I’ll admit that the inspiration for this recipe came to me in one of possibly the least exotic locations, during one of my many trips to the local Lidl, a place I often frequent when in need of a curiosity fix; meandering as I do along it’s ramshackle isles can throw up any number of weekly changing and often obscure produce. In this instance giant (and cheap) cans of lychees; I had the sudden urge for a summery dessert, possibly brought on by an infrequent bout of sunshine, I could well be wrong on this point. In any case, I fancied making something highly fragrant and lightly exotic, doughnuts are obviously my current obsession, so they made the obvious base.
I made these in a miniature size as I did with my cardamom and rose petal sugar ones, using the same recipe I have through this whole episode of mine, making them the ideal dainty nibble to accompany a gin lychee martini as I did here.
Taking one sixth of the whole original doughnut recipe, I made a small single portion of six miniature ones, crushing a single star anise in a pestle and mortar to add to the dough. These only needed frying for around a minute at 180 degrees.
The caramel I’m afraid was a bit more of a haphazard method as so many of my recipes are; starting with a layer of muscovado sugar (this is what I usually use and why the caramel looks so dark) in a heavy based saucepan, cook until melted and starting to boil and darken in colour, then add a couple of knobs of butter, stirring as it froths. Add some juice from the can of lychees, a couple of drops of rosewater and a little corn flour to thicken if needed.