If you're looking for an easy recipe for Crème Brûlée donuts, you're in the right place!
Crème Brûlée has been making a comeback recently - I see different variations of it all over Instagram and TikTok, and I'm not complaining! There's something about the silky custard topped with the thin, crispy caramel. So it only makes sense to combine it with another popular dessert, donuts! These Crème Brûlée donuts use a tangzhong dough base, are easy to make, don't require a blow-torch, and don't waste any egg whites!
HOW TO MAKE CREME BRULEE DONUTS
This recipe is not meant to be difficult, but it does require precision and care, so let's talk through the three main steps in detail!
1. Make the tangzhong donuts
Of course, the first and most important thing is to make the donuts correctly! Following this recipe carefully will give you extremely light, airy, soft and fluffy donuts. You need to take care of a few things here:
- Firstly, make the tangzhong. It is a simple mixture of flour and milk cooked on low heat until they form a thick paste.
- Then, knead the dough properly until it is soft, stretchy and smooth on the surface. Half of the butter is incorporated after an initial kneading. This butter laminated the dough, giving it brioche like texture. Using a standmixer fit with a dough hook will lead to the best results!
- Take care not to under- or over-proof the dough . This is critical in getting the soft texture of the donuts. The first proof is roughly 60-90 minutes until the dough doubles in size. The second proof is after shaping the donuts for 30-40 minutes
- Lastly, fry your donuts at 350F for about 2 minutes per side. Precision is critical when frying donuts to make sure they are cooked inside without browning too much on the outside, and don't soak too much oil! Use an oil thermometer for the best results
I have shared more in depth notes about perfecting the donuts in my Nutella Donut recipe!
2. Make the Crème Pâtissière filling
Crème Pâtissière sounds fancy, but it is basically just a pastry cream (or custard) and not difficult to perfect! Here's how you make it:
- Whisk the eggs, sugar, salt and corn starch in a bowl. Most recipes use only egg yolks, but in order to avoid waste, I've formulated this recipe to use full eggs and find the results to be just as good!
- Heat milk and vanilla essense until they just start to boil
- Slowly pour about a third of the milk into the egg mixture, whisking quickly alongside. This will temper the eggs so that they don't curdle and cook when mixed with hot milk. Then pour the full egg mixture into the milk and whisk to combine
- Cook the mixture on low heat in a non-stick pan, constantly stirring, until it thickens into a custard consistency
- Add butter to the custard and stir until it melts and combines
- Remove from heat and pass through a strainer to make sure the pastry cream is smooth in texture
And, a little secret - if your cream feels grainy or lumpy, don't worry! Just chuck it in a blender and blend for 30 seconds until it is smooth again 😉 My Nutribullet comes in very handy in these times.
Once the cream is cooled down, fill it in a piping bag fit with a Bismarck tip and fill your donuts!
3. Make the caramel coating
Because we need a thin caramel coating on the donuts, I like to use the wet caramel method for this recipe. Combine the water, sugar and salt in a non-stick pan and heat on low heat, without stirring, until the sugar fully dissolves and starts to caramelize. Stir slowly at this stage until the caramel reaches a deep golden color.
Make sure to smell the caramel as it cooks - it is easy to overcook and burn it! It should smell deep and caramelized but not burnt and bitter.
At this point, you can start coating your donuts. You need to do this while the caramel is still hot and runny. Hold the donut with a firm grip and dip on side into the caramel. Let the excess drip off for a few seconds and place the donut on a wire rack to cool down so the caramel solidifies.
As you do this, the caramel will likely start to cool down and thicken, making it harder to coat the donuts. Reheat on the stove to make the caramel runny again and then proceed with the remaining donuts.
Check out the video below to see these donuts in action!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is tangzhong?
Tangzhong is a slurry or roux made by cooking flour and milk on low heat, constantly stirring, until they form a thick paste. It is added to breads as it allows adding a lot more moisture to them, and result in much softer bread which stays fresh for longer. It is used in the fluffy Japanese milk breads we love!
Why are my donuts dense?
This could be due to a few reasons:
- Your yeast is no longer fresh, and as a result your dough is not rising properly. Check if your yeast is still fresh by mixing a teaspoon in ¼ cup of warm milk and resting for 10 minutes. It should start to foam up. If it doesn't, buy new yeast!
- Your have underproofed the dough. Make sure your dough nearly doubles in volume and springs back partly when poked gently. Only start shaping the donuts after this point.
- Your oil is too hot. This will cause your donuts to fry very quickly without there being enough time for them to rise and fluff up. Make sure you are monitoring the oil temperature.
Why are my donuts oily?
This can happen due to 2 common reasons:
- You have overproofed the dough. When overproofed, the dough will start to deflate and lose volume, and can become oily when fried. Make sure you don't leave the dough for too long!
- Your oil temperature isn't right when frying. If not hot enough, your donuts will take longer to fry and will absorb more oil. You need the oil to be around 350F for the ideal donuts.
Why is my caramel sticky instead of crispy?
This is most likely because you have cooked the caramel for too long, causing a lot of the water to evaporate and leaving behind mostly sugar, which starts to set quickly as it cools and becomes really sticky. To get a thin and crispy coating of caramel, make sure your caramel is still quite watery and hot when dipping your donuts in.
Let's make these, shall we!?
Looking for other flavors to try for my donuts? Check out my Nutella donut recipe!Print
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