Recipe courtesy of Torrence O'Haire
Les Dijonnaises Doughnuts (Pain d'Epices Doughnuts with Orange, Thyme and Bleu d'Auvergne)
1 hr 25 min
10 min
12 to 16 doughnuts
1 hr 25 min
10 min
12 to 16 doughnuts


Mixed spices: 
  • 2 teaspoons whole aniseed
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
Pain d'Epices Doughnuts:
  • Solid shortening, for frying
  • 8 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 ounces dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Scant 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 ounce buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ounce butter, at room temperature
Orange-Cognac Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup fine cut orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pinch salt
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • Slivered bleu d'Auvergne or other French blue cheese


Special equipment: a frying thermometer; a doughnut-dropper

For the mixed spices: Toast the aniseed, coriander seeds, ginger, cloves and peppercorns in a dry skillet until fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder and grind to a powder. 

For the pain d'epices doughnuts: Heat the shortening in a deep frying pan, making sure it is at least 2 inches when melted. Bring the oil to 375 degrees F. 

Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda together with 2 teaspoons mixed spices in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Whisk together the milk, buttermilk, vanilla and egg in a separate medium bowl. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. With the mixer running on medium-low speed, add the wet ingredients in a steady stream. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix until thick and smooth, about 30 seconds. Let the dough rest, 10 minutes. 

Using a doughnut-dropper or a pair of tablespoons (for fritter-shaped balls), drop several doughnuts in the oil and fry until golden brown, 45 seconds per side. Drain on brown paper grocery bags or a rack; cool completely. 

For the orange-cognac glaze: Combine the marmalade, cognac, honey and salt with 1/2 teaspoon mixed spices in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until thick and slightly reduced, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool until just warm. 

Dip the tops of the cooled doughnuts in the warm glaze and let stand until the glaze sets. Top with thyme sprigs and a few shards of blue cheese.

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