So, I treated myself to a deep fat fryer last week. For those that know me at all, this may come as a bit of a surprise for a number of reasons. Most obvious might be my fear of calories; deep frying is not generally know for it’s health promoting, low calorie cooking properties. Following not far behind may well be my infamous clumsiness; all I can say here is there have been no major injuries yet, although I can’t promise I’ll remain free from burns, or that I won’t burn the house down. I shall however sincerely endeavour not to deep fry whilst drunk at the very least….
As you can imagine, as soon as I clicked that purchase button on Amazon, I’ve been racking my brains as to what curious things I can create, clearly I’m not going to start with the basics; dull. Then where to start? I’ve already managed to create a rapidly increasing list of things I plan on frying, some ideas crazier than others. I did start with something fairly simple, and I’ll blog the delicious chilli and cheese hush puppies I made as soon as I can get around to it. In the meantime my little brain was doing some gymnastics around a couple of other ideas, until I stumbled upon the startlingly exciting idea of NEGRONI DOUGHNUTS. I LOVE Negroni’s, I LOVE doughnuts. How can combining two of my favourite things and then deep frying them be anything other than wonderful?
They were indeed wonderful.
The idea came to me whilst I was making a batch of Negroni butter for another baking experiment, which all of a sudden seemed like the perfect base for a doughnut filling. I’m sure if I make these again with a bit of fore planning, I’ll tart them up with maybe a bit of finely chopped candied orange peel in with the sugar coating.
For the doughnut dough – I used the recipe from Dan Lepards fantastic book ‘Short and Sweet’. His recipe makes six, but I wanted smaller snacking balls so I divided my dough into four portions with three doughnuts per portion.
250g strong white flour
100ml warm milk
1 teaspoon fast action yeast
1 medium egg
25g caster sugar
25g unsalted butter
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons glycerine
pinch of salt
For the filling – I made these in quarter batches, so three mini doughnuts at a time. This is is enough for one batch but is easy enough to multipy.
1 teaspoon gin (I used Millers)
1 teaspoon Campari
1 teaspoon sweet vermouth (I used Antiqa Formula as that’s what I use in my Negroni’s at home)
25g unsalted butter
25g icing sugar
2 tablespoons double cream
Start by mixing the milk, yeast and 100g of flour and leave for two hours, covered.
Beat the egg with the sugar until thick and pale, then add the yeast mixture, melted butter, vanilla and glycerine until smooth. Add the remaining flour, salt and combine for a sticky dough. Knead briefly on an oiled work surface, return to a bowl for around one and a half hours, giving a couple more quick kneads during this time.
Divide the dough into quarters, then depending on how many batches you’re making, divide each quarter portion into three balls, place these onto an oiled plate, cover with a tea towel and leave for an hour. The dough that you don’t use can be easily frozen or kept for a day or two in the fridge.
To make the filling, cream the icing sugar and butter until smooth then add your Negroni mixture gradually, beating it in thoroughly each time. Finally whisk in the double cream and chill if not using immediately.
Set your fryer to 180 degrees, or quarter fill a deep sided saucepan with sunflower oil and use a thermometer until 180 degrees is reached, or until a cube of bread turns golden brown within 1 minute. Drop a small batch of doughnuts into the oil with some space apart and fry for about one minute, knocking them around (carefully) in the oil with a spoon so they’re cooked and golden all the way around.
Spoon your Negroni cream into a baking syringe, insert the needle directly into the middle of each doughnut and squeeze gently until you can see the outside start to give and/or the cream starts to ooze out. Finish by rolling the doughnuts in a small bowl of caster sugar untill fully coated.