I don’t know how I could have been so impulsive. It’s like I saw the words ‘donut’ and ‘Spam’ next to ‘maple glaze’ and headed to the kitchen in a zombie-like trance.
I’m a huge fan of the savory-sweet combo, the more unusual the better. The flavor combination is nothing new, really – honey-cured bacon, champorado with salted fish, grapes and cheese to name a few – but there have been some new interesting pairings lately like the Krispy Kreme cheeseburger or bacon dipped in chocolate. I was first steered towards the sweet-savory path by my friend Robi who I used to do a radio show with. We did the morning show together and inevitably we’d get hungry at some point and order breakfast from McDonald’s. One morning, I noticed Robi slathering strawberry jam on his Sausage & Egg McMuffin. Whut? He told me to try it, it’s really good! And sweet pork, he was right! Not surprisingly, Robi eventually left radio to open a restaurant called Nectar.
So now do you see how this recipe could have excited me so much that I failed to realize that the one user comment it had was, “I didn’t mean to favorite this! EW!”? Me neither. To add insult to injury, I actually doubled the recipe below.
This cautionary tale begins with:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 T brown sugar
1/4 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
1 T melted butter
1/3 cup buttermilk plus 1 T
1 12 oz. can Spam
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 t maple syrup
1. Make buttermilk substitute. Since I needed a third cup, I put a tablespoon of distilled vinegar into a measuring cup and filled the rest of the way with milk to make a third cup. Let sit for about 5 minutes. As for the extra 1 tablespoon of buttermilk, I decided to just use milk.
By the way, the pictures for this entry were taken with the Hipstamatic App on my iPhone. I thought I’d try out the Foodie Snap Pak – flash, film and lens especially for the foodie! I find that the mostly dark and underexposed results are a good reflection of the overall grimness of this recipe. Anyway.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda and brown sugar.
3. Whisk in eggs, melted butter and buttermilk.
I guess this was when things seemed a little off. I’m sure you can tell just by the way it looks. This batter was really thick. But I had never made donuts in my life. What the hell do I know?
4. Transfer donut batter into a piping bag and keep in the fridge while making the maple glaze. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a plastic bag. I can’t explain to you why one bag has so much and the other so little.
5. Preheat the oven to 325 F/160 C. To make glaze, whisk together confectioner’s sugar, maple syrup and 1 tablespoon milk in a medium bowl. I think this was when I started to think maybe these were more like Sham donuts, not Spam donuts. The glaze wasn’t coming together at all. I mean, really – dissolve 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar in 1 teaspoon of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of milk? Not a chance!
I had to pour in about a third cup more milk to get it to glaze consistency. I also added a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I find that the scent comforts me and I was feeling very uncomfortable at this point.
6. I didn’t bother cutting the Spam into rings since I didn’t have a donut pan anyway. What I had in mind was a slice of juicy browned Spam in the middle of a pillowy mound of donut. Like a jelly donut but with Spam instead of jelly. That meant I had to slice the Spam and brown them.
While the Spam was browning, I decided to test a bit of my donut batter. I put a dollop of it in the oven to see how they’d come out. I pulled it out after the requisite 10 minutes and was horrified. It had none of the light springiness of a donut. It was actually quite hard outside and solid throughout. And it tasted really eggy. I decided they were more like biscuits in an insulting-to-biscuits kind of way while quietly panicking inside. Spam biscuits. They could still work. Right?
7. I cut the Spam into thirds. Busted out my muffin pan and greased it with melted butter. Cut the tip off my plastic bag with the do, I mean, biscuit batter and proceeded to fill up the muffin pan with it, about 2/3 of the way. The thick batter was made even thicker by refrigeration and my makeshift piping bag burst at the seams. I soldiered on and topped each biscuit with a slice of browned Spam.
8. Once they were done and out of the muffin pan, the Spam slices fell. Like my face. A testament I guess to how dry this batter was. There was nothing for the Spam to adhere to. Really grasping at straws now, I sliced the biscuit in half and decided to sandwich 2 slices of Spam with it the logic being more Spam = less biscuit. I gave it a very generous drizzle of the vanilla maple glaze.
Look how gray the inside of that biscuit is, yuck! The texture was so weird, too. Heavy and kinda gummy even. I would only eat this if I were drunk and didn’t know what I was doing. And then hopefully not remember eating it. The only upside to this recipe is eating leftover browned Spam dipped in glaze.
Kids, do NOT try this at home.
Fun Food Fact: Spam got its name from a contest to give a unique name to what was then called Hormel Spiced Ham.