Women's Month Spotlight: Gráinne Mullins

Women's Month Spotlight: Gráinne Mullins

A Sweet Awakening 

It is commonly said that a pastry chef is performing an exact science. Precise ingredients, exact ratios, measurements, plus perfect timing are all involved. All of that, however, just takes care of the taste and doesn’t even include the presentation. The presentation has to be flawless and artful. We eat with our eyes first and anticipate taste based on how good the treat looks. Fortunately for those of us who enjoy decadent delights, Chef Gráinne Mullins, an active science major at the time, began working in commercial kitchens around Ireland. As it turns out,  that year, which she had taken off from school, became the tipping point at which the Eurotoques 2019 Young Chef of the Year decided to officially trade in her lab coat for a chef’s apron. 

Gráinne Mullins | Lamson Products

 

Finding Love 

In 2019, Chef Mullins was named Eurotoques Young Chef of the Year. The award should have been a catalyst to be a breakout year for the extraordinary pastry chef, with a full schedule of media appearances and culinary showcases. However, once the recent pandemic sent most of the world to isolation and limited social interaction, the hospitality industry instead slowed enough to grant Chef Mullins time and motivation to make a business pivot. It was while she focused on preparing custom orders of sweet confections for her neighbors and friends, that the chef created and founded her Galway-based Grá Chocolates, which is named for the Irish word meaning ‘love.’ It seems to be an appropriate name for fine chocolate candy, and an ingredient the chef pours into her company’s multi-day production process. Today, Grá Chocolates crafts small batches of beautiful hand-painted chocolate candies that, indeed, live up to the name. Perhaps, even more, it stands as a sweet reminder of what Chef Mullins hopes shows up with every bite. 

 

Gráinne Mullins | Lamson Products

Breaking The Mold

Fresh, locally sourced ingredients have been Chef Mullins’ preference since a youth, when she was surrounded by family gardens. It is also a preference she maintains as a pastry chef and chocolatier.


The three-day signature process she has developed utilizes ethically sourced ingredients, such as rich, Irish cream and butter, all readily accessible from dairy farms in her home of Ireland. The scientist-turned-chef draws on her ability to mix and match seasonal flavors to create flavorful fusions that reflect her home and how she wishes to present it to the world. Find Chef Mullin’s recipe for Salted Caramel Doughnuts in the section below and enjoy one of her sugary favorites. Be sure to use the Lamson Dough Scraper and the Lamson Chef's Slotted Turner to help make your dish a delicious success!

 

Salted Caramel Doughnuts


Ingredients                                                              
4 ⅜ cups flour
¼ cup caster sugar
¼ cup softened butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon dried fast action yeast
1 ¾ tsp. salt
⅝ cup milk
¾ cup water
Sunflower oil, for frying
 

Method

  1. Warm the milk and water until tepid, add the yeast and the sugar to the liquid and leave for eight minutes to activate.

  2. Add the other ingredients to a stand mixer with a hook attachment. Mix until combined. Continue to mix for an additional five minutes.

  3. Lightly grease a bowl and place the dough into the bowl. Let it rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.

  4. Tip out the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knock it back and roll it out until it is approximately 2cm in height.

  5. Cut out rounds to the desired size - Pro Tip: our Dough Scrapers are fantastic for this step!

  6. Place on a prepared baking sheet and cover with oiled cling film, and leave for another 20-30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

  7. Pour the sunflower oil into a deep fat fryer or a deep pan and heat to 356 F - Pro Tip: our Vintage Slotted Turner makes frying a breeze!

  8. Cook the risen doughnuts in small batches of two or three at a time, for two minutes on each side, until cooked through. Drain on a cooling rack with a tray underneath and leave until cool enough to handle.

  9. Pierce the side of each warm doughnut with a skewer and fill with the filling of your choice, recommended is a Salted Caramel filling - see below

SALTED CARAMEL FILLING 

1 cup cream
3 Tbsp. milk
1 ½  vanilla pods
1 large pinch of sea salt
½ cup caster sugar
⅓ cup butter

Method

  1. Heat the cream, milk, vanilla, and salt together in a saucepan.

  2. At the same time, heat the sugar until golden brown in color, approximately 356° Fahrenheit if you have a sugar thermometer.

  3. Very carefully add the warm cream to the caramel, off the heat.

  4. Bring it back to the heat and allow it to cook for a further two minutes.

  5. Pass the mix through a sieve and allow it to cool for five minutes.

  6. Add the butter and blend using a hand blender.

  7. Allow for cooling completely before putting it into a round-tipped piping bag and filling the doughnuts.

 

Women’s History Month

During the month of March Lamson will recognize Women’s History Month by sharing stories of bright and talented women who are exemplary in the culinary industry. We encourage you to celebrate the contributions all women have made over the course of history.   

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