Tonka Bean & Baobab Fruit Doughnuts

Doughnuts are one of my favourite things EVER! At the mention of them I turn into a giddy, shameless juvenile eager to partake of the deep-fried dough morsels. So yes- Doughnut Day is right up there with my favourite days of course. One aspect of my love for them is the fact that their flavours can range from the oh so classic jam-filled to the more extravagant where the sightless toothsome, fried dough acts as a vehicle for all sorts of wonderfully unexpected flavours- you’re seeing the appeal huh?

This collaboration for these doughnuts was so exciting for me. I’ve used Fleischmann’s baking ingredients since I moved here to Canada, and they have never let me down There’s a certain comfort for a baker knowing that you’re in safe hands when you find a reliable baking ingredient. It takes a load off your mind, freeing you up to focus on other areas of your bake. For me- the flavours and ingredients. Frying doughnuts is quintessentially part of the attraction of them. We’re told fried goods aren’t good for you, so treating yourself to a freshly fried, warm doughnut instantly evokes that “naughty but nice” feeling. Being such an important factor in the final doughnut, your frying oil is a key component. You want something that will give you reliable, good frying without imparting a residual taste that can affect your final flavours. This is where Mazola Corn Oil is a perfect go to for me. Wonderful frying result, with a clean finish that doesn’t hamper my choice of flavours.

So how did I settle on these flavours of Tonka Bean and Baobab Fruit here? Well, I guess it was a case of opposites attract for me. Yeast in bread-making is a very traditional ingredient and frying a traditional method for making doughnuts. So, what if I took flavours that weren’t so traditional and see how they “played together”? Filling doughnut with vanilla pastry cream is like “Doughnuts 1.01”. So using Tonka Bean, with its amplified vanilla flavour and heady exotic fragrance fits this juxtaposition theme perfectly. Given how the Tonka Bean filling would taste I wanted something that would provide delicious tartness to cut through this. Baobab fruit powder is a wonderfully versatile superfruit powder that can be consumed in countless ways, from bakes, to smoothies to ice cream, to…. well…doughnuts! Mixing it into the final dusting sugar coating imparts a deliciously light and zesty flavour to the doughnut exterior. Think of it as wrapping these decadent doughnuts in a little sunshine.

Makes 12

Ingredients

For the Doughnuts

  • 4 cups strong Bread Flour
  • 4 Tablespoons fine sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 pack, or 2 ¼ teaspoons, Fleischmann’s® Quick Rise Yeast
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • Zest ½ lemon
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened

For Frying

  • Approximately 2-2.5 litres Mazola® Corn Oil

For Baobab Sugar

  • 1 cup fine sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Baobab fruit powder

For Tonka Bean Filling

  • 1 whole Tonka bean
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup fine sugar, plus 2 additional Tablespoons
  • 2/3 cup All Purpose flour
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Method

To make the Baobab Sugar

  1. In a large shallow dish (ideally something like a lasagne pan) mix the fine sugar and the Baobab fruit powder together
  2. Set aside until ready to coat the fried doughnuts

To make the Tonka bean cream filling

  1. In a heavy-based saucepan, with a microplane grate the Tonka bean into the milk and bring slowly just to the boil. Remove from heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes
  2. Separately place the egg yolks and the ½ cup of sugar in a bowl and mix for a few seconds, then sift in the flour and mix again until combined
  3. Pour 3 Tablespoon of the just-boiling Tonka bean milk over the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Add this egg yolk mixture back to the saucepan with the remainder of the Tonka bean milk and whisk well to combine. Cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly for about 5 minutes, until very thick
  4. Once the mixture has thickened up, remove from the heat, and pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, discarding any debris
  5. Place some clingwrap on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. The custard will thicken as it cools
  6. Whip the cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar together until thick but not over-whipped and gently fold into the chilled Tonka bean custard
  7. Set aside in the refrigerator until needed for filling

For the Doughnuts

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with a dough hook attached, combine all the dough ingredients.
  2. Mix on a medium speed for 7 minutes, or until the dough starts cleaning the sides of the bowl and forms a ball
  3. Stop the mixer and let the dough rest of one minute
  4. Start the mixer again on a medium speed and slowly add the butter to the dough – about Tablespoon at a time.
  5. When fully incorporated, increase speed to medium/ high and mix for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and very elastic when pulled
  6. Transfer to dough to a large lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingwrap and leave to prove until it has doubled in size. Once this stage is reached knock back the dough in the bowl
  7. Cover the dough again and leave to rise for a further 45 minutes (or overnight in the fridge)
  8. After this period, remove from your fridge and cut the dough in 12 equal sized amounts (mine were approximately 80g each)
  9. On a lightly floured counter, roll them into smooth, tight buns and place them on a lightly floured baking tray. Be mindful to leave plenty of room between them so they don’t stick together while they prove. Cover lightly with oiled clingwrap and leave for 50mins,  or until about doubled in size
  10. Get your deep-fat fryer ready to a temperature of heat the oil to 357° F
  11. When the oil is at temperature, carefully remove the doughnuts from the tray by sliding a bench scraper underneath them, use a floured bench scraper to remove the doughnuts one at a time by sliding underneath them (taking care not to deflate them) and put them into the oil. Do not overcrowd the fryer – do 2-3 per batch, depending on the size of your pan
  12. Fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. They may puff up and float, so you may need to gently push them down after about a minute to help them colour evenly
  13. Remove from the fryer oil, leave drain for a few seconds then toss them in a bowl of Baobab sugar while still warm. Repeat until all are fried, and sugar coated. Please see note*

To Fill the Doughnuts

  1. To fill the doughnuts, make a hole in the seam of each one (the white line between the fried top and bottom).
  2. Fill a piping bag** with your Tonka bean cream filling and pipe into the doughnut until slightly swollen. It may take a little practice on the first one- but don’t be discouraged! Some may very well ooze filling when you withdraw the piping bag. A quick wipe will sort that out!
  3. For best results the doughnuts are best eaten straight away or soon after making

*NOTE: Make sure the oil temperature is correct from each time you fry – if it is too high, they will colour too quickly and burn, and will be raw in the middle, and if it is too low the oil will be absorbed into the doughnut and it will become greasy, Set aside to cool before filling.

** A “Bismark” tip works a treat here. If you don’t have one don’t worry- you can just use a narrow, pain round tip, or even snip the end of the piping bag, after poking a hole in the doughnut with the narrow end of a chopstick.

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