This clever twist on the classic French dessert, Crème Brulee, is incredibly moreish and will make the perfect add-on to afternoon tea. These delicious doughnuts are soft and fluffy and have a wonderful crunchy topping.
You will need
For the doughnuts: 7g active yeast 30ml warm water 175ml lukewarm milk 50g caster sugar ½ tsp salt 1 egg 45g unsalted butter 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 1l vegetable oil for frying For the custard filling: 140ml milk ½ tsp vanilla extract 1 egg yolk 30g caster sugar 10g flour 10g cornflour 140ml double cream, whipped For the topping: 250g icing sugar Method
For the doughnuts, in a small bowl sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let stand for five minutes or until foamy.
Using a mixing machine fitted with dough hooks, gently mix the yeast mixture, milk, 50 grams caster sugar, salt, eggs, butter and flour until the ingredients come together. Continue to mix and knead the dough for about three minutes, then remove and turn out onto the work surface and knead by hand (4-5 mins) until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel, or a shower cap. Leave in a warm place for 30-40 minutes to rise until doubled. Dough is ready if you touch it and an indentation remains.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out to one centimetre thickness. Cut out rounds using a 4 centimetre floured round cutter and place the doughnuts on a tray to rise in a warm place until doubled.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy pan, using a kitchen thermometer until the oil reaches a temperature of 175 C/gas mark 3. Carefully slide doughnuts into the oil using a spatula. Fry doughnuts about three minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from oil and shake to remove the excess oil, then toss into a bowl with caster sugar until coated. You need the oil to help the sugar to stick to the doughnuts.
To make the filling, pour the milk into a medium saucepan and add the vanilla extract. Bring the milk almost to the boil (so it starts to bubble lightly), take off the heat and allow to infuse for at least half an hour.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until very pale, mix in the flour and cornflour. Stir in the infused milk and pour back in the pan.
Bring gently to the boil, stirring continuously and continue cooking until the mixture has thickened and the flour is fully cooked out. Pass through a sieve and leave to cool.
Once cooled, beat in the whipped double cream until the custard is smooth.
Spoon the filling into a piping bag fitted with a wide nozzle, or a sauce bottle with a pointed nozzle. Use the end of a teaspoon or skewer to make a hole in the doughnut and push the nozzle into the side of each doughnut and pipe a generous amount of filling into the centre.
For the topping, place a heaped tablespoon of sugar over the top of each doughnut. Use the blowtorch to gently heat and melt the sugar until caramelized (about three minutes).The tasted as good as they looked. I hope you enjoy them too, for a Dairy Free Crème brulee doughnuts version check out the recipe.