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Doughnuts, a popular snack around the capital, recently added the sweet in a new guise:
American Mini Donuts offer it in a miniature form, while Made Doughnut House recently reopened for business after an absence of almost a year, writes MIREILLE DE VILLIERS, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE.

Nut without a Bolt

“Authentic” Doughnuts Taking the Cake



The doughnuts sold at American Mini Donuts (top), located in front of DG Tower on Bole Road, are small (bottom) and sold in servings of either eight pieces or 16, which still only amounts to around 100g.

Made Doughnut House, located in Beklobet, behind Global Hotel, reopened its doors about three weeks ago, after closing when its then owner was taken ill. She first started selling the pastry more than 30 years ago, but only as takeaways, like the many stalls that can be seen around the city.

While she has recovered, her son, Dereje Belay, has since taken over the café that has been serving customers doughnuts for 12 years.

“They are real doughnuts,” Dereje told Fortune. “The machine we use to make them is from the US. The recipe we use was developed by my mother over the years.”

The classic doughnut has a hole in its centre. This allows for more even cooking. As a man who clearly takes pride in his café, he considers the quality as most other products as inferior.

Made’s doughnuts are certainly delicious. They are slightly smaller than the “normal” ones found in the street stalls his mother started out in. They are also firmer in texture and as well as considerably less oily.

This, Dereje attributes to the ingredients they use with the flour, which includes milk and eggs, as cake does. The whole pastry is really cake like, and instead of bland dough, traces of cinnamon can be detected.

Yet, there is also a marked difference in price. While a doughnut with icing sugar from a street stall will set one back around 3.50 Br, Made’s is nine Birr, with VAT.

Dereje’s wife has a similarly named café, Made Coffee & Pizza, located around Ras Mekonnen Bridge in Piazza. While it sells doughnuts, its focus is more on serving pizza, something the doughnut house does not offer, at this stage.

It also sells only about 50 doughnuts per day, as opposed to the doughnut house that sells around 250, according to Dereje.

Prior to taking over Made Doughnut House, Dereje was a furniture dealer. He furnished the café from his warehouse. There are 10 light wood round tables around the café. The glass cake display is directly opposite the entrance, just a few steps off the quiet asphalt road.

Should one not wish to take one’s treats away, it is not a bad idea to sit down, as the interior is rather reminiscent of a cosy kitchen. Almost the entire front wall facing the street comprises windows, letting in a good deal of natural light. The wooden furnishings further add to the warm, homey atmosphere.
A menu stands at attention on each table and the fare not yet expounded upon contained therein is hardly cheap, even before taking into consideration that the prices are exclusive of VAT.
A cup of tea is 2.82 Br, macchiato 4.35 Br. Not to mention the juice, traditional food, and sandwiches also on offer, there is every variety of cakes from banana cake (8.26 Br) to Black Forest (10.43 Br) and Tiramisu (12.17 Br).

Doughnuts are especially popular in the US, from where Genet Tsegaye also imported her automatic doughnut making machine. However, unlike Made, hers is a takeaway stall, and she only makes the mini variety.

The owner of American Mini Donuts, located in front of DG Tower on Bole Road, Genet’s doughnuts amount to about six grams each. Sold in small paper bags donning the logo of the mother company, Donut Star, the mini doughnuts are sold in servings of either eight pieces (10 Br) or 16 pieces (20 Br).

The toppings on offer are cinnamon sugar (an additional two Birr), as well as chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla syrup, all four Birr per serving.

The sugar falls right off the doughnut to assemble at the bottom of the bag, like salt over popcorn. However, the syrup clings and adds a welcome bit of moisture to the dryish pastry.

Genet plans to add pineapple flavour to the options, once the syrup she has ordered is cleared to leave Djibouti, she told Fortune.

“It is very tasty, but costy,” Mikias Bekele, 24, a customer who came by at around 5:45pm on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, told Fortune. “It you work it out, a doughnut generally costs six Birr. One little packet with syrup thus costs more than two doughnuts, and I don’t think the amount of pastry is the same.”

Aside from the machine, Genet also imports the flour from which the doughnuts are made from Donut Star. As her stall has only been open for about two months, she has not yet run out of supplies with a need to report some.

Yet, this is bound to change when she opens other branches: One is planned at Edna Mall, to open this week, while another, at Getu Commercial Center is to follow seomtime in the future, according to Genet.

“Mini Doughnuts are new to Ethiopia,” Genet told Fortune. “I am hoping that the novelty of it will be popular.”

American Mini Donuts usually stays open until around 10:00pm, or when late night customers in search of a snack dry up, according to Genet. It is usually busiest from 5:00pm onwards, she said of the deep-fried snack.

However, it contains some interesting vitamins, if the placard on the window shielding the cooking space is to be believed: it supposedly contains niacin (B3), which lowers cholesterol; iron, needed to make hemoglobin, the protein needed to carry oxygen throughout the body; and riboflavin (B2), key to maintaining humans’ health.

In a rather outlandish touch, it also informs gluttons of the calorie content they are about to consume: 100g, or the double serving, contains 390Kcal, of which 6.5pc is fat, and only 3.5pc the above mentioned minerals.

Be that as it may, the treat is delightful, and these facts hardly detract from the eaters’ enjoyment.


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