Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream


 
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux

As someone who is a huge fan of both ice cream sandwiches and doughnuts, I figured that they were going to have to be combined at some point along the line. I had some leftover ice cream base after deciding I wanted to make philadelphia style for the project I was working on, so figured it was the perfect time to give them a spin. And ohhh my. The result was these chocolate choux ice cream sandwiches with double chocolate ice cream - a ridiculously indulgent treat, but a total crowd pleaser and an amazing end to a dinner party or a gathering with friends.

I started with a cruller type doughnut - chocolate choux pastry (same as used for eclairs), which I piped into circles with a star tip onto parchment, then froze solid before frying off. Freezing the dough helps it keep a perfect shape whilst being fried. The freshly fried doughnuts are then rolled in sugar, and once cool, sandwiched with a homemade dark chocolate ice cream, which is flecked with shards of dark chocolate. You can absolutely use a store bought ice cream here if you like - the creamy ice cream compliments the light doughnut perfectly.

A few wee tips:

  • The Chocolate choux dough can be made ahead, frozen solid on the parchment, then transferred to a ziploc bag until you are ready to fry.

  • A candy thermometer is super important to keep the oil for the frying at the right temperature. I prefer to fry in cast iron because of how consistent it is.

  • I made the ice cream for these because I had some base on hand, but using store bought ice cream would be just as good!

  • I found that frying these on one side and then turning half way through caused them to puff up unevenly. Flipping them every minute throughout the frying process helps to keep them nice and flat while they are cooking.

  • Because these have cocoa in them it is hard to tell when they are done - this is why a thermometer is important. I also recommend frying one off at the start just to double check your frying time.

  • If you don’t want to make these as ice cream sandwiches, you can pipe circles such as in this cruller recipe, or bake them up as chocolate cream puffs

  • If you aren’t planning on eating all of these on the day they are made, I suggest storing the frozen dough and frying off as you want them. You can cool the oil and store back in the oil bottle and re-use - because it gets so hot, it is safe to re-use, just don’t use oil that you have used to fry things such as fish as the flavour will transfer.

  • I included the recipe in grams, as even the slightest amount of differentiation in flour will change the consistency of your mixture.

  • I have included an extra 'just in case' egg in the ingredients. The reason that this is in there, is that sometimes you need to add extra egg to the pastry if necessary. You want the mixture to be at a consistency where if you dip in the beater of the mixer, the batter will form a 'v' shape and eventually break off. If it is too stiff, and breaks off very quickly, you may need to add another beaten egg, and mix again, before performing the test. 

 

 

Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream

- Makes 8-10 ice cream sandwiches -

Chocolate Flakes from Stella Parks / Serious Eats

Double Chocolate Ice Cream
4 large egg yolks
135g (2/3 cup) sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp salt
35g dutch cocoa
360g (1 1/2 cups) whole milk
360g (1 1/2 cups) heavy whipping cream
55g good quality dark chocolate (65-70% cocoa solids)
15g refined coconut oil

Chocolate Choux Doughnuts
240g water
110g butter
20g sugar
5g salt
5g vanilla bean paste
165g all-purpose flour
25g dutch process cocoa
220g egg, lightly beaten, plus extra if required (see last point on notes)

Neutral oil for frying
About 100g (1/2 cup) Sugar for dusting

 

- PROCESS -

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla bean paste. Whisk well until pale. Set aside. 

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the whole milk, heavy cream and cocoa. Heat to just shy of a simmer

Pour half of the milk mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Whisk briskly until combined. This will temper the egg yolks and stop them from scrambling. 

Pour the milk yolk mixture back into the pot, and return to a low heat. Whisk constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon, and registers at 170˚f / 75˚c on a thermometer. 

Strain though a fine mesh strainer. Transfer to an airtight container, and allow to stand at room temperature for an hour or so, and then chill for at least two hours, or overnight.

