too much of a good thing


I don’t know whether it’s a universally-acknowledged culture, or it’s a situation unique to Singapore, but the food scene here, or rather, the dessert scene here takes on seasonal trends almost akin to runway fashion.

We’ve seen bubble tea shops sprouting behind every corner of a building, growing like tapioca balls lurking at the bottom of each plastic cup. There was a time when nothing quite filled the air like the scent of Mexican coffee buns, more renowned locally as Rotiboy, Roti Mum, or Roti-_____ (insert name of any other family member of choice). And then along came pretty cupcakes and dainty macarons, fuelled by pop culture (SATC’s Magnolia cupcakes, anyone?) leaving the sweet-toothed spoilt for choice, and the young adults rejoicing at desserts catered with style and elegance.

Don’t get me wrong, I embrace these waves of gastronomical delights, most definitely. My only gripe is that there are just certain things you can’t have too much of. Or perhaps, I can’t have too much of.


I remember being enthralled by trays of doughnuts lined perfectly in the bakery on my way to pre-school. They carried two flavours only; sugar and chocolate coated. My choice would always be the one with three small doughnut balls on a wooden skewer, smearing my cheeks silly with the dusting of fine sugar. I’ve always believed that having three doughnut balls would leave me satiated longer than one large doughnut. Besides, everything tastes better on a stick, or so my five-year-old self believed.

If you were to ask me then, would there ever be shops selling nothing but doughnuts in less than twenty years’ time, I would have laughed gleefully and scrambled to write that fictional story in my storyjournal.

If you had told me that there would be a frenzy of long queues lasting for more than an hour just to get doughnuts from a particular shop, I would have definitely called your bluff.


And if you insisted that there will come a time when I would find myself working near a doughnut shop, frolic with doughnut-loving colleagues, eat doughnuts at least once every week, and see myself swearing off doughnuts even after a year on, I would jump up and down excitedly at the thought, and say, “I’ll never get sick of doughnuts!”.

Sure, the concept behind the adage of “too much of a good thing” escapes a 5-year-old, but these homemade fluffy ones without all the fancy flavours, fillings and toppings, were certainly an exception. And they definitely witnessed me grabbing a second piece.

Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts
(adapted from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2)

4 teaspoons active dry yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water
1 cup lukewarm milk
3 tbsp caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, melted
4 ¼ cups plain flour
3 eggs
vegetable oil, to deep fry

  1. Place the yeast, water, milk and one tablespoon of sugar in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, indicating that the yeast is active.
  2. Add the butter, flour, eggs and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and mix with a butter knife until a sticky dough forms. Bring the dough together by kneading on a lightly floured surface.
  3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea-towel and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for five minutes or until it feels smooth and elastic.
  4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 1cm thick. Cut rounds using doughnut cutter. Place a tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with a tea-towel and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen.
  5. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Cook the doughnuts a few at a time until golden. Drain briefly on paper towel.

Chocolate Glaze
(recipe from Alton Brown)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

  1. Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted.
  2. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted.
  3. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.

18 thoughts on “too much of a good thing

  1. the mister

    Oooh! I remember these! nuMMy!

    Hmmm… Which reminds me…

    I haven’t had any cream cheese filled doughnuts in a LOOOOOOOONG time!

    What say we traipse on over to a doughnut shop on our doite tomorrow, luv? 😀

  2. The Little Teochew

    I waaaant! Yipee! A recipe using plain flour instead of bread flour. Goody!! *rubs hands in glee* … and tell me about it, the 3 donut balls on a stick was my preferred childhood choice too!! Relished very, very slowly …

  3. Zita

    Yum… donuts… what can I say, last time I was in Asia I was sooo adicted to the J.Co donuts, matcha glazed… I still dream about it:)

  4. ovenhaven Post author

    bie: Yikes, I think the store doughnuts still get me queasy, darling. How about you get yourself a cream-cheese filled one, and I get me some chewy puffs! nuMMy!

    The Little Teochew: Ah yes, I’d make sure I eat it reaaaaal slow 😛 I must say that after all these years, no flavour of doughnut quite entices me the way those donut balls on a stick does!

    Zita: Haha, I’ve heard so much about J. Co doughnuts, but it’s not halal here, unfortunately 😦 But I’m pretty sure you’d do a great job (or even better) making your own matcha ones, so why don’t you give it a go!

  5. ovenhaven Post author

    thecoffeesnob: Thanks, sweetie. I wonder what the next in-food is 😛

    jean-marie: Haha… Oops, sorry babe! 😛

    Jill: Hehe, thank you! Don’t worry, the doughnuts were definitely picked (and eaten) immediately after the shoot 😛

    smallkitchenbigideas: Somehow the unhealthy stuff always seem much too tempting 😛

  6. grace

    an hour-long wait for donuts? dang, they must be absolutely delicious! i know how easy it is to get hooked on the food trends, although i tend to be months behind everyone else. 🙂

  7. ovenhaven Post author

    Helene: Thanks, dearie 🙂

    grace: If you were to ask me, I honestly didn’t find anything special about their doughnuts, so I never quite understood the hype! 😛

    Wendy: Thanks, Wendy! You should give doughnuts a go; nothing beats homemade ones 🙂

    Valerie Catrice: Hehe, thanks Valerie!

  8. junkshion

    MMMMM… goodie!

    I always make sure to get some Dunkin Donuts whenever I’m back in KL! And now they have Krispy Kreme! That, my friends, triumphs all donuts! You have your bread donuts and your cake donuts all in one place. I almost ate the whole dozen box by myself!

    I’ll see if I can be ‘rajin’ enough to blog again soon and share the pics with you. You have to have Krispy Kremes! Oh yeah, Dunkin opened at Ion and the amount of people queuing up was INSANE. I couldn’t even be bothered to get my usual Double Chocolate.

    I did try making some Krispy Kreme-ish original donuts once and they were rather good if I may say so myself 🙂 (shameless me!)


  9. ovenhaven Post author

    Ah, two popular names that come up each time someone mentions doughnuts will be J.Co and Krispy Kreme! I should seriously go to KL just on a strictly foodie business. And yup, I tweeted about Ion’s Dunkin Donuts the other day; still waiting for the crowd to die down before I can launch a full donut attack 😛

    And ooh, do share the recipe! Or at least rajinkan diri and post em up! 😀

  10. Sihan

    THanks for the great post. You’ve inspired me to make doughnuts again.

    When I was younger, I preferred the ones on the stick as well, reason was simple though, I was a really messy eater and those chocolate glazed ones look a tad menacing. haha.

  11. ovenhaven Post author

    Haha, that sure sounds like a great reason! Even with the stick ones I end up smearing sugar all over my puffy cheeks, but sheesh, I can imagine the damage chocolate glazed ones would do 😛


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