âYou just have to be very confident when going about this task,â says Kora founder Kimberly Camara. She runs a large platter of custard from pan to pan for the store’s custard donut. It’s because of unique flavors like this that the New York-based Filipino donut shop has a waiting list of 10,000.
âKora is my grandmother’s name,â says Camara. “The recipe for flan au leche is taken from my grandmother’s cookbook that I found after she passed away.” This donut begins with a brioche dough. Once the donut is formed, Kevin Borja, Camara’s partner in the store and in life, cuts a hole in it and adds custard. Then a whole round piece of flan is added in the center.
âHonestly, I don’t know how I found this. I think the result is that they wouldn’t experience the custard unless there is a real custard in it. The top of the donut is brushed with caramel and dusted with powdered sugar. âWe basically had two desserts here in one,â says Borja.
Another creative donut inspired by Camara’s legacy is a shiny purple ube donut. âWe must have had ube on our menu, I already knew that. You can’t pass this vibrant purple color, âsays Camara. Once the ube extract brioche dough is prepared, Camara creates an ube pastry cream with milk, cornstarch extract and frozen ube imported from the Philippines. The donut is fried, filled with cream, rolled in sugar and topped with fried purple yam chips. âI think when a lot of people make ube desserts, I feel like they don’t go hard, they don’t take it home. Every component of our donut has an ube in it somewhere ”
âKora is the meeting of my whole life. There is no way my grandmother despises us and not be so proud of all the work we have done, âsays Camara. “Wherever Kora takes us, behind it all lies my connection to her and my connection to my heritage.”
Watch the full video to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at Kora.