Double Caramel Doughnuts
Perfectly fried dough, a smooth caramel glaze and rich pastry cream make for a sweet indulgence
When making doughnuts, you need precision every step of the way. The amount of proofing will determine how soft and fluffy they will be, while frying these delicious doughy pillows at the right temperature will ensure they’re golden brown on the outside and cooked all the way through.
And this delightful recipe adds to the indulgence with a sweet caramel glaze, a sprinkling of hazelnut and almond praline, and a generous helping of pastry cream in the middle.
Double Caramel Doughnuts were the Technical Bake for Caramel Week in Season 5 of The Great Canadian Baking Show.
Double Caramel Doughnuts
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup warm water
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2½ tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3⅓ cups (189 g) all-purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp kosher salt
- ⅓ cup (76 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened
- 4 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
Hazelnut and Almond Praline:
- ½ cup (71 g) hazelnuts
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp (78 g) granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp light corn syrup
- ⅓ cup (29 g) sliced almonds
- Pinch kosher
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 sheet gelatin
- 1¼ cups whole milk, divided
- 5 egg yolks
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup 35% cream
- ⅔ cup (132 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup 35% cream, warmed
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp (43 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- ¾ cup plus 1 tbsp (92 g) icing sugar
If using a proofing drawer, heat to 100 F.
Add the eggs and water to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and break up the eggs with a fork. Add the sugar, yeast and vanilla and beat on medium-low to combine. Add the flour and salt and beat on medium to medium-high until the dough starts coming away from the sides and forms a ball, 7 to 8 minutes.
Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the butter, one cube at a time. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a proofing drawer or warm area until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll out or press so it’s ¾ inches thick. Using a 2⅝-inch round cutter, cut out 13 rounds, gently rerolling the scraps, and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Let rise, uncovered, until doubled in size, about 40 minutes (or 20 minutes in a proofing drawer).
Heat the oven to 350 F. Place the hazelnuts in a small baking tin and toast until the skin starts to blister and the nuts are golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then rub between your hands to remove the skins.
Mist a baking sheet with vegetable spray and set aside.
Combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, hazelnuts, almonds and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring once in a while to prevent burning, until dark brown and the temperature reaches 300 F to 310 F, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately stir in the baking soda. Quickly scrape the mixture onto the prepared sheet, spreading it flat. Let cool completely.
Break the praline into pieces, then place them in a food processor and whirl until fine with some small pieces. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift the fine crumbs into a small bowl (to make about ¾ cup) and reserve chopped pieces in another small bowl for garnish.
Place the sheet of gelatin in a bowl of cold water and set aside for 5 minutes.
Heat 1 cup of the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just steaming. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Slowly pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium, whisking constantly until it thickens and just comes to a boil.
Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin and whisk the gelatin into the milk mixture until dissolved. Press through a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold.
Once the pastry cream is completely cooled, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Whisk the pastry cream to soften, then fold in the praline crumbs until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a medium star tip and refrigerate.
Dry Caramel Glaze:
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the bottom of the pan and let it melt, swirling the sugar to avoid burning. Repeat with the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. (The caramel should be dark.) Stir, slowly drizzle in the cream, and stir again to combine. Let it cook until the sugar is dissolved.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Let cool slightly before stirring in the butter, one cube at a time. Let cool completely and whisk in enough icing sugar to create a thick glaze.
Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
Fill a deep fryer with the vegetable oil (or add 2½ inches of oil to a large Dutch oven set over medium) and heat to 350 F. Deep-fry three or four doughnuts at a time, turning a few times until browned and puffed, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the cooling rack. Let cool. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.
Using a small piping tip, poke a hole in the side of each doughnut. Insert the tip of the prepared piping bag into one of the doughnuts and fill with pastry cream, releasing when you feel resistance. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.
Whisk the caramel glaze to loosen and dip the top of one doughnut in the glaze to coat. Let stand on the cooling rack. Sprinkle with the chopped praline and repeat with the remaining doughnuts.
Makes 13 doughnuts