To make the chocolate shards for the ice cream, microwave the chocolate in a heat proof bowl in 15 second increments, until smooth. Stir in the coconut oil, then spread onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan and freeze for 15 minutes, or until completely set. Break into pieces your desired size. Store in the freezer until ready to use (I like to do this step just before I churn the ice cream)

Place a loaf pan or the container you are planning to store the ice cream in into the freezer. Pour the chilled chocolate ice cream base into the bowl of your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. Once the ice cream is churned, add the chocolate chunks and mix in the ice cream maker until combined.

Scrape the chocolate ice cream into the chilled loaf pan or container, and smooth down. Press a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream, and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours or overnight.

 

CHOCOLATE CHOUX DOUGHNUTS

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw circles, evenly spaced, about 2 3/4” (70mm) in diameter on each using a pen or pencil - these will be your guide for piping. Flip the paper over so you can trace the outline without tracing on the ink. You need approximately 20 circles.

Line a large piping bag with a french star tip - I used a wilton 1m tip.

Sift together the flour and cocoa in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour and cocoa all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste. 

Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture. 

With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 220g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate. 

Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Using your traced circles as a guide, and starting from the middle, pipe rounds of pastry onto the baking sheet, ending each with a little flick of your wrist. They should look like rosettes. Repeat with the second tray until you have used up all your pastry. Transfer the trays to the freezer and freeze for one hour.

About 20 minutes before the hour is up, fill a heavy bottomed saucepan or cast iron dutch oven with about 4 inches of oil. Heat over medium until it registers 350˚f (180˚c) on a candy thermometer. Place a cooling rack on a sheet pan, and place 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow bowl (for coating the cooked doughnuts)

Working in batches, frying two to three doughnuts at a time, peel them off the paper and carefully lower into the oil. Fry for approximately 7 minutes, turning every minute to ensure even cooking, until cooked. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on the wire rack. Drain for a minute or so, then toss in the sugar and return to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts - leave them in the freezer until you fry them.

To assemble, sandwich two doughnuts with a scoop of ice cream. Serve immediately. Leftover Assembled sandwiches can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container until ready to eat, but are best eaten fresh.

Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux

Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze


 
Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze. Perfectly flaky earl grey infused choux pastry is fried into golden brown crullers, then glazed with a delicately flavoured Earl Grey Glaze. #earlgrey #cruller #doughnuts #donuts #baking #fried #choux #chouxpastry
Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze. Perfectly flaky earl grey infused choux pastry is fried into golden brown crullers, then glazed with a delicately flavoured Earl Grey Glaze. #earlgrey #cruller #doughnuts #donuts #baking #fried #choux #chouxpastry
Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze. Perfectly flaky earl grey infused choux pastry is fried into golden brown crullers, then glazed with a delicately flavoured Earl Grey Glaze. #earlgrey #cruller #doughnuts #donuts #baking #fried #choux #chouxpastry
Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze. Perfectly flaky earl grey infused choux pastry is fried into golden brown crullers, then glazed with a delicately flavoured Earl Grey Glaze. #earlgrey #cruller #doughnuts #donuts #baking #fried #choux #chouxpastry
Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze. Perfectly flaky earl grey infused choux pastry is fried into golden brown crullers, then glazed with a delicately flavoured Earl Grey Glaze. #earlgrey #cruller #doughnuts #donuts #baking #fried #choux #chouxpastry
Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze. Perfectly flaky earl grey infused choux pastry is fried into golden brown crullers, then glazed with a delicately flavoured Earl Grey Glaze. #earlgrey #cruller #doughnuts #donuts #baking #fried #choux #chouxpastry
Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze. Perfectly flaky earl grey infused choux pastry is fried into golden brown crullers, then glazed with a delicately flavoured Earl Grey Glaze. #earlgrey #cruller #doughnuts #donuts #baking #fried #choux #chouxpastry
Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze. Perfectly flaky earl grey infused choux pastry is fried into golden brown crullers, then glazed with a delicately flavoured Earl Grey Glaze. #earlgrey #cruller #doughnuts #donuts #baking #fried #choux #chouxpastry

We are having the best time ever in NZ visiting family, so I will keep this short - but I couldn’t wait any longer to share this recipe for Earl Grey Crullers with you! I hid away at home on my birthday making these and honestly couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day.

