m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Sonhos (Portuguese Doughnuts)

I made sonhos one Sunday because I didn’t have the time to attempt malassadas or cuddureddi, and I couldn’t find a beignet recipe that was actually a proper choux pastry instead of a standard yeast doughnut. I followed the sonhos recipe at Leite’s Culinaria, which they don’t want reproduced elsewhere, so this cookbook entry is just my comments on the process. And a picture:


The recipe uses the vague term “beat” for the process of incorporating the eggs into the cooked water/flour ball. I don’t have a stand mixer or eggbeater, and my manual mixer was occupied with vacuuming the house, so I ended up using my immersion blender. It seemed to be effective. I used a trigger scoop to get the dough into the oil.

Peter doesn’t like confectioner’s sugar and most of the pictures I found online (the Leite’s recipe didn’t have pictures) showed regular granulated sugar instead, a la malassadas, so I used that. In the process I forgot to add the cinnamon, so they turned out a bit pedestrian. I have a nice candy thermometer that hangs in the pot, but still had some trouble keeping the oil at a steady 360°. Many of the doughnuts cracked and poofed open during frying—maybe because the outside cooked too fast—and a few collapsed after removal.

Peter called them fluffy, apparently because his grandmother used to make the densest doughnuts ever, but I found them a bit eggy. Still, I’d do it again because it was relatively quick and easy, for doughnuts. Also, it seems they could be made non-dairy easily with the substitution of oil for the one tablespoon of butter.