These chocolate-filled doughnuts may look like succulents, but they definitely don't suck.
Servings: 10-15 doughnuts
2 tbsp active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate pudding
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
½ cup whipping cream
brown food coloring
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
yellow, pink, white and various shades of green food coloring
1 cup chocolate wafers, crushed to a fine crumb
Let's get Cooking...
Make the doughnuts: Place the yeast, warm water and 1 tsp granulated sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Allow this to sit for 10 minutes, until the yeast begins to develop. Add the flour, ½ cup sugar, eggs, butter and salt. Set the mixer to medium speed and knead for 8-9 minutes, until the dough is smooth, soft and bounces back when poked with your finger. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Roll the dough out to ¼ inch-thick and cut into 3 inch-wide rounds with a circle cookie cutter. You should be able to get 10-15 doughnuts. Transfer the doughnuts to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot and let rise for 20 minutes.
Pour about 5 inches of canola oil into a pot and set to medium heat. Attach a deep-fry thermometer and heat the oil to 370F. Fry 3 or 4 doughnuts at a time, cooking for 1 minute on each side or until golden. Remove the doughnuts from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towel. Cool completely.
Make the glaze: Combine the confectioner’s sugar and whipping cream in a bowl. Dye brown and set aside.
Assembly: Use the end of a spoon to poke holes into the doughnuts. Place the chocolate pudding into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe chocolate pudding into the doughnuts. Set aside. Spread the buttercream into piping bags fitted with a variety of piping tips. We used #67, #102, #103, #104, #18 and small, round tip for the cactus details. For an ombre look, spread one color of buttercream onto one side of the piping bag and fill the middle of the piping bag with another color. Place a dollop of buttercream onto a rose nail and place a square of parchment paper on top. Pipe a variety of succulents using the buttercream. Gently slide the parchment paper squares with the succulents onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer until they are frozen solid. Dip the doughnuts in the brown glaze. Place on your desired serving tray and sprinkle chocolate wafer crumbs on top. Gently peel the parchment paper squares off the base of the succulents and place on top of the doughnuts. Enjoy!