I love a lot of things - my foster kittens, being able to live where we do, my husband, my library card etc (in that order haha), and Earl Grey tea. I love the flavour of it, and how versatile it is. I love how it can easily adapt to fit in a huge number of flavour profiles. And I love how it makes these Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze taste. If you were ever looking for a cup of tea in doughnut form, look no further. Because this recipe is a doozy.

If you haven’t had a cruller before, it is essentially just fried choux dough. Same thing used to make cream puffs and eclairs, but instead of baking it so that it becomes puffy and crisp, it gets fried. And it is epic. The result is something a little more denser than a cream puff or eclair - it doesn’t have as much of a hollow inside, but just so insanely delicious. It manages to be light and heavy all at the same time, and with loads of texture on the golden brown outside to hold on to loads of tea infused glaze. Crullers or choux pastry are perfect for infusing flavour - because it doesn’t have to compete with yeast, the flavour is able to shine right through. I injected as much earl grey flavour into these as I could - by infusing the milk used to make the dough, and then infusing the cream used for the glaze. The result was a perfectly delicately flavoured doughnut, drowned in a sweet, strongly flavoured glaze. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out, and I hope you love them too!

A few wee tips:

  • I have included an extra 'just in case' egg in the ingredients. The reason that this is in there, is that sometimes you need to add extra egg to the pastry if necessary. You want the mixture to be at a consistency where if you dip in the beater of the mixer, the batter will form a 'v' shape and eventually break off. If it is too stiff, and breaks off very quickly, you may need to add another beaten egg, and mix again, before performing the test. 

  • These can be made ahead and frozen until you are ready to fry - just freeze solid then transfer to a piping bag.

  • If you would like to make these just a plain flavour (rather than earl grey), just skip the step where you infuse with tea.

  • I prefer to deep fry in cast iron because it helps to keep the temperature constant, but a heavy bottomed pot will work well too.

  • If you don’t want to make all of these as doughnuts, you can pipe some as either rings or mounds onto parchment paper, and follow these instructions for baking them as cream puffs.

 

 

Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze

- Makes about 12 -

Earl Grey Crullers
20g loose leaf earl grey tea
200g whole milk
125g water
110g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
25g sugar
5g kosher salt
5g vanilla bean paste
175g all-purpose flour
230g egg, lightly beaten, plus one extra egg if needed (see notes)
Neutral oil for frying

Earl Grey Glaze
100g heavy cream
8g loose leaf earl grey tea
150g powdered sugar, sifted

 

- PROCESS -

EARL GREY CRULLER

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw six circles, evenly spaced about 2 3/4” in diameter on each using a pen or pencil - these will be your guide for piping. Flip the paper over so you can trace the outline without tracing on the ink.

Line a large piping bag with a french star tip - I used an ateco #829 tip.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk until just shy of a simmer. Remove from heat, add loose leaf tea, cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain, pressing down to remove as much liquid from the tea. Wash and dry the saucepan, and add back in 125g of the tea infused milk, topping up to make up 125g if needed.

Add the water, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste. 

Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture. 

With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 240g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate. 

Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Using your traced circle as a guide, pipe circles onto the baking sheet, ending each with a little flick of your wrist. Repeat with the second tray - you should end up with 12 circles. Transfer the trays to the freezer and freeze for one hour.

About 20 minutes before the hour is up, fill a heavy bottomed saucepan or cast iron dutch oven with about 4 inches of oil. Heat over medium until it registers 350˚f (180˚c) on a candy thermometer. Place a cooling rack on a sheet pan.

Working in batches, frying two to three doughnuts at a time, peel them off the paper and carefully lower into the oil. Fry for approximately 7 minutes, turning often to ensure even cooking, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts - leave them in the freezer until you fry them.  Cool before glazing.

EARL GREY GLAZE

In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the tea, and cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain, pressing down hard on the tea leaves to remove as much flavour as possible. Weigh the infused cream into a small bowl, topping up to 100g. Add the powdered sugar and stir until smooth and incorporated. You want it to be quite thin for dipping.

Place the cooled doughnuts on a wire rack. Dunk one at a time in the glaze, allow additional glaze to drip off, and then place on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.

