Friday, January 15, 2021


One of the first confections I have ever tried, next to cakes, were doughnuts. If I recall correctly, they were generously filled with homemade plum jam and ground walnuts, and abundantly sprinkled with granulated sugar. Over the years, my preferences have changed slightly, but my affection for doughnuts remains.
Despite yeast doughnuts usually being prepared by frying, they can very well be baked, too, which is how I prefer them. They are pillowy and light, full of lovely and airy mousse filling, and adorned with the tiniest crunch from the lightly caramelised brown sugar topping.
These beauties are made of my favourite type of dough, utterly soft and abundantly flavourful. The dough itself is not very sweet, but the filling is rich and robust, making each of these doughnuts a true treat.
Speaking of the filling, it does have a strong coffee flavour, as that is what I truly like, but if you want, you can reduce the amount of espresso used, they will still be delicious. That is essentially the beauty of confectionery; every creation is a little work of art on its own.

For the doughnuts
525 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon powdered vanilla
1 ½ teaspoons salt
150 millilitres warm water
30 grams fresh yeast
60 grams Demerara sugar, divided
150 grams soya yoghurt
60 millilitres vegetable oil
5 millilitres apple cider vinegar
For the chocolate and coffee mousse filling
100 grams dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids), chopped finely
15 grams instant espresso powder
10 grams unsweetened dark cocoa powder
250 millilitres plant double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

To make the chocolate coffee mousse, start by placing the chopped chocolate, espresso powder, and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Pour the cream into a saucepan, and place it over medium high heat. Let it almost come to a boil, just until there are wisps of steam along the edges, and immediately remove it from the heat. Pour it over the chocolate, and stir until all of the ingredients are melted together and smooth. Cover the top with cling film, and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, until it is thoroughly chilled. This will make it much easier to whip into a mousse.
To make the doughnuts, sift the flour into a large bowl, add in the vanilla and salt, whisk very well, and set it aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the fresh yeast, 15 grams of brown sugar, and the warm water, and set it aside for about 10 minutes so the yeast can activate. Once ready, make a little well in the centre of the flour, pour in the yeast, yoghurt, 45 millilitres of oil, and vinegar, and mix with a wooden spoon until a very soft and slightly sticky dough forms. It should not stick to your hands, but if it is, add another tablespoon of flour. Place the dough into a large clean bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise, at room temperature, for about an hour, or until doubled.
Once the dough is ready, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and knead it briefly. Divide it into 12 equal pieces, and shape each of them into a ball. Arrange them on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment, and let them rest and rise, covered, for about 30 minutes more. Just before baking, brush them with the reserved oil, and sprinkle each one with the remaining brown sugar. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 200°C, for about 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the chocolate cream with the vanilla until stiff peaks form, and place it back into the refrigerator.
When they are done, remove them from the oven, and immediately remove them from the baking sheet, to help them cool down more easily. While they are cooling, remove the chilled mousse from the refrigerator, place it into a piping bag, and as soon as the doughnuts are cool enough to be comfortably handled, generously fill them with the mousse, and serve immediately.

Author's note: If the doughnuts are filled while still hot, the mousse will melt due to the residual heat.