsp salt or sea salt yes.
DebJune 11, 2020 at 11:36 PM
I’ve made these twice now. A few notes:
1. My mixer was having a hard time incorporating the tapioca mixture, I still had tons of lumps. Using an immersion blender did the trick, I was done in about 15 seconds.
2. As long as the milk and eggs are cold from the fridge, the chilling can be streamlined. I put the (metal) bowl in the freezer while my fryer heats up, then a quick stir and add baking powder right before frying.
3. A quick roll in granulated sugar, instead of the delicious but arduous toppings, turns this from “project” material into “let’s have donuts for breakfast”. What you do with this knowledge is up to you ?
Jill SouthworthMay 22, 2020 at 1:10 AM
Beautifully written and the images are spectacular.
JenniferMay 22, 2020 at 4:10 AM
These look delicious! Do you have any suggestions for peanut substitution for those who are allergic?
jaenMay 29, 2020 at 9:22 AM
Soy powder found at Asian grocers ~
ANGELAMay 22, 2020 at 5:22 AM
Hii, I was wondering what the major difference between this recipe and your puffy powdered pillow one is? https://ladyandpups.com/2013/01/15/puffy-powdered-pillow-eng/
Thank you :)
mandy@ladyandpupsMay 22, 2020 at 1:43 PM
Angela, lol they are completely different ingredients and process. Different texture too.
sherryMay 22, 2020 at 3:28 PM
i love the shape of these. that gorgeous little tail …
FabioMay 22, 2020 at 9:48 PM
these look a lot like a brazilian snack cooked by grammas called bolinho de chuva (rain balls, loosely translated), sans tapioca flour. I don’t like to fry food at home, but I’ll give your recipe a try, these look delicious!
SophieMay 23, 2020 at 9:06 AM
These are gorgeous, I keep imagining them piped with some kind of pear filling as they look exactly like little beurre bosc pears. That said is it even possible to beat peanut dust?
AdrianneMay 23, 2020 at 9:16 AM
Keep passing the open windows.
JaniceJuly 14, 2020 at 8:29 PM
Tried the recipe and found the batter to be extremely runny. Added about 1/4c flour extra and still really runny. I thought it could be the difference between US flour and Australian flour but couldn’t discern what the batter should look like from the recipe. Happy to try again but initially disappointed.
mandy@ladyandpupsJuly 14, 2020 at 9:56 PM
Janice, hm sorry I really have no idea why. You can check out the photos for the consistency of the batter, which should be runny but not impossible to work with kinda runny.
Chrystle TakeharaMarch 1, 2021 at 6:38 AM
I had the same issue. I never got the “sticky glop”
Chrystle TakeharaMarch 1, 2021 at 8:38 AM
Just as an update, the dough was too runny to fry so I used it in the waffle iron and it was still nice and crispy. I think my water may not have been hot enough which may have been my first mistake
mandy@ladyandpupsMarch 1, 2021 at 2:37 PM
Chrystle, yes sounds like the batter wasn’t cooked enough.
sherryJuly 15, 2020 at 9:07 AM
sorry to be a pain, but it could make a difference to the recipe. A cup of flour is generally 155 grams so half a cup is about 77 grams rather than the 63 you have written in the recipe.
sherryJuly 15, 2020 at 9:08 AM
That’s in Aussie recipes I mean:-)
mandy@ladyandpupsJuly 15, 2020 at 5:20 PM
Sherry, thanks for the tip :)
SarahJuly 26, 2020 at 11:26 AM
Hi, an awesome recipe! Nice and chewy, I loved it. But I found my donuts shrinking after pulling them out of the oil. What can be the cause of my problem? Thanks again for sharing your recipe :D
Regan MercerOctober 5, 2020 at 11:57 PM
I have Celiac and am allergic to Tapioca, so your Mochi donuts are sorely needed in this house.
No such thing as too many donut recipes :)