Best eaten on the day that they are made. Store leftovers at room temperature.

Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze. Perfectly flaky earl grey infused choux pastry is fried into golden brown crullers, then glazed with a delicately flavoured Earl Grey Glaze. #earlgrey #cruller #doughnuts #donuts #baking #fried #choux #chouxpastry

Gingerbread Brioche Doughnuts with Spiced Brown Sugar Diplomat Cream


 
Gingerbread doughnuts with a spiced brown sugar diplomat cream. Pillowy brioche dough, spiced lightly with ginger and molasses, are stuffed with a light and creamy filling which is loaded with christmas spice. A perfect little package of holiday cheer
Gingerbread doughnuts with a spiced brown sugar diplomat cream. Pillowy brioche dough, spiced lightly with ginger and molasses, are stuffed with a light and creamy filling which is loaded with christmas spice. A perfect little package of holiday cheer
Gingerbread doughnuts with a spiced brown sugar diplomat cream. Pillowy brioche dough, spiced lightly with ginger and molasses, are stuffed with a light and creamy filling which is loaded with christmas spice. A perfect little package of holiday cheer
Gingerbread doughnuts with a spiced brown sugar diplomat cream. Pillowy brioche dough, spiced lightly with ginger and molasses, are stuffed with a light and creamy filling which is loaded with christmas spice. A perfect little package of holiday cheer
Gingerbread doughnuts with a spiced brown sugar diplomat cream. Pillowy brioche dough, spiced lightly with ginger and molasses, are stuffed with a light and creamy filling which is loaded with christmas spice. A perfect little package of holiday cheer
Gingerbread doughnuts with a spiced brown sugar diplomat cream. Pillowy brioche dough, spiced lightly with ginger and molasses, are stuffed with a light and creamy filling which is loaded with christmas spice. A perfect little package of holiday cheer
Gingerbread doughnuts with a spiced brown sugar diplomat cream. Pillowy brioche dough, spiced lightly with ginger and molasses, are stuffed with a light and creamy filling which is loaded with christmas spice. A perfect little package of holiday cheer
Gingerbread doughnuts with a spiced brown sugar diplomat cream. Pillowy brioche dough, spiced lightly with ginger and molasses, are stuffed with a light and creamy filling which is loaded with christmas spice. A perfect little package of holiday cheer

I'm finally feeling semi Christmassy. And if semi Christmassy means very stressed and a little Christmassy, then i'm feeling that too. So I took all the very stressed and semi Christmassy I am feeling, and I jammed it all into these doughnuts. It was a great idea if you ask me - doughnuts are the ultimate comfort food in my book. They sound daunting to make but are really very satisfying - I love watching them puff up in the oil as they fry. I happily spent an afternoon ignoring adulting, and whipping these wee guys up, and they turned out far too good to just keep the recipe to myself.

I wanted to have some warming christmas spice in there, to keep it extra holiday-ish, so I adapted my favourite brioche dough (it's amazing in scrolls, burger buns, babka, and now turns out it can be fried!), and added a little ground ginger and molasses. I then filled them with a brown sugar spiced diplomat cream - which is really just a fancy name for pastry cream / custard which has been folded through whipped cream. I spiced the pastry cream with the regular suspects - cinnamon, allspice and a little ginger to help carry the flavour through. Once it was folded in with the whipped cream, it made for a beautiful filling - not too sweet, and lovely and light against the fluffy doughnut. (My friend said that she though that it was 'refreshing' which I though was a nice way of putting it!)

I'm not going to tell you what to do - but I think you should make these for your christmas gathering. The dough can be prepared ahead of time - you can give it its first rise in the fridge overnight, and the filling can be made in advance too. They are the perfect wee twist on a regular filled doughnut - just enough spice to make you think of the holidays, but also a welcome change to all of the cookies and desserts you are likely to encounter. Plus. Doughnuts. 

A few wee tips:

  • A thermometer is going to be your friend here, as it is very important to keep the oil at a specific temperature. Too cold and the doughnuts will soak up oil, too hot and the outsides will cook before the inside does, and you will have a gooey mess. (if you don't have a thermometer and a set of scales, then I suggest you self-gift ASAP this holiday season, both are game changers)

  • Along the same lines of specific oil temperature, cast iron is great to fry in because it maintains heat very well.

