Ashley McLaughlin started her blog Edible Perspective in 2009, out of sheer boredom. She knew nothing about photography and not much more about cooking. Now she’s a food blogging cookbook author and knows a thing or two about these gluten-free Boston Cream Doughnuts. Why? Because she created them. And you could win a copy of the cookbook that holds their tasty secrets.
So how did Ashley get her start? One day she picked up her husband Chris’s camera to fiddle around with it, and she says it was one of the best decisions she’s ever made.
Now, photography is a staple in her everyday routine, and her blog is proof she’s really got a knack for it.
Healthy recipes are at the forefront of her blog, with many of them being vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, and if there’s anyone who can make a salad look like a glistening plate of jewels, it’s Ashley.
She attributes Heidi from 101 Cookbooks as her inspiration. “At the time, I didn’t even know 101 Cookbooks was a food blog, and I had no idea food blogging was a ‘thing.’ I never imagined I’d have one of my own!”
Ashley wrote and photographed her first cookbook Baked Doughnuts for Everyone, that was published last fall . It boasts 101 gluten-free baked, drool worthy doughnut recipes, both savory and sweet, like Tiramisu Doughnuts, Red Velvet Doughnuts and Asiago Doughnuts.
Not to mention these Boston Cream Doughnuts.
Um, an entire cookbook devoted to doughnuts? Ashley, where have you been all my life?
As for the future, she says “I see myself and my husband still living in Colorado (sorry mom and dad!) and hopefully having a little one to tote around.” She also hopes to one day have a photography studio outside her house, with a kitchen for the sole purpose of food photography, and to write more cookbooks.
We’re definitely in favor of that!
1. Describe your blog in 3 words.
Bright, approachable, creative.
2. If you could be one food blogger other than yourself, who would you be?
Definitely Heidi from 101 Cookbooks. She has been such a huge inspiration to me and she has such a simple way with food and photography that I’ve always admired. She also appears to do quite a bit of traveling, which I would love to do more of.
3. Which 3 blogs do you follow/are obsessed with/can’t live a day without?
4. What is the one kitchen tool you could never give up?
My food processor, hands down. I use it for making nut butter, veggie burgers, pureeing vegetables, and making sauces, but I also love using the grater attachment for cheese, potatoes, carrots, etc. I use it more than my Vita-Mix and just can’t live without it.
5. What dish are you obsessed with mastering that you just can’t get quite right?
I wouldn’t say there is one dish in particular, but more like one cuisine…Indian! The spices are so challenging to get right, but it’s fun (and usually delicious) no matter what. There are also a lot of recipes I want to make gluten-free, but am intimidated by. Next up on that list would be cinnamon rolls.
6. What did you have for dinner last night?
A simple one-pan meal! First you cook the onion and garlic and then add a can of diced tomatoes with chopped rainbow chard and a little lemon juice. You let that cook for about 10 minutes, then you add a can of chickpeas, veggie broth, paprika, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for another five minutes and you’re done. It’s beyond easy, full of flavor, and perfect for winter. I usually eat it alongside a few slices of avocado toast.
7. What’s one secret talent outside of the kitchen nobody knows about you?
Gosh, I am not sure I have any secret talents, but I was in show choir singing and dancing in very sparkly dresses) in high school, which people usually get a kick out of.
Okay, I thought of one. I can hula hoop for an infinite amount of time. I don’t do any fancy tricks, but I can keep the thing up for as long as I want. Hula hoop contests were always a piece of cake for me. I had it in the bag. I was also oddly talented at the limbo for whatever reason. I wonder if I’ve still got it?
8. You’re happiest when cooking/eating:
Cooking breakfast! Eating with my family.
9. You began your blog not knowing much about cooking. What are some of the most valuable tools or lessons you’ve learned over the last few years?
1. Everyone makes and publishes mistakes from time to time. It’s all part of the learning process and adventure!
2. The friends I’ve made through blogging keep me sane. They’re not only friends, but almost co-workers who I rely on for help and advice. I have learned so much from them about cooking and life!
3. Ask people with experience questions. You can’t just know how to do something you’ve never done before.
4. Google can’t solve it all.
10. The one ingredient to your success is:
I’ve learned that focus and hustle are the keys to my success, and always making time for play. Oops, I realized that was kind of three things, but they all work together to formulate my “secret ingredient!”
And now you can win a copy of her cookbook, Baked Doughnuts for Everyone for yourself. Just fill in the info in the widget below with one or more entries to be entered to win.
And now, how about that doughnut recipe?
I had my daughter choose which recipe to make since she’s a doughnut fiend. She recently told me that the cream stuffed doughnuts are her current favorite, so it was no surprise to me that this recipe for Boston Cream Doughnuts hit the top of her baking list.
These doughnuts are gluten-free and have a combination of 3 different flours to deliver a nice cakey bite, and were devoured by both my gluten-loving daughter and her friends and also a mom who is gluten-free and was super excited to have a bite of its sweetness.
Boston Cream Doughnuts
For the filling
- 1 1/4 cups 2% milk
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 scraped vanilla bean and pod
For the topping
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
For the doughnuts
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
- 3 tablespoons almond meal
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
For the filling
- Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Whisk the milk, half and half, sugar, arrowroot starch, eggs, salt and vanilla bean in a pot until smooth. Place the half scraped vanilla bean pod i n the pot. Heat over medium-high heat until simmering, whisking constantly. After a simmer is reached, stir and simmer for 1 minute. Then turn off the heat and pour the mixture through the strainer. Discard the vanilla bean pod.
- Place in a heat-safe bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap touching the filling and refrigerate until fully chilled. The mixture will thicken and should be the consistency of pudding.
To make the topping
- Melt the chocolate with 1/4 cup heavy cream using a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Add more heavy cream to thin out and stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Place in a bowl to le tcool to room temperature. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
To make the doughnuts
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease your doughnut pan.
- Combine the dry doughnut ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well. In another bowl, whisk the eggs together. Then add the milk, yogurt, oil and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a large wooden spoon until just combined, being careful not to overmix (stop when you no longer see dry flour).
- Spoon the batter into the doughnut molds, filling to just below the top of each mold, 1/8- to 1/4-inch from the top. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges to help loosen them out . Then place on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully before topping.
- Slice each doughnut in half with a small serrated knife. Spread the filling on the bottom half. Spread a coating of ganache on the top half and sandwich together. Serve immediately.
Thanks for being our foodie crush Ashley, you rock, and we can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve next.
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Reporting by Hayley Teater
As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you.