Contributed by Shana T.

Doughnut Plant, with ten locations in Japan, four in Korea and two in New York City, is a doughnut shop whose history started in St Paul, Minnesota in 1910.  Herman Israel started working in a bakery when he was 16 years old.  He passed this tradition on to his son who opened his first bakery in Burlington, North Carolina in 1934.  He invented his style of doughnuts there along with the first ever cake mix.

In 1994, Mark Israel moved to New York City and started making doughnuts in the basement of an old tenement building using his grandfather’s recipe.  Over the years, Mark has refined the doughnut making process and delivers doughnuts all over the city.  He opened the first storefront location at 379 Grand Street, in the lower east side, in the year 2000.

The idea that changed the way doughnuts are made was when Mark decided to put fresh seasonal fruit and toasted nuts into his glazes.  Another invention of Mark’s is Doughnut Plant’s unique square cream filled doughnut that allows the consumer to get a mouthful of fresh fruity in-house made jelly in every bite.  In 2005 Mark developed a recipe for cake doughnuts, my own preferred style, featuring flavors like Ebina Melon Cake, Mascarpone Cream Cheese, Triple Valhrona Chocolate, Carrot Cake, and Peanut Butter and Jelly. In the same year he also introduced his grandmother’s bagel recipe in the Tokyo store.

On my recent trip to the Chelsea store, I sampled the Fresh Raspberry Yeast Doughnut, the Square Coconut Creme Yeast Doughnut, A Salted Peanut Cake Doughnut and my all time favorite the Creme Brulee Doughnut.

As you may have guessed the Raspberry doughnuts (available in both yeast and cake) were drenched in an amazing fresh raspberry glaze.  The doughnut itself was light, moist and delicious.  The coconut creme in the Coconut Creme Doughnut was better than any other coconut cream I have had.  The Salted Peanut Butter tasted like a freshly made batch of peanut butter.  But if you go, you have to try the Creme Brulee Doughnut.  It is a small yeast doughnut filled with sweet delectable cream and a sugar coating.  The coating is set under the flame to make a crisp crackly coating.  How they were able to invent such a perfect dessert is beyond me, but I am thankful they made it.

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