GINGERBREAD DOUGHNUTS! 

The third recipe of The December Project sees me going out of the box with baking… And not actually baking anything. I KNOW. This week sees the return of the inevitable Christmas Cake Curd from M&S plus I have had to be a real health guru (ha) and deep fry since the recipe is for…. GINGERBREAD DOUGHNUTS. And I don’t care what anyone says, baked doughnuts just aren’t as good as real, hot, fluffy, fried doughnuts. 

  
As gorgeous as they are and as wonderful as the idea of combining gingerbread flavours with a doughnut, I can’t take full credit. The idea for this recipe came from the one and only queen of the kitchen. In my house anyway. It’s my nan! 
So it was last week when I was a little stuck for inspiration, I wanted to do something new so I decided to ask my nan if she had any thoughts on what my recipe could be. She just instantly, barely giving me time to finish the sentence, yelled ‘CHRISTMAS DOUGHNUTS’. And thus, the inspiration for gingerbread spiced doughnuts was born. So nan gets the credit for thinking them up, but I can’t even take full credit for making them since I bought in my trusty work best friend Kelly (Instagram @kellyrusso19) to be my sous chef. And what a fantastic job she did.
  
So down to the nitty gritty; the recipe for these doughnuts is very easy, it just takes a hell of a long time inbetween making the dough and actually frying them. 

Ingredients

Yield: 20-24 doughnuts

For the doughnuts

  • 500g plain flour
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 4tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soft brown sugar 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250ml warm milk
  • 50g melted butter
  • 1 beaten egg

For the frying/filling/coating

  • 2 litres vegetable oil
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • 50g Demerara sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • Pinch of ground cloves (optional)
  • Pinch of extra cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tub fresh vanilla custard (not long life)
  • 2 tbsp M&S Christmas cake curd

METHOD

I find it easier to use a stand mixer with a dough hook to mix up this dough since I can’t be bothered to knead dough for 5 minutes and ruin my nails. However you can just use a spoon to get it combined then knead it vigorously for 5-6 minutes on a lightly floured surface. 

  1. Measure out all your doughnut ingredients that I’ve listed above in the top list and whack them all in you stand mixer bowl and let it knead away with your dough hook attachment for 5-6 minutes. After this time it should have formed a ball and will look visibly smoother and when you pull it off the hook it will feel very elastic and bouncy. If you’re kneading by hand and it’s not quite elastic enough, persevere until it does. 
  2. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with cling film and then a tea towel and leave in a dry warm place to prove for an hour until it has doubled in volume.
  3. Then make little golf ball size shapes with your dough, ensuring it is tightly rolled, and place them on a floured tray with lots of space inbetween each one. Now cover with a tea towel and prove again for about half an hour until they have puffed up.                    
  4. Now forget about the dough balls for now and concentrate on mixing your sugar, and custard filling. Measure out your golden caster sugar, Demerara sugar and spices of choice from the list above and mix them well in a shallow bowl.
  5. In a separate bowl pour out your custard and use a fork to mix in the Christmas cake curd well until there are no lumps.
  6. Next heat up your oil to 160-165 degrees celcius. Or if you don’t have a temperature probe just drop a small piece of dough in, and if it bubbles around the edge but doesn’t fizz rapidly then it’s good to go. If it’s fizzing, it’s too hot.
  7. Now fry your doughnuts in small batches for 2-3 minutes on either side. Then, working quite quickly, toss them in your spiced sugar to ensure it sticks. Then let them cool slightly before filling. 
  8. Then use a chopstick to puncture a hole in each of your doughnuts and wiggle it around to make room for lots of custard. Now fill a piping bag with your custard and fill each one.
  9. Plate them up and scoff them all before anyone else finds them.
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