Sunday, 17 April 2011

And then there are Doughnuts...

Remember Rapunzel. Bloody hell, that was a torrid tale for disney.

A full bonce of sunkissed blonde hair from the get go and born into royalty. Top bedroom and everything.

Only to be babynapped by some gruesome villager who wanted her magical hair.

Now correct me if I am wrong but look at the rows sparked by Ofcom over the recent Eastenders storyline of babyswapping. Yet, I went to see this film Rapunzel recently and no one picketed the cinemas for Rapunzel. She had to live with her cackling captor for nigh upon 18 years.

Now the Princes in our disney tales clearly have little acumen for self survival techniques. I highly doubt that they are forced into a bit of Royal Air Force duty or a stint into the armed forces for a couple of years.


This Prince had all the navigation techniques of a well soaked Garmin.

It is a good job that he was not in our band of brothers and sisters today. Time is everything to our tour guide.

Day 3 on the eatathon of the city they named twice.

GI count running low. How many more blocks to go?

Probably a little like Rapunzel when she asked her fake parent to go into town for the day, she was given some promises inflated with false hope and dreams.

We were asking our tour guide for a good hour for some food being rebuffed with NYC metric systems and pavement perimeters. Gallantly winding our way around the never ending circuit board of pavements, we were greeted with a tiny building literally squashed between obscurity on the Lower East Side.

The Doughnut Plant had landed.

Sugar wins over salt for me any day so I was delighted with the outcome.

Back over in the brothers Grimm district of Germany where our little lady was on lock down, we are still being tortured with her constant hair climbing cruelty and solitary confinement.

OK, so eventually with the help of a few animals, the prince managed to track her down. The reunion scene between her parents was something of a let down. They didn't even get her any welcome home banners or part food. Plus they then had to deal with the fact that she was already hooked up with the prince and they were getting married.

All in all. Everybody loved the happy ending. As do I.

And this is no further than the truth from our case in point here at the Doughnut Plant.

Mark Israel moved to NYC some 30 years ago and began baking using his Grandmother's family recipe for doughnuts in 1994. Mark created all his recipes in the basement to his apartment of his lower east side block. Baking through the night.

Oh to be a neighbour living above him!

I suppose a little like our heroine in our disney saga, he worked alone for long hours endlessly perfecting his techniques to create the unique recipes that he uses today.

Not so long into his move here, his endeavours had valiantly paid off and big hitters such as Dean & Deluca in the city were buying his divine doughnuts for sale in their shops.

The shop itself had a beautiful blustery breeze of spun sugar, cinnamon and raspberry ripple ice cream.

Warm, compact and soft baby blue colours complement the interiors.

This shop does not need to be garish and brash. It does not need wall to wall of doughnuts drying out under the lighting.

A glass cabinet of his trademarked "blackout" cake doughnuts and rack of his freshly made yeast square doughnuts were enough.

We purchased Carrot Cakes, Strawberry glazed square and a Coconut Creme filled square.

As children we had to watch each other open our presents in turn on Christmas day and we decided to ensue this tradition with the tasting panel we had created in the window seating.

Watching my brother engulf his mouth into his strawberry square doughnut, which looked like one of the blocks that we had walked around all afternoon were glistening with it's potent pink paint. Outdoing me in the similie stratesphere, he decided to describe it as biting rainbow brites head off! Unlike some desserts flavoured with strawberry which are acidic tributes to the real thing, you could taste a fresh juicy punnet of strawberries in each bite.

Coconut's are one of my sisters favourite flavours and she looked as though she had been put under a local anaesthetic as she sunk her teeth into it. Dripping with sticky coconut creme, smelling as real as a trip to the Turks and Caicos, this was a piece of doughnut designwork to behold.

Last but not least, I delved into my perfectly formed Carrot Cake doughnut. This option comes from Mark Israels now infamous cake option. A little denser and bulbous than a yeast doughnut.
It was like biting into a christmas flavoured bath sponge. Soft, doughy and speckled with the perfect level of cinnamon and mixed spice. The lemony icing clung to my teeth long after the doughnut had disappeared.

Much like after opening all our christmas presents too quickly on christmas day, we were disappointed by how quickly our experience in the doughnut plant had been. Our sad faces clutching out greaseproof paper, licking the last pieces and mopping up crumbs with our fingers. Whatever it is that they lace them with, I want a bottle of it to knock me out on the plane ride home.

Lucky for us, we walked today by the Chelsea Hotel which has opened another shop.

So, christmas really does come early.

And they all left the doughnut plant to live happy ever after in the great kingdom of NYC.

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