Monthly Archives: July 2019

Recipe for homemade chai-spiced doughnuts

Plenty of us have a perfectly understandable fear of frying. After all, it can be both messy and dangerous. But it doesn’t have to be. And since eating fried food is one of life’s great joys, it’s well worth mastering.

Consider the doughnut. Everybody’s favourite wheel-shaped goodie is made of fried sweetened dough that has leavened with yeast, baking powder or baking soda. The difference in leavening comes down to texture. Yeast doughnuts are light and airy, while doughnuts leavened with baking powder or baking soda are denser, more like cake.

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These chai-spiced doughnuts are of the latter variety. They are easy to mix together (just don’t overmix or they’ll get tough) and flavoured with chai-style spices (the kinds that make Indian tea so lovable).

The equipment part of frying is easy. A fryer is nice, but if you don’t have one, you can piece together one of your own. It requires nothing more than a large, deep pot and a frying thermometer.

The best kind of oil for this job is one that’s flavourless and has a high “smoke point.” The smoke point is the temperature at which a given oil starts to smoke; it can catch fire if it gets much hotter than that. Good candidates include vegetable, safflower, sunflower, soy, some kinds of canola, and some kinds of grape seed. Usually, the label will tell you if the oil’s suitable for frying.

Don’t fill the pot with more than about 2 inches of oil. When you add the doughnuts, the level of the oil will rise. Next, insert the thermometer deep enough into the oil to get a reading, but not so deep that it rests on the bottom of the pan. Now heat the oil to 375 F.

Once the right temperature is reached, it’s important to fry the doughnuts in small batches. If you fry up too many at once, the oil temperature drops and the doughnuts absorb too much oil. You want to make sure the oil is always between 365 F and 380F. If it starts to edge up toward 400 F, add some cold oil to cool it down. If it dips below 350 F, remove the doughnuts temporarily, which will allow the oil to climb back up.

The perfect tool for removing doughnuts (or any fried food) from hot oil is called a spider. These are flat strainers that work like a scoop blended with a wooden spoon. But the scoop part usually is made of a web-like lattice of wire (hence the name).

As the doughnuts fry, let them rest for a few moments, then cut one open to make sure they are cooked through. The exteriors should be deep brown and the interiors should be cake-like and light.

Can you re-use the oil? Sure, as long as you didn’t overheat it the first time (which lowers its smoke point) and you strain it with a fine strainer to lose any crumbs. But I wouldn’t re-use it more than once.

Got it? Great. When it comes to frying, there’s nothing to fear.


Start to finish: 1 hour

Makes 36 small doughnuts

For the spice mix:

2 teaspoons cinnamon2 teaspoons ground cardamom1 teaspoon ground dry ginger1 teaspoon ground black pepper1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

For the doughnuts:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the counter2 teaspoons baking powder1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon table salt3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided2/3 cup buttermilk4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled1 large egg, beaten lightly1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized gingerVegetable oil, for frying

To make the spice mix, in a small bowl stir together the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, pepper and cloves. Set aside.

To make the doughnuts, in a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1 tablespoon of the spice mix until well combined.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sugar and 2 teaspoons of the spice mix. Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine the remaining sugar, the buttermilk, butter, egg, vanilla and candied ginger. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until the mixture forms a sticky dough. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it briefly until it just comes together.

Lightly flour a baking sheet.

On a lightly floured counter, pat out the door (which will be sticky) into a round about 1/3 inch thick. Use a 1 3/4-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut rounds from the dough. Transfer the doughnuts to the prepared baking sheet, then reroll and cut the scraps of dough once.

In a wide, 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 375 F.

Working in batches of 5 or 6, carefully add the doughnuts, 1 at a time, to the oil and fry, turning over frequently, until browned, about 2 1/2 minutes per batch. Transfer the fried doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Return the oil to 375 F between batches. Let the fried doughnuts cool slightly, then dredge them through the bowl of spiced sugar, turning to coat both sides.

Nutrition information per serving: 70 calories; 30 calories from fat (43 per cent of total calories); 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 1 g protein; 105 mg sodium.

©2014The Associated Press

Which careers scientists say will protect your memory later in life – National

TORONTO – Your days crunching numbers, problem-solving or applying laser focus to your job may pay off in the long run. A new study suggests that people whose careers require complex thinking end up with longer-lasting memory later in life.

Examples of complex work that could boost your brainpower in old age include working with data, such as architects or graphic designers, and even working with people, such as lawyers and social workers, according to Scottish researchers.

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“These results suggest that more stimulating work environments may help people retain their thinking skills, and that this might be observed years after they have retired,” sadi lead author, Dr. Alan Gow. “Our findings have helped to identify the kinds of job demands that preserve memory and thinking later on,” he said.

READ MORE: Does shift work hurt your brain? Memory, processing affected, study suggests

Gow and his colleagues at the Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh’s Center for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology worked with 1,066 Scottish residents. They were 70 years old, on average, when they were tested for memory, processing speed and thinking abilities.

