I wouldn’t call myself a big fan of deep-fried food – it’s not that I don’t like it – I just can’t eat much at one time and often find the smell of deep-frying overpowering. I remember that it was a while before I first tried fish & chips here – which is obviously a ‘national food’ in the UK – I just couldn’t get the concept of it at first, ‘why do they eat deep-fried food with deep-fried food?’ Although I now enjoy eating/cooking fish & chips (well, about once a month), our deep-fryer tends to get a bit neglected in our kitchen. However, it’s a different story when it comes to doughnuts :) Matthew actually doesn’t eat many of the desserts I make, but he is at least happy when I make these.
I’ve been using a recipe from Japanese Elle a Table (No.27) recently – as I’ve posted before, a Japanese patissier Hironobu Tsujiguchi has been writing ‘East meets West’ type dessert recipes for the magazine and I find them quite interesting. This is basically custard cream filled doughnut but coating them with sesame seeds gives an extra flavour and lends a more interesting texture. The combination of fluffy dough and not-too-sweet custard is definitely good enough, but the sesame flavour imparts an Asian angle to it.
I made another filling with azuki bean paste, and lots of cinnamon sugar and raspberry jam for Matthew. Depending on the size of the eggs you’re using you might need to add a little more/less flour, but the dough should be quite sticky. I used groundnut oil for deep-frying but you can use any vegetable oil.
Makes about 20 small doughnuts
For the dough
240g bread (strong) flour
40g plain flour
5g dry yeast
30g caster sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk (lightly beaten)
100ml milk (room temperature)
30g unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
For the custard
1/2 vanilla pod
5 egg yolks
90g caster sugar
20g plain flour
25g corn flour
40g unsalted butter
White sesame seeds
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
To make the dough, place both flours and the yeast in a bowl and lightly mix. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead for about 10-15 minutes until the dough gets smooth and shiny (you can use the kitchenaid of course). Shape into a ball and cover the bowl, rest in a warm draught-free place for about an hour and a half (or until it doubles in size).
To make the custard, place the milk and vanilla seeds (as well as the pod) in a pan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Sift both flours into the egg mixture and mix well. Sieve the hot milk into the mixture, whisking constantly, return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring all the time, until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and blend the butter in, then cool.
When the dough is ready, let the air out gently and divide it into small evenly sized balls. Cover them and rest in a warm place for about half an hour.
Start heating the oil to about 160-170ºC; coat the dough with sesame seeds and deep fry until golden. When they are cool enough to handle, pipe in the custard cream (or if you prefer jam, perhaps you should omit the sesame seeds). If you would rather have them without filling, coat them with (cinnamon) sugar while still hot.