Wednesday, Jacob and I took a gigantic step in our relationship: we went to see a mortgage broker. I felt very grown up walking in there with my tax receipts all in order, the right documents, some idea of what kind of mortgage we could afford and lots of dreams for our future house. When we left the broker’s office 2 hours later, I could only think of one thing: I needed a stiff drink!
It has nothing to do with our broker – who was great by the way – but the level of new information I received had put me in a super-stressed mood. Between the insurance costs, the closing fees, the inspection, the down payment, the interest rates and the taxes, I felt like I was drowning in numbers and paper. Suddenly, being a grownup didn’t seem so appealing.
So we went home, Jacob trying to reassure me all the way back. I fixed myself a cosmopolitan and enjoyed it with some crackers, prosciutto and white cheddar popcorn – the strangest dinner, I will admit, but I could not bring myself to cook. I watched a couple of épisodes of Nashville to try to snap me out of this weird mental state but finally gave up and went to bed early, hoping to sleep it off.
As you can probably guess, I dreamed about money and houses all night long, tossing and turning every 15 minutes. I woke up not feeling more relaxed and went to work early. Turned out I could not concentrate at all the whole day. Even at the gym all I could do was try to figure out what would be the perfect mortgage for us and do math in my head.
At night, I got home and decided to bake an easy, delicious recipe I have been making these past months that are like mini-doughnuts. It is basically a pâte-à-choux that, instead of being baked, is deep-fried. I rarely deep-fry food at home so this is always a treat that Jacob and I enjoy every time.
The best part is that the entire time I was baking, I didn’t think of numbers or savings or down payments. All I focused on was to getting the right texture for the dough and frying the doughnuts just the right amount of time. When I finished, I felt good again, I felt it would all be okay and that Jacob and I, as a team, would make it work. While eating doughnuts and sipping tea that evening, I realised how lucky I was. And the stress went away. Until our next meeting anyways.
You will need:
100 ml of milk
120 ml of water
A pinch of salt
½ cup of unsalted butter
150ml of bread flour
4 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
In a saucepan, bring the milk, water, salt, and butter to a full boil.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and beat in the flour.
Transfer the dough into a mixing bowl, and let it sit for a couple of minutes, then start mixing with the paddle attachment to cool it down a little.
Beat one egg at a time, until you get a smooth dough. The dough should not be sticky but instead you should look for a creamy texture.
Heat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer at 350F. Pour batter in the hot oil, one tablespoon at a time, and let each ball cook about 8 minutes. Once ready, the balls will split.
In the meantime, mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon in a big bowl.
Once the doughnuts are ready, transfer them quickly onto a paper towel, pat a little to get rid of the extra oil and run each ball in the cinnamon-sugar mix. Let the doughnuts dry, and est them while they are still warm.
Repeat with the remaining batter.
*Those doughnuts have to be eaten within hours after being cooked. Otherwise, they get a bit soggy and lose their crispiness on the outside.