This is Part 2 to my post of July 17 that featured a short cultural expose on fried dough.
There is a retro food trend a foot. In uncertain times we get sentimental over things that provided simple homespun pleasures, like macaroni and cheese, hot chocolate and doughnuts. It has taken me over a month to get part deux done, but doughnut research is complicated and tasty.
I found four establishments that are creating their own personal brand of designer doughnuts, Sweet Creations, Paulette’s, Glory Hole Doughnuts and Dough by Rachelle. Each of these are quite unique from their flavours to their style but all homey, tummy warming, lip smacking sweet nostalgic goodness!!!
My first stop was Sweet Creations in the Distillery District. They were featuring two doughnuts the Sunday that I visited, Peach Cobbler and the soon to be classic Maple Bacon doughnut. The peach cobbler had pieces of crumb topping and small pieces of fresh peach. A light, crisp, not too sweet doughnut but a little lacklustre in achieving a real peachy flavour. The Maple Bacon was the best of the two. The sweetness of the maple tempered by the salty and smokey flavour of the bacon makes it more of an entremet rather than a dessert, but something I would definitely choose as a breakfast option.
Paulette’s Original Donuts & Chicken opened in July. Located in the trending Leslieville area. You are greeted by staff dressed in traditional retro paper hats inside an aquamarine coloured storefront. A choice of seven cake doughnuts is featured daily to complement their fried chicken menu. Some unusual choices were available including chocolate blueberry and grapefruit maple – sweet and zesty. Our favourite this visit was the banana cream and the dark chocolate pretzel which makes for an excellent cake doughnut flavour.
The much-anticipated Glory Hole Doughnuts opened on August 25 in Parkdale to the excitement of many doughnut devotees. Over the top raised doughnuts filled with home-made fillings turns the standard doughnut into a wonderful dessert (or over the top breakfast pastry!). Owner and pastry chef Ashley Jacot de Boinod tops the banana cream with real whipped cream to order. This doughnut barely made it out of the store, I couldn’t wait to dive in. The lemon meringue doughnut is filled with lemon curd, the way lemon curd should be – creamy, silky and just sweet and tangy enough lemon flavour.
Catering and delivery is available with three days’ notice so they’re the freshest they can be for you. It’s worth the trip to Parkdale for these one of a kind deep-fried cakes.
My last trek was on Thursday morning. At 8:00 a.m. the doughnut curtain is drawn at the back entrance of Beast Restaurant on Tecumseh. There’s where you find a smiling Rachelle ready to serve her handmade doughnuts to an eager line-up of customers. This was my second attempt. The week before I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and was making my way, when at about 9:00 a.m. I found out via a tweet from Rachelle that she was sold out and I had to abort my mission. Rachelle tweets throughout the morning to let customers know what’s left.
I was first in line this week and left smiling with my box of doughnuts. Real apples and a rich glaze made the apple fritter bring back a lot of childhood memories, this is not your Tim Horton’s apple fritter, this really has apples in it. The double chocolate doughnut is coated with real dark chocolate and real white chocolate; the cherry pie doughnut had a crumb topping and the right amount of cherry filling. Yes, it was worth the 6:45 a.m. alarm I set that morning to get myself up and en route to Rachelle’s. Doughnuts are also available at weekend brunch at Beast, so save some room and enjoy a morning doughnut.
This is one food that I’m glad is making a come back. In a city over run by assembly line, same tasting but different coloured glazed tasteless dough, these homemade gems are certainly worth the $2.50 to $3.00 each price tag. In this town, you get what you pay for. Doughnut popularity comes and goes, I hope this sticks around for a while and that we’ll see new flavours regularly. I leave you with a great video featuring the Muppet’s Swedish Chef creating his own particular brand of doughnuts. Enjoy!