I started out simply looking for a chocolate yeast dough to work with. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do but knew it would involve chocolate. I asked for some advice on Facebook and a friend suggested I try to make Turtle donuts. I’m sure you’ve heard of turtles, right? Those dreamy caramel and pecan bites drenched in chocolate?
If you haven’t, welcome to earth, you must be new here.
Turtles are one of my favorite chocolates. Chewy and melty and crunchy. What’s not to love?
Turning them into a donut was a little trickier than I thought. There is NOT a lot of chocolate based yeast doughs out there. I ended up making my own through some trial and error and was pretty happy with the end result. The caramel glaze is nice and sticky, and the crunchy pecans add just the right finishing touch.
Turtle Donuts (Big Batch)
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
4 tsp + 1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup hot water
4 cups warm milk
1 Tbsp oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant coffee granules
1 cup baking cocoa powder
8 – 10 cups of flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup icing sugar
3 – 4 cups chopped pecans
Oil for frying (about 1 litre)
Prepare dough – In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast with 4 tsp sugar and the 1/2 cup hot water. Set aside for 5 minutes so yeast can active.
After yeast is foamy, add in the warm milk, eggs, oil, salt, 1 cup sugar, coffee granules, cocoa powder, and about 6 cups of flour. Stir well. Slowly add in more flour until stiff dough forms.
Place on floured work surface and knead for 3 minutes. Place dough into a large, oiled bowl. Cover and place somewhere warm to rise for an hour.
After an hour or so your dough should be doubled.
Place parchment paper on 2 large cookie sheets and set aside.
Roll out dough on a floured surface to about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick.
Cut with biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter. Then use a smaller round cutter to cut out the center. Place the donuts on the prepared cookie sheets. Re-roll the scraps for more donuts. (If you don’t have a large work surface, cut the dough in half and work with half at a time.) NOTE – place the donuts at least an inch apart so they have room to rise. If they are too close they will stick together!
Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise another hour. (You should get about 3 dozen – 3 inch donuts plus that many donut holes.)
When risen, heat oil to 350 degrees. This takes about 10 – 15 minutes so you can start heating it when dough has been rising for about 45 minutes.
When oil reaches desired temperature, gently place about 3 – 4 donuts into the oil at a time. Cook for 1 minute on each side.
Remove from oil using a slotted spoon and set on paper towel or wire racks with paper towel underneath to drain off any excess oil. Continue until all donuts have been fried.
Allow donuts to cool to room temp.
Prepare caramel glaze – Put butter, brown sugar, cream, and salt in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool 5 minutes, then whisk in the icing sugar.
Place the glaze in a shallow bowl and place the chopped pecans in another shallow bowl.
Dip a donut in the caramel glaze and gently shake off any excess.
Then dip the donut into the pecans. Place on wire racks to let any excess caramel drip off.
Caramel, chocolate, and pecans. I’m in love.
The chocolate yeast dough would be a great base for a lot of donuts. I’m thinking black forest donuts or chocolate covered strawberry donuts for a start.
Oh yeah, don’t forget all those wonderful donut holes as well!
I dipped them in the glaze but had run out of pecans to roll them in. They were pretty tasty just like this… just not turtle-y.
What is your favorite chocolate dessert that your would turn into a donut flavor, if you could?