So here’s something you might not know about me: I am obsessed with doughnuts. I have never been able to say no to them and am often so disappointed when I am met with an oily piece of fried dough. I believe it’s quite an art to get a doughnut just right and this is something I have set out to master. I have never made doughnuts myself (say whaat?!) but decided to give it a go a few days ago. It would’ve perhaps been smarter to start with a simple recipe but I am never one to shy away from a challenge. These Crème brûlée doughnuts are the stuff your food dreams are made of.
As my friends and family will tell you, Crème brûlée is another thing I can’t say no to. If it’s on the menu, you betcha bottom dollar I’ll be ordering it. There’s just something about that cool, silky cream topped with a crunchy layer of burnt sugar. Good grief, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. So imagine that silky, vanilla-scented cream stuffed into a fluffy dougnut. Now dunk that doughnut in amber caramel and allow it to set. NOW, bite through that glass-like exterior and experience euphoria. Oh, hells yes!
So yes, these doughnuts do take a while to prep and cook but I promise you, it is SO worth it. To minimise the preparation time, I would make the dough, allow it to rest and get straight onto the filling so that it can cool completely. Once the doughnuts are fried, allow them to cool to room temperature before filling with the cream and only then should you make the caramel. Everything needs to be ready and waiting when that caramel is ready and you need to work fast (and carefully) dunking the doughnuts in the caramel as it can (and will) go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds. If you have someone that can help you, even better. Take the caramel off the heat then pop in all of the doughnuts and give the pan a shake before you carefully remove them with a pair of tongs. Allow them to set on a sheet of baking paper and hey presto! You have just made the most drool-worthy Crème brûlée doughnuts. Now go forth and make, good people. Then come back and tell me how many you ate in one sitting…
The recipe for the doughnuts and cream filling was adapted from a recipe from one of my favourite local magazines, Ideas. Find their recipe here.
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 cups cake flour/all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 sachet 7-10g instant yeast
- 1 egg
- oil for deep-frying
for the filling
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 vanilla pod halved
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons flour
- pinch of salt
for the caramel
- 2 cups sugar
- Heat together the water, butter and milk until the butter has melted.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, caster sugar, salt and yeast.
- Pour the warm butter mixture into the flour and add the egg.
- Stir to combine and knead for 5-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour.
- Place in a clean bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Allow to rise for 1 hour.
- To make the filling, heat the milk and vanilla pod until it just starts to boil.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until light. Add the flour and salt and mix well.
- When the milk has reached boiling point, pour it slowly into the egg yolk mixture whilst whisking.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan and allow to cook over low heat whilst continuously stirring until thick and glossy (around 5-10 minutes).
- If there are any lumps, strain the filling through a fine sieve then place in a clean bowl. Push cling wrap onto the surface of the custard/filling to prevent a skin from forming and place in the fridge. Allow to cool completely.
- When the dough has risen, knock it down. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out to approximately 2cm thick. Using a round cookie cutter or small glass, cut circles out of the dough then place on a tray lined with baking paper. Allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil then fry the doughnuts in batches until golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
- Allow to cool to room temperature. Place the chilled filling into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle then pipe the mixture into the doughnuts. Alternatively you could make a slit in each doughnut and fill with a spoon but this is a little messier than working with a piping bag.
- Once all the doughnuts have been filled, place the sugar for the caramel in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Allow the sugar to start caramelising, stirring gently until all the sugar has dissolved and the sugar is amber in colour.
- Remove from the heat and carefully place the doughnuts into the warm caramel and gently shake the pan to coat them. Carefully remove the doughnuts from the caramel with a pair of tongs and place them back onto the baking paper. Allow to set then serve.