If ever there was a time to get step up your baking game, it would be Halloween. Graveyard cakes, eyeball lollipops, Jack Skellington muffins, haunted gingerbread houses, what’s not to love? Whether you’ve got a night of slasher movies lined up with a crate toffee apple cider, you’re hosting a Halloween party, or you just really love cake, get yourself into the kitchen and start experimenting with spooky themed deliciousness. Because cake. We recruit the help of doughnut loving, expert food blogger, Jonathan Melendez for a Death by Chocolate Doughnuts recipe. Over to you, Jonathan… 

I’ve always been a big fan of Halloween, ever since I was a kid. There is something special about this time of year when the leaves start to turn, the air grows crisp and shades of orange coat everything in sight.

This Halloween, I’ve whipped up a recipe for death by chocolate doughnuts. Filled with strawberry jam, dipped in dark chocolate ganache and decorated with white chocolate spiderwebs, these ‘nuts are perfect for a Halloween house party or just to hunker down with for a movie on Halloween night. Enjoy!

Makes 16, 3-inch doughnuts

For doughnuts:

1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°F)
2 (1/4-ounce packets) active dry yeast
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, cut into pieces
1/4 cup whole milk
4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
2⁄3 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
2 large egg yolks, room temperature, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
canola or vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup strawberry or raspberry jam

For Ganache:

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted


1. To make the doughnuts, combine the warm water, yeast and 2 teaspoons of sugar in a medium bowl. Place in a warm spot and leave to sit for 10 minutes until frothy and foamy

2. Meanwhile, place the milk and butter in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted and the milk has warmed through. (Make sure it isn’t too hot).

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, attached with the dough hook, combine 4 cups of flour with the cocoa powder, remaining sugar, whole egg yolks, salt, vanilla, yeast mixture and milk mixture.

Mix on low until well combined. Beat until the dough comes together, adding 1/2 cup of flour at a time until it forms a slightly sticky and elastic dough.



Raise speed to high and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky. Transfer to a well-greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Let it rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about one and a half hours.

4. Punch dough down and divide in half. Working with one half at a time, roll out on a lightly floured work surface into a large rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out the doughnuts using a round 3-inch cutter. (Don’t punch out a whole in the center because they’re going to be filled).

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and repeat with remaining dough. Cover the baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Leave to rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, make the ganache. Set a small saucepan with the heavy cream and butter over medium heat. Warm through until the butter has melted and the cream forms little bubbles around the edges. Do not bring to a boil. Add the chocolate, sugar, vanilla, and salt to a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream and butter into the bowl and let sit for about 3 minutes without stirring. Stir until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.

6. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Fill a large heavy bottomed pot with 3 inches of oil. Set over medium-high heat and using a deep-fry thermometer, heat the oil to 350°F.

When oil is hot, carefully place in the doughnuts, a few at a time. Do not overcrowd the pot. Fry for about 2 minutes per side, flipping them over halfway. Use a slotted spoon to remove the doughnuts, draining off any excess oil and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.


7. Fill a pastry bag, fitting with a plain circle tip, with the jam. Using a knife, poke a hole on the side of each doughnut and fill with jam. Dip in the chocolate ganache. Pour the melted white chocolate in a small sandwich bag and snip off the end. Pipe out a circle on top of the chocolate ganache. Using a toothpick or a sharp pairing knife, drag the white chocolate from the center outward. Repeat, turning the doughnut each time, until you end up with a spider web design. Serve immediately.



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