“Did you ever suck the jelly out of a jelly doughnut and then fill it with chocolate swirl ice cream?” Fatso, written by Anne Bancroft
Nobody told me there’d be doughnuts. In addition to clusterfucktastic traffic on sprawling freeway roads connecting neighborhoods, Mexican food in vast abundance that ranges from the gloppy-melty-guacamole to the authentic sublime in small corn folds, casual celebrity sightings, beautiful youth, wide, deep beaches, roller bladers, stoners, and other outdoor enthusiasts, palm trees in many sizes, smog, recently crafted mountains, iconic sights and signs and mansions and movies, Los Angeles is lousy with doughnuts.
Freestanding buildings with a walk-up window, cases packed with rows of sweet puffy taste sensations. Some are round, filled with chocolate cream or ruby red jelly, others are oblong, slicked with thick chocolate icing or sugary glaze, some are old fashioned twists dusted in cinnamon sugar. All are wonderful. Not like cake doughnuts from a New England country fair, but airy, ethereal wisps of perfection, quickly consumed in mass quantities.
During our first days in Burbank, whilst holed up like junkies at the Safari Motor Inn, we found ourselves adjacent to a magic place called Donut Prince. Every morning I would wake up, baffled by the turning of events that led us precisely there, then walk to the doughnut shop to fill a paper bag with breakfast pastries and return to the room a hero. Where does the doughnut come from? Nobody knows. But the form may have reached its apex here in Southern California, like so much of twentieth century America.
I used a blackberry jam this time, but use whatever jam/jelly/marmalade/preserve you like best. Such good breakfast cake with coffee!
- 2⅔ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ sticks unsalted, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup blackberry (or your favorite) jam
- ½ stick butter, melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan liberally with butter.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, and baking powder. In medium mixing bowl or saucepan combine melted butter, eggs, milk, and nutmeg.
- Stir wet ingredients into dry. Pour half the batter into prepared bundt pan and use a rubber spatula to spread up the sides. Use your fingers to dollop in a stripe of jam all the way around the cake, careful not to touch the sides of the pan.
- Spread the rest of the batter evenly over the jam. Bake 50-55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Brush with melted butter and dust with cinnamon-sugar.