  • The Dough can be made the night before you want to make these, and given its first rest in the fridge. Just increase the second rise a little once you have cut them out to allow the dough to warm up.

  • Pastry cream can be made ahead too, but I suggest, if possible, folding through the whipped cream the day you are planning on using it. You may have a little diplomat cream left over, but it is awesome on fruit / desserts / straight out of the piping bag into your mouth.

  • I measure the amount of pastry cream I have, then use 2/3 that amount (multiply the amount of pastry cream by 0.66) of cream, hence the 'approximately' in the method - you will need to do some quick maths to work it out when the time comes.

 

 

Gingerbread Brioche Doughnuts with Spiced Brown Sugar Diplomat Cream

- Makes 14-16 doughnuts -

Spiced Brown Sugar Diplomat Cream
100g egg yolks (about 8 yolks)
105g light brown sugar
30g corn starch
415g whole milk
1 Tbsp vanilla paste, or the scrapings from one vanilla bean
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
20g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Approximately 300g heavy cream

Bread Dough
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 cup (240ml) whole milk, lukewarm
3 Tbsp brown sugar, divided
3 3/4 cups (565g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 Tbsp unsulphered molasses  
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
90g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Neutral Oil, for frying (about 4-6 cups)
Granulated sugar for tossing doughnuts

 

- PROCESS -

DIPLOMAT CREAM

 

In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornflour.

In a medium pot, warm the milk, vanilla paste and spices until there is movement just around the edges of the milk - do not bring it to the boil. 

Remove the milk from the heat, and, whisking constantly, add half of the milk mixture into the egg and cornflour mixture to temper the egg yolks. Whisk briskly for 30 seconds. Transfer the milk-yolk mixture back to the pot, and return to a medium heat. Whisk constantly until very thick. 

Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, mixing well until totally combined. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes, whisking occasionally. 

Strain the pastry cream through a mesh sieve, and into a bowl. Cool to room temperature then place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the pastry cream to prevent a skin. Place in the fridge until completely cooled.

When you are ready to fill the doughnuts, weigh the amount of pastry cream that you have - it should be around 450g (see notes). Whip 300g cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold through the pastry cream until well combined. Store in the fridge if not using immediately.

BRIOCHE DOUGHNUTS

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk and 1 Tbsp of the brown sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and remaining 2 Tbsp brown sugar. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs, molasses, vanilla, and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. 

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth. 

Transfer to an oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours. 

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Roll into a circle that is about 2cm thick (3/4 inch). Leave to sit for 5 minutes to allow the dough to relax.

Cut out circle shapes using a cookie cutter approximately 2.5 inches (6cm) in diameter. Place the cut doughnuts on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Leave the doughnuts to proof for a further 20 minutes. When you poke them lightly with your finger, it should leave a small indentation that springs back. 

While the doughnuts are proofing, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot (cast iron works great). Heat the oil to 175-180˚c / 340-350˚f. Fill a shallow bowl with sugar for tossing the doughnuts.

Once the oil has come to temperature, test it with a few scraps of dough. Gently lower the doughnuts, two at a time, into the hot oil. Cook for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 30 seconds before tossing in the sugar. Repeat the process with the rest of the doughnuts. Once the doughnuts are cool, poke a hole in them using a chopstick, and widen the hole using your finger.

ASSEMBLY

Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium-sized round tip with the diplomat cream. Carefully fill the cavity of the doughnut with the diplomat cream as full as the doughnut will allow you - you can usually feel when they are full as they suddenly feel heavier. When you pull away the piping bag, a little of the pastry cream should ooze out. 

Serve immediately. Leftover doughnuts can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge - bring to room temperature before serving, and sprinkle with a little fresh granulated sugar.

Gingerbread doughnuts with a spiced brown sugar diplomat cream. Pillowy brioche dough, spiced lightly with ginger and molasses, are stuffed with a light and creamy filling which is loaded with christmas spice. A perfect little package of holiday cheer