I mean.. where do I start? The stroke of inspiration for this recipe came to me last night, as I sat alone eating a tub of Almond Dream ice-cream for dinner. What can I say – great things can come of spending Friday nights alone with no-one else but your thoughts for company (I also had my pet hamster, but she’s not one for long conversations).
I think we can all agree that mac and cheese is a great thing. I am similarly fond of doughnuts, and love a ridiculous, sometimes unnecessary, food gimmick so here you go: Baked Mac and Cheese Doughnuts. I decided that deep frying them would be a gluttonous step too far, but only just. I didn’t want to leave them unadorned either, real doughnuts have icing and sprinkles after all. So I topped mine with a creamy, cashew garlic sauce, crispy coconut bacon bits and some simple chopped chives. The chives are tasty but also something green so I can tell myself that they have vegetables in.
I made the mac and cheese fresh just for this recipe but if you have some leftover for another meal it would also be perfect for shaping into doughnuts. Once cooked they are best eaten straight away, and make sure you scatter the bacon over just before eating to make sure it stays nice and crispy. The recipe will give you more bacon than you need for he doughnuts but it’s crucial to make more than needed as otherwise I find I have munched it all before it’s had a chance to get on my plate!
Vegan Mac & Cheese Doughnuts with Cashew Garlic Sauce and Crispy Coconut Bacon
Makes: 8 large doughnuts
Prep time: 30 mins
Baking time: 15-20 mins
- 200g dried macaroni
- 1.5 tbsp vegan butter
- 2.5 tbsp plain flour
- 250ml non-dairy milk
- 1/2 tsp tapioca starch (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric (for colour)
- Chives for garnish
- 100g cashews – soaked until soft
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
- 100ml water
- 30g raw coconut chips
- 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Place the coconut chips along with all the other bacon ingredients into a bowl and mix until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the coconut.
- Line a baking tray (or use a non-stick one) and spread the coconut mixture onto the tray in a single layer.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes but every 5 minutes take it out of the oven and flip the coconut pieces to make sure that they cook evenly.
- It should be dark golden brown and very crisp when done. Set aside to cool.
- Place soaked cashews, garlic, salt and water into a blender and process until very smooth. You may need to stop to scrape down the edges a few times. Keep refrigerated until needed.
Mac & Cheese Doughnuts
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and put to one side.
- In a saucepan melt the vegan butter, then add the flour and mix to form a thick paste. Cook for a minute and then start adding the non-dairy milk, 50ml at a time. Mixing until smooth after each addition.
- When you have added all the milk add in the tapioca mix to combine then add all the remaining ingredients to create a thick sauce.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and mix until combined.
- Add spoonfuls of mac and cheese to a doughnut pan, taking care to make sure there are no gaps in the moulds. Depending on the size of your pan you might need to bake them in two batches.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are crisping up.
- Loosen the edges of the mac doughnuts and carefully flip out of the tin.
- Drizzle with garlic sauce, scatter over the bacon bits and add some chopped chives and enjoy immediately!