Coffee and donuts are a classic morning breakfast that so many of us crave. In fact, that craving is universal, and based in science. Researchers have found that the combination of the caffeine and glucose help rev up the brain, increasing attention and memory.
These sweet, Espresso Custard-Filled Donuts, paired with a rich White Chocolate Hazelnut Café au lait, using oat milk, make for a simple, yet satisfying, breakfast combination, perfect to get you started in the morning.
Espresso Custard-Filled Donuts
2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2/3 cup whole milk
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
7 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
For the coating, 1 cup granulated sugar
For frying, canola oil
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the dough hook (you can also prepare by mixing by hand), combine yeast and milk, and allow yeast to dissolve. Add flour, sugar, salt and eggs to yeast/milk mixture, and mix on low speed until the dough begins to come together, approximately 3 minutes.
Add butter, 1-2 Tbsp at a time, mixing after each addition, until butter is incorporated into dough. Once combined, and dough is soft, wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. You can leave it in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.
Once chilled, remove from refrigerator. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper lightly oiled with cooking spray, or butter, the set aside. Place the dough on a floured work surface and gently roll the dough into a 12” square, about ½” thick. Cut the dough into 9 pieces using a 3-1/2” round cutter. Transfer dough to baking sheet and cover with a lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place until they have doubled in height, about 2-3 hours.
When ready, over medium-high heat, heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan with oil, around 3” deep, until it reaches 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with paper towels, or place a wire rack on the sheet, for draining.
Working with 2-3 donuts at a time, place them in hot oil and fry until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Carefully turn donuts over and fry for 2-3 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to remove, place donuts on the lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough.
Once the donuts are cool enough to handle, dredge them in the sugar and evenly coat. Return donuts to baking sheet to allow to cool for 30 minutes before filling.
While donuts are cooling, prepare the Espresso Custard filling.
To fill the donuts, poke a hole in the side of each donut, and fill with pastry cream.
Donuts are best the day they are made.
2 cups whole milk
¼ cup, plus 1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp freshly ground espresso powder (Get recipe here)
2 large eggs yolks
1 large egg
¼ cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
Combine milk, ¼ cup sugar and homemade espresso powder in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together eggs yolks, whole egg, 1/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch.
Once milk begins to boil, remove pot from heat, and ladle a small stream of milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously to prevent the eggs from curdling. Continue to add more of the milk mixture, whisking, until about half of the milk mixture is incorporated into the eggs. Pour mixture back into sauce pan. Continue to cook whisking constantly, until it begins to thicken and have pudding consistency.
Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla, stirring to incorporate. Place in a heat-safe bowl and cover with plastic (directly on the custard) and refrigerate until mixture has cooled to at least room temperature.