Sugar Rush: Blowtorched Creme Brulee Beignets at Donut-o-Rama in Portland, OR

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It's a bit daring to open a doughnut cart mere steps from Portland's touristy hotspot Voodoo Doughnut, but Greg Slauson had a vision. And we're not certain we've seen so much blowtorching in a food cart anywhere.

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Slauson has regular beignets on the menu, but the real draw at Donut-O-Rama is the creme brulée beignet.

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The filling is Boston Cream custard (ok, Jell-O custard) enhanced with vanilla bean, five spice, and vanilla extract, but you're there for the crisp burnt-sugar top, which happens by torching two layers of sprinkled sugar on the just-fried beignet. The final product is hot; so hot that Slauson suggests waiting until you've walked about two blocks of cool-off time before attempting to bite in.

There's a lot going on, but the beignet itself shines through, fresh and yeasty. He makes 20 cups of dough at a time, using a recipe that riffs on Paula Deen (Slauson adds shortening and some brown sugar.)

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On our visit, he was also experimenting with a Nutella-filled beignet, topped with toasted hazelnuts and powdered sugar. If you're looking for a sugar high, this is a gutsy way to go.

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Donut-O-Rama

SW 3rd and Ash, Portland, OR 97204 (map), check Facebook for details. facebook.com/donutorama

We're eating our way through the state of Oregon! Check out all our Oregon month posts over here.

About the Author: Maggie Hoffman is the editor of Serious Eats: Drinks. You can follow her on Twitter @maggiejane.

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