Today's posting continues yesterday's about the Ghanaian doughnut called bofrot or togbei. Here is the cake version, made with baking powder but not wine and/or yeast.
This recipe is adapted from one used by Barbara Baeta of Flair Catering in Accra. These are faster to make, with a different texture from a yeast version--more coarse and crisp, just as a muffin differs from a regular slice of bread. Either way is tasty.
In the photo below, the wine and yeast on the right are the ingredients special to the yeast version, those on the left (the vanilla and margarine) are special to the baking powder version, and all the others are common to both (the sugar, egg, salt, bread flour, nutmeg and baking powder). This is a small batch (1/8 of the original recipe, thus some of the awkward measurements). Also, remember that by a cup I mean 8 fluid ounces, not 10.
Baking powder version:
6 ounces of bread flour (about an 8 ounce cup of unsifted)
3/8 teaspoon salt (a rounded 1/4 teaspoon)
1.5 oz margarine (3 Tablespoons)
1.5 oz sugar (3 Tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water (or use 3/4 cup regular milk)
5/8 teaspoon (a rounded 1/2 teaspoon) baking powder
vegetable oil for deepfrying
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, and cut in the margarine (I use my hands or 2 table knives) until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Stir in the sugar, nutmeg, and baking powder.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg, then add the milk (and water, if using), and vanilla and mix well. Make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and add the liquids all at once, blending with a few swift strokes to keep the batter from becoming tough. Let the batter sit for about 30 minutes.
While waiting, line a colander with paper towels to drain the bofrot after cooking them.
About 10 minutes before the 30 minutes are over heat vegetable oil (I like canola) in a deep fryer or a deep, heavy pan to 375 degrees farenheit. Do not fill the pan with oil more than halfway because the oil will bubble up when the dough is added. When the oil is hot enough, a small amount of dough dropped into the oil will quickly rise to the surface. If the oil is too hot, the dough will brown too quickly and the center will not have time to cook.
You can make the balls any size you like, but they are usually larger than a golf ball, a little smaller than a tennis ball. When the oil is ready, I usually slip a large spoon, like a soup spoon, into the oil to coat it, then dip it in the batter and slip a spoonful into the hot oil, using a finger or another soup spoon to quickly drop the dough in the shape of a ball into the oil. If the dough flattens out rather remaining in the shape of a ball, there is likely too much liquid in the batter.
Cook the doughnuts in batches until they are quite browned on all sides. They will likely turn over as the cook, but use a long-handled slotted spoon to stir and turn them as necessary. Use the slotted spoon to lift them out into the colander to drain and cool. They can be eaten when warm or at room temperature.