SALTED CARAMEL DOUGHNUTS

We lived in Israel from 1998 to 2014, during that time we saw the exponential growth of the doughnut culture, initially, it all started with the jam-filled doughnut, then the introduction of the Dulce de Leche doughnut – it was a revelation that you could fill a doughnut with anything other than jam.

This is my take on the Dulce de Leche doughnut, we have lightened up the filling with the addition of mascarpone and a pinch of flaky sea salt. If you can’t get a hold of mascarpone, substitute with cream cheese that has been softened to room temperature and thinned out with a tablespoon of milk.

For Doughnuts:

  • 7g (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1½ tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 120ml (½ cup) lukewarm milk (or milk alternative)
  • 2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • 55g butter (1/4 cup) (or vegan alternative), melted
  • 335g (2 ⅔ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour (plus extra for rolling)
  • 2 eggs

For Filling:

  • 225g (¾ cup) store-bought Dulce de Leche
  • 180g (¾ cup) mascarpone cheese
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt

For Topping:

  • 100g (½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Speculoos spice (or cinnamon)
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  1. In a large bowl, place the yeast, water, milk, and a pinch of sugar and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface.
  2. Add the butter, flour, eggs, and sugar to the yeast mixture and use a flat knife or your hands to mix until a sticky dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes, adding flour if needed (you can do this whole process in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook).
  3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth, and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1cm (¼ inch) thick and use a 5.5cm (2 inch) round cutter to cut 20 rounds from the dough. Place the rounds on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with a dry clean tea towel, and set aside for 20 minutes or until risen.
  5. Place the oil and a sugar thermometer in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat until temperature reaches 160°C (325°F) alternatively use a deep fat fryer.
  6. While the dough rises make the filling; place the dulce de leche and mascarpone in a medium bowl add the salt and whisk until well combined, fill a piping bag, fitted with a thin nozzle.
  7. Make topping, by combining the sugar and speculoos (or cinnamon) on a large flat plate.
  8. Cook the doughnuts, in batches, for 1–2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper for a couple of seconds, and then immediately roll in spiced sugar mixture.
  9. Using a small knife, make a small slit on the side of the doughnut, then using a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle push about a tablespoon of filling into the doughnuts.