Spiced Plum Doughnuts
Okay.. so these are pretty great. Even if I say so myself! I'm a big doughnut fan anyway, but freshly made, homemade doughnuts... nothing can top it.
I wanted to create a doughnut that was yummy as well as using seasonal ingredients and flavours. So I decided to make a plum jam using British Plums and mixed spice to give it a wintery flavour. To coat the doughnut, I've tossed them in a spiced sugar which takes them all the more delicious!
The only thing to take care with this recipe is the deep frying. If you have a deep fat fryer then great! But if you don't you can cook them in a pan of oil. But be careful when cooking with oil. I recommend having a temperature probe with you to monitor the heat, so that it doesn't get too hot so that your doughnuts will cook properly and that it is completely safe!
The best oils to use are neutral flavoured oil, like sunflower or rapeseed. Olive oil or nut oils have too much flavour and will effect the taste of the doughnuts. The optimum temperature for frying is around 170-180 degrees celsius. For doughnuts this size, they should take a couple minutes to cook, I recommend having a test doughnut initially so you can check the oil and temperature. Plus you can test it with a cheeky taste!
For the Dough:
210g Plain Flour
210g Strong White Flour
40g Caster Sugar
5g Dried Yeast
1 Medium Egg
50g Unsalted Butter
2 tsp. Mixed Spice
2 tsp. Mixed Spice
1. Firstly, the dough. In a small pan, melt the butter and add the milk. Heat until body temperature. Make sure it isn't too hot otherwise you will kill the yeast.
2. In the bowl of a free standing mixer, place the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, eggs and warm milk and butter. Using the dough hook, mix until it has all come together. Keep the machine on a medium speed for about 5 minutes. The dough should have all come together, it should be tacky and very elastic. This is when it is ready to be proved.
3. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film or a clean tea towel. Leave for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.
4. Whilst the dough is proving, let's make the jam. Slice the plums in half, removing the stone. Then chop into small pieces. Place into a small pan. Add the sugar, water and spices. Bring to the boil.
5. Once the jam has been brought to the boil, reduce the heat so that the jam is simmering. Continue to mix so that it doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan. It will be done once it has reached the temperature about 103 degrees celsius. Or if you put a small bit of jam on a plate, it will start to thicken. Once it is ready pass the jam through a sieve into a small bowl to remove any bits of skin. Leave to cool completely in the fridge.
6. Coming back to the dough, it should have doubled in size. Remove from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in to pieces weighing 60g. You should get around 12.
7. Roll into smooth balls, and place onto a tray lined with baking paper. Cover with cling film and leave to prove for another 45 mins.
8. Whilst you are waiting for the dough, it's time to heat up the oil. If you have a deep fat fryer set the temperature to 170 degrees. If you are using a pan. Place a full litre of oil into a pan, making sure there is enough oil for the doughnuts to be fully submerged with space to spare. Heat on a medium to low heat, constantly checking the temperature with a probe until you reach about 160 degrees. Once you reach this temperature, reduce the heat to low so that it doesn't get too hot. The oil is now ready for frying.
9. In a shallow bowl, mix together the sugar and spices for the coating and set aside when ready.
10. Your doughnuts should be ready to be fried. They should have doubled in size. Take one doughnut at a time, and carefully place into the oil. Cook on one side for about 1 minute until it is golden brown, then flip it over to cook the other side. This should take another 1 minute or so. Using a slotted spoon remove from the oil and place onto some kitchen towel to soak up any excess oil.
11. Add the doughnut to the sugar mixture and toss so it is completely coated in sugar.
12. Repeat these steps until all the doughnuts are cooked. You can put up to 2 doughnuts in the pan at the same time.
13. Once they are all cooked and tossed in sugar. Make a small hole on the side of the doughnuts using a chopstick or knife. Fill a piping bag up with the jam and pipe the jam into the doughnut. You will know they are full when the doughnut starts to bulge.
They are best eaten on the day they are made but will last for up to two days!