We’re excited to have celebrity chef, author of My Italian Kitchen, TV personality and restaurant owner, Laura Sharrad, share some of her favourite recipes. Check out her delectable Crème Brûlée Doughnuts.
Makes 12 doughnuts
*Use a premade custard if you prefer.
- 1 cup lukewarm milk
- 1 tbs dried yeast
- ⅓ cup caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 4¼ cups plain flour
- 4 tbs soft butter
- 2 tsp salt
- Oil, for greasing and frying
- ½ cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- 3 tbs cornstarch
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tsp vanilla paste
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- Whisk the milk, yeast, and 1 tsp of the sugar together. Let the mixture sit for 10–15 minutes until foamy.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the yeast mixture. Stir well to combine.
- Add the yeast mixture, flour, butter, salt, and remaining sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and start on low speed, working up to medium speed, to combine the dough. Knead for 5–10 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic.
- Place the dough in a large, lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free environment for 1–2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Punch the risen dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out until about 1–1.5cm thick.
- Use a 7.5cm biscuit or cookie cutter to cut rounds from the dough. Knead the remaining dough back into a ball and continue to roll it out and cut rounds until you’ve used up the dough.
- Place the rounds on a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving about 2.5cm of room between each round. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow them to rise for 20–30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Heat the oil in a large pot to 180°C. Working in batches, carefully place a few rounds into the hot oil. Cook for 1–2 minutes (or until golden brown), then flip and cook for another minute or until golden.
- Remove the rounds with a slotted spoon and allow the doughnuts to drain on a paper towel-lined plate while you fry the rest.
- Whisk the sugar, salt, and cornstarch together. Beat the egg yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl until smooth. Add the dry mixture to the egg yolks and continue to beat until combined and pale yellow (about 1 minute).
- Heat the milk in a saucepan over a medium-high heat until it comes to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully ladle the milk into the egg yolk mixture while whisking to avoid lumps. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return it to the stovetop over a medium heat.
- While continuously whisking, heat the mixture until bubbling and completely thickened. Remove the pot from the heat. Whisk the vanilla and butter into the custard until smooth, then transfer the custard to a bowl.
- Cover the custard with plastic wrap, carefully pressing the plastic directly against the surface of the custard to avoid a skin forming. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours or until completely cooled.
Fill & Brûlée
- Add the custard to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. Insert a skewer or chopstick into each doughnut to create a pocket and fill each doughnut with custard.
- Add the sugar and water for the caramel (brûlée) to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the mixture starts bubbling, reduce the heat to medium. Give the pan a gentle swirl occasionally until the caramel turns golden. Take the pan off the heat and swirl the pan until the colour deepens slightly.
- Wearing gloves and working very carefully (as the caramel is very hot), dip the top of each doughnut into the caramel. Lift the doughnut from the caramel and tilt it (away from your fingers) to let the excess drip for a few seconds, then place the doughnut aside to let it cool.
- Repeat with the remaining doughnuts. If you find the caramel in the pot is getting too stiff, return it to the heat, swirling the pan, until it warms up and becomes running again.
Originally from Melbourne before relocating to McLaren Vale in South Australia, Laura Sharrad grew up with a wooden spoon in her hand cooking beside her nonnas. Her rich Italian heritage has played a heavy hand in her epicurean journey, which was further strengthened after living in Tuscany. A former MasterChef contestant and an extensively trained chef, the impressive career of this now-25-year-old has leapt from strength to strength. Laura recently opened her own restaurant, Nida Bar and Pasta, with her husband and fellow chef, Max Sharrad. With another restaurant and cookbook in the works, Laura says the long‑term dream is to buy a property on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, teach students to cook and grow produce for a small sustainable restaurant.