Put salted caramel into a donut! Do it now, do it today! There is no time to waste before you get this into you face.
I’m sorry if that half-rhymed and sounded kinda Dr Seuss-y, but I feel like something which brings this much joy into life simply cannot be kept from the world for a second longer. SALTED CARAMEL STUFFED DONUTS FOR ALL! *tosses donuts to people on the street*
Would you just look at that gooey lava flow of caramel? It’s nice and dark too – you definitely want to take the sugar to a point where it’s nice and dark, so it has some smokiness and mysteriousness to it. That’s when it plays perfectly with the salt.
The donuts themselves are a great, basic recipe. A little heavier than my usual favourite dough, because the salted caramel needs something that can stand up to it. And this tender, silky recipe does the job beautifully.
This is one of those recipes that, for a long time, I didn’t think I should do. Too obvious, too ridiculous, too full on. And it is, totally obvious, totally ridiculous, incredibly full on flavour – but that’s freaking awesome.
These will disappear before your eyes. If I ever need to give a boost to the ol’ retirement fund, I’m going to set up a market stall selling these. I’ll make a freaking fortune.
- 1 cup (225g) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- ½ cup (125ml) double cream (heavy cream)
- ¾ stick (75g) butter
- ½ to 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 3 cups (450g) plain flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tsp dry active yeast
- ⅓ cup (85ml) milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ stick (50g) butter, melted
- oil, for frying (canola, grapeseed or vegetable oil work well)
- caster sugar (superfine sugar) extra, for dusting
- First, make the salted caramel. Place the sugar, along with a splash of water into a large saucepan. Place the pan over a medium heat, without stirring, until the sugar melts and begins to boil. Be very careful, as it is extremely hot, and make sure not to stir the pan.
- Cook the caramel until it becomes a nice dark amber colour - it may even give off a whisp of smoke, but only a tiny one. And then remove the pan from the heat, and very carefully add the cream and butter. It will bubble up and hiss and spit, but when it calms down, just gently stir until the butter melts. Place the pan back on the heat for 30 seconds, stir through the salt and then set aside to cool completely. Once the caramel is cool, place it in the fridge to chill.
- To make the dough, place all the ingredients into a bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, and bring together into a dough. Knead by hand for at least 10 minutes or in the mixer for 5. It should be smooth, bouncy and not at all sticky. Place the dough into a bowl covered with plastic, and leave it for at least an hour or until doubled in size.
- When the dough is risen, pat it out to just under ½ an inch (1 cm) thick. Using a 2.5 inch (6cm) cutter, and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Set aside to rise for another 30 minutes.
- When you're ready to fry, heat about 2 inches of oil in a deep, wide pan. A dutch oven is ideal. Bring the oil up to 350F/180C, and then carefully place 2 donuts into the oil at a time. Cook them for 2 minutes per side, and then set aside to drain on a rack.
- When the donuts are all done, and have cooled slightly, toss them generously on all sides in the extra sugar, and then leave them to cool completely.
- When then are completely cool, scrape the salted caramel into a piping bag fitted with a ⅛ inch (1/2cm) tip. Poke the tip into the top of each donut and squeeze until the donut bulges slightly. Keep going until all the donuts are filled and then see how long they last!