Serves: Makes 8
I do realise that making doughnuts is not a weekly pastime –nor even a monthly one. In fact, I think it may be several years since I last made them. However, they are far less fiddly than one would imagine, and especially easy if you have a food mixer with a dough hook. I do also recommend an electric deep-fryer as the temperature is controlled and they take a lot of the jeopardy out of deep-frying. I will also admit that the doughnuts were really just a vehicle for the peanut butter crème pâtissière – the PB and the crème pat being particular favourites of mine. It has just occurred to me as I write that a spoonful of jam atop the peanut cream might be a rather good thing –but then it might be too much of a good thing…
- For the crème pâtissière
- 300ml whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar
- 15g cornflour
- 5g plain flour
- 100g smooth peanut butter
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the doughnuts
- 225g strong plain flour
- 25g caster sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 7g sachet easy bake dried yeast
- 125ml whole milk
- 1 medium egg
- 20g unsalted butter at room temperature
- About 3 litres vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Caster sugar for dusting
- For the crème pâtissière, pour the milk into a saucepan and heat to just below boiling point. Meanwhile beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl until pale. Beat in the cornflour and plain flour until you have a smooth paste. Pour over the milk and stir to combine. Wipe the saucepan out and pour the milk mix back into the clean pan. Stir over a moderate heat until the custard thickens and is glossy and smooth. Take off the heat and leave to cool. When the crème pâtissière is cold beat in the peanut butter, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. lay a sheet of cling film on the mixture to prevent a skin from forming and chill. You can make this at least 24 hours in advance.
- For the doughnuts, put the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a food mixer and attach the dough hook. Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat until it just lukewarm. With the motor running on low pour in the milk and let everything come together for a minute before adding the egg. Turn the motor up a little and knead for five minutes (ten minutes if you are doing this by hand –trying not to add extra flour). Turn off the mixer and leave the dough to rest for five minutes.
- On a medium speed knead in the butter a small knob at a time. When all the butter has been incorporated knead for a further 5-6 minutes until the dough is shiny and clinging to the hook. Turn out the dough onto a very lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover the bowl with cling film. Leave to rest in a warmish place (I use the airing cupboard) for about one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into eight equal pieces (about 52g each). Take each piece of dough and bring up the sides to the centre and pinch to seal. Turn the dough ball over so the seam is underneath and, with a cupped hand, roll the ball around to smooth out the surface. Don’t do this on a floured bit of worktop-you need a bit of purchase to get a tight ball. Place the dough ball on an oiled baking sheet and repeat with the remaining seven pieces of dough. Cover loosely with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise for about 25 minutes.
- While the dough is rising heat the oil in a deep fryer to 160°c. Carefully lower 2-3 doughnuts into the oil and fry for 2 minutes. Turn the doughnuts over and continue to fry for a further 2 minutes until uniformly golden. Drain on kitchen paper and repeat with the remaining doughnuts. When cold dust with caster sugar.
- Split each doughnut horizontally and spread with the peanut butter crème pâtissière. Eat within 24 hours.