Doughnuts are glorious deep fried pieces of soft pillowy heaven. Light and fluffy in the middle, and golden and crisp on the outside. They can be filled with all manner of sweet and sticky fillings, that ooze out of a deep delicious hole. They are the perfect thing to make on a lazy Sunday afternoon, as they don’t really require much hard work at all, just a bit of time to do their magic. For the doughnuts I used a recipe that I found on The Sugar Hit, they came out perfectly and I will certainly use this recipe again. I filled these beauties with a rich and thick crème pat custard, but really the world is your oyster, anything goes, and I’ve already dreamed up half a dozen glorious fillings I plan to be making very soon like Nutella, lemon curd, and peanut butter and jam.
1. First, place all the ingredients for the doughnuts, except the butter, into the bowl and work on a low speed for about 4 minutes with a mixer with a dough hook until well combined and elastic.
2. With the mixer still running, add the butter piece by piece, until it is all worked in and incorporated. There should be no visible pieces. This will take about 5-8 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.
3. When the dough has risen, punch it down, and scrape it out onto a well-floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle, about ½ inch thick, and cut out 9 donuts using a 2.5inch (5cm) round cutter or cup. Place the doughnuts on a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic again, and set aside to rise for another 45 minutes, or until puffy. While the doughnuts are rising, you can make the custard.
4. To make the custard whisk your egg yolks with the sugar until it has become a very pale yellow. Whisk in the flour and corn flour until it has combined then set aside.
5. Heat the milk and vanilla on a low heat until it has just started to boil then take it off the heat and whisk for 30 seconds. Slowly mix the hot milk into the yolk and flour mixture until it has combined then pour it into a saucepan. Then put the custard on a very low heat and whisk it continuously until it begins to thicken. This will happen all at once so make sure you keep an eye on it or it will curdle. Once its thickened into custard you can remove from the heat and sprinkle icing sugar on the top to stop a skin forming as you wait for it to cool.
6. When the donuts are finished their second rise, place about 2 inches of oil into a high-sided pan (or use a deep fryer), heat the oil over a low flame, until it reaches 170C. Alternatively, place a small piece of dough in the oil, and when it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil should be the right temperature.
7. Fry the donuts a few at a time (don’t crowd the pan) for about 1 minute each side or until they are golden brown and cooked through. Drain the donuts on paper towels, and when they are all fried, toss them in the extra caster sugar.
8. To fill the donuts, put your cooled custard into a piping bag, then make a hole in the side of each doughnut with a chop stick. Then press the piping bag into the side of each doughnut, and squeeze until you can feel the weight of the doughnut increase slightly. Continue until all the donuts are filled, and then stuff one into your gob and make moaning noises of pleasure while writhing around in culinary ecstasy.