Each participant’s job title was also recorded and assigned a score based on complexity of work with people, data and things. A “complex” job would include coordinating or synthesizing data, while less complicated work might involve copying data. If the jobs had social aspects, complex roles would include mentoring or negotiating, while less complex tasks would include instructing or helping.

READ MORE: Is chronic fatigue real? New research says it’s tied to brain anomalies

It turns out, study participants that held complex jobs focused on data or people – such as management – had better scores on memory and thinking tests. But the effect was small, accounting for about one to two per cent of variance between high- and low-complexity jobs.

Complex jobs included surgeon, civil engineer, musician or architect while construction worker, telephone operator or food server ranked lower in terms of using brain power.

READ MORE: Interrupted sleep just as bad for you as no sleep at all, study suggests

The researchers aren’t sure if it’s a “stimulating environment” that may build up memory and thinking skills. They suggest that perhaps brain-taxing work could act as a buffer for the brain to function in spite of damage, or that it’s taking on a new challenge.

The study was published Wednesday night in the journal Neurology.

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Senators make case for missing women inquiry – National

OTTAWA – Former Liberals in the Senate are offering up ready-made legal arguments to anyone willing to take the federal government to court in order to force a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls.

They say they are taking the legal route because Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government refuses to heed the calls of aboriginal groups, civil-liberty organizations and opposition parties to hold an inquiry.

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“I think that there is no other choice than to go to court,” said Sen. Serge Joyal, who wrote the legal argument.

“This is a way to press upon the government in a more efficient manner, so the government will have to defend its stance in court and be shamed by public opinion. That, I think, might compel the government to act, finally.”

Joyal, a lawyer by training, cites sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, other legal cases and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to buttress his argument for an inquiry.

He and his Senate colleague Lillian Dyck are in the early stages of finding someone who will take the case to Federal Court.

WATCH: Senator Dyck issues call on behalf of all Aboriginal women

“The first party to launch an action is normally a person who is directly aggrieved or a person who has a direct interest,” Joyal said.

Such a case could be before the courts for years.

But Joyal and Dyck say a court case would put pressure on the Conservative government to call an inquiry, something it has so far refused to do.

“It could be an aspect of shaming,” Dyck said.

“It could also be alerting Canadians to the fact that there is a underlying right amongst aboriginal women to be protected. And therefore, it might also then somehow increase pressure in other ways.

“It may not be through a formal organization, but you know, there is an election coming up, and pressure could be put on their local members of Parliament.”

The Conservatives have resisted calls for an inquiry, saying dozens of studies have already been done and now is the time for action.

The government’s latest budget included a five-year, $25-million renewal of money aimed at stopping violence against aboriginal women and girls.

Kellie Leitch, the minister for the status of women, recently elaborated on how the money will be spent.

Over the next five years:

– $8.6 million will be spent to develop community safety plans;

– $2.5 million will be spent on projects to raise awareness of the cycles of violence and abuse;

– $5 million will be spent on projects to encourage boys and men to denounce and prevent violence against aboriginal women and girls;

– $7.5 million will be spent on victim services and help for victims and families;

– $1.4 million will be spent on sharing information and resources with communities and organizations and to report on progress and results.

The government is also spending additional money on shelters and activities to prevent family violence, a DNA-based missing persons database and continuing support for police investigations through the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains and special RCMP project teams.


Climate meeting falls short of $10 billion target to help poor countries – National

BERLIN – A United Nations fund that will help poor countries tackle climate change has fallen short for now of its target of collecting $10 billion, officials said Thursday.

Some 30 countries meeting in Berlin pledged a total of $9.3 billion toward the Green Climate Fund.

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Last week, the United States pledged $3 billion, the biggest amount so far. Britain announced Thursday it would give 720 million pounds ($1.13 billion). Other major donors include Japan, Germany and France.

Despite the shortfall, Germany’s environment minister said she was satisfied by the result because some countries had indicated they would increase their contribution in the coming

WATCH: U.S.-China climate change deal reached

“I’m confident that we will reach the $10 billion goal,” Barbara Hendricks told reporters. “$9.3 billion is already pretty close.”

The fund is intended to help vulnerable developing nations adjust to rising seas, warmer temperatures and more extreme weather.

The money will also be used to help those countries develop clean energy sources that reduce the use of greenhouse gas-emitting coal, oil and gas


Warming trend brings flooding worries for Buffalo

WATCH: As temperature rises, so does the danger of flooding in Buffalo. Alan Carter reports.


Death toll now at 13 after man found buried in carMore than 30 major roof collapses have been reportedTemperatures expected to climb with rain in forecastNFL moves Bills game to Monday in Detroit

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A snowfall that brought huge drifts and closed roads in the Buffalo area finally ended Friday as the looming threat of rain and higher temperatures through the weekend and beyond raised the possibility of floods and more roofs collapsing under the heavy loads.

