Thursday, 11 April 2013

Doughnuts Part 2 – Fennel and Raisin Custard

After the last nerve-shredding excursion to doughnut hell, I can hardly believe that I’ve managed to summon the sheer brass bollocked fortitude needed to make another attempt, but I have and this time, things were different.

First of all, I tried out a new flavour combination. Inspired by the rather bloody superb fennel and raisin bread available from Harts Bakery, (Located just around the corner from Bristol’s Temple Meads station) my doughnuts would be stuffed with fennel and raisin custard and would taste, it turns out, frigging uber. Even if I do say so myself.

Secondly, I actually followed my pastry chef mate’s tips, advice and amendments to the published St John doughnut recipe.

If you read my last post on the subject of doughnuts, you may be asking yourself why try again, Dan? Why Dan? WHY?!

Well, if I’m honest, my ridiculous sense of perfection and my mungus ego was left critically wounded by how much of a massive ball ache I found the whole process last time. I just ‘had’ to have another go at it and confirm that I’m the absolute frigging daddy / an utter half-baked cretin (delete as applicable).

Well yep, I’m pleased to report it’s cheesy grins and congratulatory back slaps all round as a sweet yeasty doughnut smell of success pervades my smug old ass right now. I honestly couldn’t be more chuffed with how they turned out this time. I rock. Totally.

If you too fancy grabbing yourself some of this impossibly self-satisfied conceit, here’s what you’ll need in addition to the doughnut recipe from my previous post, HERE.

Fennel & Raisin Custard Doughnut

You’ll Need: -
6 Tsp Fennel Seeds, Crushed (to infuse the crème patissiere)
200g Raisins
2 Tbsp Fennel Seeds, Crushed (to dust the doughnuts).

First, as my chef friend advised, after mixing your dough, don’t leave to rise as the original recipe advises, place it straight into the fridge. I made it in the evening and left it in the fridge overnight. The resulting dough was much firmer and easier to handle than on my previous attempt.

I weighed the dough out into 50g per portion, before rolling into balls to rise, with my hands coated with a little sunflower oil.

Also as advised, I placed the doughnuts on greaseproof paper, two to each piece.
When it came to frying, (at 175C) I dropped both into the fryer at once, paper and all, holding onto the edge of the greaseproof and pulling it away as they dropped into the hot oil. This saved me handling the doughnuts and squashing them, something that caused me so much frustration last time.

When dusting your just fried doughnuts add a couple of tablespoons of finely crushed fennel seeds to the caster sugar.

The other changes are to the crème patissiere recipe, at the beginning; add 6 tsp of crushed fennel seeds to the milk and vanilla pods mix to infuse.

Finally, pour boiling water over the raisins and leave them for a few minutes, to puff up a bit, before straining and stirring through the finished crème-pat. No one likes a flaccid raisin.

So that, as they say, is that. I can hold my head high (and suck my stomach in even more) I have persisted and prevailed over doughnuts!
* Wild Applause*


J@Feasttotheworld said...

Well done Dan! They looks so good!!

Dan said...

J@feastoftheworld - Thanks very much.

Unknown said...

Oh Dan! They look brilliant. I always love unexpected flavour combo. Never had fennel in sweet things before (always with sausages and many savoury dishes), but I am intrigued. Do they travel well? if yes, send some over please... :)

Dan said...

Michael Toa - I wasn't sure myself, but turns out fennel works surprisingly well with sweet flavours. Hahaha I wish they travelled well and lasted a bit longer, I had to give quite a few away...far too unhealthy to scoff the lot myself.

Anonymous said...

Fennel and custard is certainly an unusual combo. I'll be interested to try it out!

Ayot said...

This look tasty doughnuts and the raisin I love it so much. Wish I could make it more for the children.

Niamh said...

Ooooof! These sound fantastic.

Dan said...

Juliabaileywine - Let me know what you think if you try it.

Ayot - Glad you love it so much :)

Niamh - Thanks very much, madam x