- 550 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 x 7g sachets of easy blend dried yeast
- 125 ml milk
- 2 large eggs
- 50g butter, melted
- sunflower oil, for frying
- 200 g demerara sugar
- for the custard filling:
- 175 ml milk
- 50 g caster sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tblsp corn fl our
- 1 tblsp butter
- To make the doughnuts, place the fl our, caster sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Add the milk, eggs and butter to the bowl together with 100ml of water and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine the ingredients until you have a dough. It is a little sticky to work with, but you can add some extra flour if you need.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 8–10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a smooth ball and place it back in the bowl. Cover with cling fi lm and a damp cloth. Leave in a warm place to rise for about 50 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, prepare the custard fi lling. Place the milk in a saucepan and gently heat until it just boiling, then remove from the heat. Whisk the caster sugar and egg yolks in a bowl until they are pale and then mix through the corn flour. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking until it is all incorporated.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and simmer over a low heat, whisking until thickened. Remove from the heat and rub the top with a little butter to prevent a skin forming, allow to cool and cover with cling fi lm. Firm up in the fridge.
- When the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls. Transfer them to a baking tray dusted with a little fl our, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise again for 30 minutes.
- Cook the doughnuts in batches in a deep-fat fryer or a large saucepan fi lled with sunfl ower oil at 180°C/356°F for 2–3 minutes on either side or until golden brown. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- Transfer the custard to a piping bag fi tted with a plain 5mm nozzle and inject it into the side of each doughnut.
- Place the demerara sugar in a bowl. Brush the top of each doughnut with a little water and press the wet side into the sugar to evenly coat it. Using a blow torch (or by placing the doughnuts under the grill preheated to hot), caramelise the sugar until it is golden. Serve straight away.
Donal says, "A visit to NYC is not complete without a visit to the Doughnut Plant, a truly exciting doughnut shop that has the most fantastic collection of doughnut flavours.
These crème brûlée doughnuts are inspired by them and are great fun to make at home. To make the caramelised sugar on top it is best to use a small blow torch, which can be bought in most kitchen shops or you could place the doughnut under a very hot grill."