Let’s talk about textures. Specifically donut textures. That grit and slight crunch of the first layer. The sinking softness of the airy dough. The oozing of the filling. And that slight chew as you tear off your bite. I could write about donuts all day long. I love every detail, from the ever-so-slightly-oily edge, to the mystery of what could be in the middle.
When we’re talking about Malasadas, these Portuguese donuts that have migrated to and grown prosperously in Hawaii (p.s. I want to follow in their footsteps), the fillings are a mix of classic and seductively tropical. Haupia/coconut pudding, passionfruit, classic jam, chocolate, pineapple, custard, you name it.
The dough is particularly eggy, making this a very luxurious donut experience. Inspired by Hawaii, and my dream vacation where I just stare at the waves on the North Shore of Oahu for several weeks and eat tropical fruit, I decided to take these in a passion fruit direction. Or lillikoi as they would call it on the islands…can we all start calling it that? It’s so pretty. So much more subtle than passion fruit, which let’s face it, is a little blunt.
While I’m certain that a passionfruit curd would have made a gorgeous stuffer for these eggy, fluffy beasts, I am also pretty lazy. If you’re a regular reader; I’m sorry for repeating that so often. So since this recipe calls for kneading and waiting for doughs to rise, and cutting things out, and waiting again, I decided to give us all an easy, delicious alternative. A quick passionfruit cheesecake filling, whipped up in minutes and good enough to eat with a spoon.
The filling is so simple, just cream cheese, a little sour cream, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and passionfruit . Stir, and then taste, and then summon all of your willpower to not eat it all before you go to fill the donuts. The combination of that barely-sweet, eggy donut with the creamy, zangy passionfruit filling is pretty dang special, I’m not gonna lie. It’s worth the wait!
- 1 + ? cups (250g) plain flour
- 2 tb/sp (30g) caster sugar, plus ½ cup (110g) extra for coating
- 1 tsp (5g) salt
- 2 tsp (10g) dried yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- ¼ cup + 2 tsps (75ml) warm water
- 4 + ½ tbsp (65g) butter, softened
- oil for frying (I used peanut oil)
- caster sugar, for coating
- 200g (8oz) cream cheese
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice and seeds from 3 passion fruit
- First, place all the ingredients for the donuts, except the butter, into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Work on a low speed for about 4 minutes, or until well combined and elastic.
- With the mixer still running, add the butter piece by piece, until it is all worked in and incorporated. There should be no visible pieces. This will take about 5-8 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.
- When the dough has risen, punch it down, and scrape it out onto a well-floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle, about ½ inch (just over 1cm) thick, and cut out 9 donuts using a 2.5inch (5cm) round cutter. Place the dougnuts on a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic again, and set aside to rise for another 45 minutes, or until puffy.
- When the donuts are finished their second rise, place about 2 inches of oil into a high-sided pan (or use a deep fryer), heat the oil over a low flame, until it reaches 170C. Alternatively, place a small piece of dough in the oil, and when it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil should be the right temperature.
- Fry the donuts a few at a time (don't crowd the pan) for about 1 minute each side or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
- Drain the donuts on paper towels.
- To make the filling, simply beat all the ingredients together into a thick cream - do not overbeat or the mixture may become runny.
- Toss the donuts in caster sugar to coat, and then use a paring knife to poke a hole in the side of each donut, and make some room in the middle for the filling.
- Transfer the passionfruit cheesecake mix to a piping bag fitted with a wide round nozzle, and pipe some filling into each donut, until the feel heavy in your hand. Continue until all the donuts are filled!