That’s prompted officials to put the region under a flood watch as of Sunday that will last until next Wednesday.

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  • Storm blamed for 8th death in upstate New York

  • Buffalo Bills lend a helping hand during epic snowstorm

  • IN PHOTOS: Incredible images as historic snowstorm blankets upstate New York

  • Ferocious snowstorm blankets Buffalo, with more on the way

  • Want to see Buffalo Bills game Sunday? Bring a shovel

More than 30 major roof collapses, most involving farm and flat-roof buildings, were reported Thursday night, officials said Friday, after snow Thursday brought the Buffalo area’s three-day total to an epic two metres or more. Little or no snow fell on Friday, and the forecast called for a chance of rain on Saturday and more through Monday, along with temperatures of about 15 degrees.

As towns and villages began preparing for potential flooding, homeowners and store employees around the region climbed onto roofs to shovel off the snow and reduce the danger of collapse.

“Five hours yesterday and that’s just the beginning,” John Normile said Friday of the effort to clear snow from the roof of his Lake View ranch-style home. He, along with his daughter and her boyfriend, had knocked about a metre of snow off the back of the house and planned to be back at it for a second day.

IN PHOTOS: Incredible images as historic snowstorm blankets upstate New York

“We’re getting really concerned about the weight of it,” Normile said. “We’ve got to do it before the rain comes.”

The storms were blamed for at least 13 deaths in western New York, mostly from heart attacks and exposure. The latest was a 50-year-old man was found Friday morning in his car, which was buried in snow in Cheektowaga, police said. The cause of death wasn’t immediately known.

Two elderly residents of a nursing home died after it was evacuated amid concerns of a roof collapse, Deputy Erie County Executive Richard Tobe said.

“We know that relocating people from nursing homes is a very tough thing to do,” Tobe said.

WATCH: It’s already the most extreme lake-effect snowfall on record and the last thing people in the area around Buffalo, N.Y. need is more snow – but, that’s exactly what’s on the way.

More than 50 people were evacuated from several mobile home parks in suburban Cheektowaga and West Seneca on Thursday because roofs were buckling. Tobe said at least 90 small roof collapses involving carports and other structures had been reported by Friday morning, in addition to damage to a pharmacy and a metal warehouse operated by a Christmas decorations company, where damage was estimated in the millions.

Some farm animals had been injured in damaged barns, he said.

With roads impassable, driving bans in effect and the Buffalo Bills’ stadium buried in snow, the NFL decided to move the Bills’ Sunday home game against the New York Jets to Monday night in Detroit.

National Guardsmen drove nurses to their hospital shifts. State troopers helped elderly residents trapped in their homes. State officials assembled 463 plows, 129 loaders and 40 dump trucks from across the state for a massive cleanup effort.

Some Buffalo-area schools were closed for the fourth day, burning through snow days with winter still a month away.

WATCH: A drone pilot in Buffalo managed to capture aerial images of the city by piloting his drone – with high-definition camera attached – during the middle of the snowstorm

With deliveries interrupted, some grocery stores reported running low on staples like bread and milk.

“No matter how you cut it, this event will end up in the top five for the Lake Erie area,” said National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini.

WATCH: Concern in Buffalo now turns to weekend weather forecast

Cities and towns were positioning pumps and other equipment in anticipation of widespread flooding. The worst is expected Monday when, with temperatures at or above 15, snow is expected to melt faster than it can be absorbed by the ground or snowpack.

“There’s roughly the equivalent of six inches of rain in the snowpack that will essentially be released over two days,” Tobe said. “If it was released as rain it would be a monumental storm.”

But flooding will likely affect mostly basements and creeks, he said. “It’s not going to be this giant flooding like you see in hurricanes,” he said.

Even for the Buffalo area — one of the snowiest and hardiest places in America — this was one for the history books. The three-day total is close to the nearly three metres that the region typically gets over an entire year.

Because the Buffalo area is so snowy, building codes require homes and businesses to be able to handle up to 50 pounds per square foot on their roofs, which would be about as heavy as a slab of concrete 10 centimetres thick, according to Mark Bajorek, a structural engineer.

As anyone who has ever shoveled snow knows, its weight depends in part on how wet or fluffy it is, not just on how deep it is. But Bajorek said some buildings may be close to that limit now, with more precipitation on the way.

Two nursing home residents die following evacuation in Buffalo


Two nursing home residents die following evacuation in Buffalo


Raw video: Driving through the streets of Buffalo


Parts of Buffalo buried in snow dodge another weather bullet


Raw video: National Guard troops arrive in Buffalo


Lake effect snow time lapse in Buffalo


Raw video: Heavy snowfall blankets Buffalo


Dog frolics in deep snow after massive snowstorm in Buffalo


Police car stuck in snow in upstate NY

Associated Press writers Michael Hill and Mary Esch contributed from Albany.