After the year we've all had so far, I think we can all agree that we should savour the sweeter things in life.
In celebration of National Doughnut Week 2022 (7th May - 15th May), we've compiled some delightful Chinese herbs which can enhance the traditional flavours of this dessert dish.
Check these out below...
1) Chinese Candied Orange Doughnuts
Calling all glazed doughnut lovers, this one is sure to be a hit.
To give a zesty taste to an otherwise plain doughnut, add some candied Dried Orange Peel on top to give a sweet crunch to your dessert treat.
How to make candied orange peel
1) Dip a small handful of Dried Orange Peel in a bowl of sugar and allow it to cover the surface of the peel
2) Place the candied orange peels on top of your doughnut and spread out evenly
3) Serve and enjoy!
What are the benefits of eating Dried Orange Peel?
This herb, also known as Chen Pi has been prized in the East for thousands of years due to its array of potential benefits for health and wellbeing.
Orange peel is considered aromatic with its therapeutic nature, warm temperature and spicy and slightly bitter in taste. The citrusy brightness and pungency of the fruit make it a natural mover and shaker of energy.
Orange fruit is the best source of Vitamin C, which is good for health and skin care as well. However, most of the benefits of orange are in its skin itself. The more aged the peel, the more potent its therapeutic energy.
It has been used in traditional Eastern remedies for its potential to assist with anti-ageing, mental health disorders and thought to be useful to help the stomach and spleen function.
2) Cinnamon Sprinkle Doughnuts
For those who prefer a sweet and woody flavour, this will be your go-to sweet treat.
Combining a sprinkle of sugar and a touch of ground cinnamon bark will create this delightful doughnut combination.
How to make ground cinnamon topping
1) Get a handful of Dried Cinnamon Bark and a pestle and mortar
2) Grind down the herb into the bowl until fine
3) Transfer into another bowl, ready to sprinkle with the sugar and glaze on top of your doughnuts
4) Serve and enjoy!
What are the benefits of eating Dried Cinnamon Bark?
Cinnamon is a powerful spice that has been used medicinally around the world for thousands of years. It is still used daily in many cultures because of its widespread health benefits, not to mention its distinctly sweet, warming taste and ease of use in recipes.
The health benefits of cinnamon come from the bark of the tree. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this herb has been prized for its potential to protect heart health, balance blood sugar levels and potentially promote brain function and fight infections.
Cinnamon bark is also high in antioxidants and may contain anti-inflammatory properties, making it a versatile ingredient to enhance health and wellbeing naturally.
3) Traditional Chinese Doughnut (Ham Chin Peng)
To round the celebrations of National Doughnut Week 2022, we're concluding with a traditional Chinese dish that has been cherished for centuries.
How to make the filling (Red Bean Paste)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/4 tsp of salt
1) Rinse 1 cup of red adzuki beans, then transfer these to a large pot, cover with water then start to boil over a high heat.
2) Bring the mixture to boil over a medium-high heat.
3) Once boiled, drain the water and keep the red adzuki beans in the large pot.
4) Add some more water to cover the red adzuki beans and bring this to a boil over a medium-high heat.
5) Once boiled, turn the heat down to medium-low, covering the mixture and continue to simmer for around 1 hour.
6) Keep checking throughout this time, as you may need to continually add more water to replace the evaporation.
7) After this time has elapsed, remove from heat and check the beans. If you can easily crush/mash them in your fingers, they're ready.
8) Drain the beans, then return them into the same large pot.
9) Heat these over medium-low heat whilst adding 1/2 cup of sugar, then mix.
10) Once the sugar has dissolved, add the other 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt to the mixture. Mix constantly throughout to avoid any clumping.
11) Once the moisture has evaporated, remove from heat and transfer to a baking sheet and allow to cool to room temperature.
How to complete your doughnuts
1) Use regular plain doughnuts for this. Open the middle of the doughnut and spread a spoonful of filling inside each doughnut.
2) Glaze the top of your doughnuts with some sugar and then add your black sesame seeds.
3) Serve and enjoy!
What are the benefits of eating red adzuki beans and black sesame seeds?
Red Adzuki Beans, also known as Adzuki Beans, are a great source of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The bean is native to East Asia and is commonly eaten in Japan, China and other Asian nations.
These beans are a tiny, reddish-brown bean with a cream coloured seam and sweet, nutty flavour. They are particularly popular in Asian cooking, most often used for sweet dishes including soups, desserts and as a dim sum filling.
In Japan and China, adzuki beans are often cooked and puréed to make a chocolately paste which is used to fill cakes and desserts. Their small size lets them cook quicker than other beans.
Being naturally high in antioxidants and a great source of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, these have been used in Eastern remedies for their potential to benefit weight loss, aid digestion, balance blood sugar levels and maintain a health heart.
Black Sesame Seeds may only be small but they are very powerful and are used for their many health-promoting and anti-ageing benefits. The seeds are widely used in Asian cooking and can be found in sushi, savoury dishes and even ice-cream. They can be eaten raw, dried or roasted.
They are highly sought after in traditional Eastern remedies as they have been thought to assist stability of blood pressure and help with fibre and cell reinforcements.
Now that you've got some herb topping delights, make the most of indulging in all things sweet to celebrate National Doughnut Week with a sweet-tasting sensation.