Woodcat Coffee Bar is a charming Echo Park coffeehouse from Janine Awan and husband Saadat that features Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters. Bonus: they recently started carrying limited edition, weekend-only donuts from Campfire Confections baker Sarah Forman.
Forman and chef-boyfriend Nathan Lyon live in Echo Park and have become friends with Woodcat Coffee’s owners. She was originally inspired by coffee beverages and presented the Awans with a “Mocha Latte” donut that “looked (and tasted) like an espresso beverage with latte art,” complete with chocolate and espresso pastry cream. That was apparently all the evidence the Awans needed. Campfire now sells donuts ($3.50 each) on Saturdays and Sundays, while supplies last. Forman’s donut repertoire now includes Fluffernutter with torched homemade marshmallow fluff and a filling of peanut butter pastry cream. She also makes raised rings in flavors like matcha, Mexican hot chocolate, and raspberry candied fennel. Still, the donut that captured my imagination is the Tom Yum.
Forman riffs on the famed Thai soup, which typically contains lemongrass, galangal, chile and Makrut lime leaves, which are more commonly known as Kaffir lime leaves, but hopefully not for long. Tom yum doesn’t typically contain coconut milk, but Forman incorporates the luxurious ingredient to good effect. The result is a supple raised donut blanketed with a ginger glaze, topped with a thin sheet of candied ginger and filled with a coconut-lemongrass-Makrut lime pastry cream crafted with organic dairy.
Why raised donuts? Forman prefers the style to cakes or crullers. She’s “constantly chasing that ‘melt in your mouth’ Krispy Kreme sensation.” That’s way healthier than chasing a dragon. I asked about the keys to Forman’s raised donut success. She said, “I do a slow rise (twice as long as most recipes). So much flavor and airiness develops this way. I also use 3 different types of flours to give a light and soft texture while keeping the integrity of the dough.” If these early efforts are any indication, Campfire Confections donuts should be a hit at Woodcat Coffee, and hopefully beyond.