Candice Brown's rhubarb syllabub doughnuts are the ultimate take on a classic summer dessert. Yes, they take a little effort but they are so worth it. These delicious doughnuts have fresh rhubarb in the filling and for best results, you should make them while field-grown rhubarb is in season, from April to September. The tart and tangy flavour of rhubarb needs extra sweetness to work in a dessert, so using it to fill sweet doughnuts is the perfect balance between the two flavours. Candice also has a special tip in case you don't have any white wine to hand - try using a sweet vermouth with the rhubarb instead (then make vermouth and tonics all round!). Candice Brown says: 'You can’t eat a whole one of these without licking your lips – a classic pudding rejigged in doughnut form. Tart rhubarb cooked in white wine and sugar teamed with sweet vanilla cream, both piped into soft, plump balls of deep-fried dough. What’s not to like? These are pretty big doughnuts, so if you can’t handle the size then you are better off making 12 smaller ones. (I know you will still eat two though!)'
For the dough:
- 270g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g instant yeast
- 10g salt
- 20g caster sugar, plus optional extra for dredging
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 120ml lukewarm whole milk
- 40g unsalted butter, very soft
- 1 egg
- rapeseed oil
For the filling:
- 200g fresh rhubarb, chopped into small pieces
- 2tbsp medium/sweet white wine
- 1tbsp golden caster sugar
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 150ml double cream
- 150g mascarpone cheese
- 1tbsp icing sugar
- ½tsp vanilla bean paste
To finish (optional):
- 100g icing sugar, sifted
- Put the flour in the large bowl of a free-standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Make a small well in the middle. To one side put the yeast and on the opposite side put the salt, sugar and lemon zest. Pour the lukewarm milk, the very soft butter and egg into the well.
- Mix on a low speed for 2 mins until everything is combined. Turn up the speed slightly and mix/knead for 5 mins until you have a smooth, soft dough. (You can also make the dough by hand, kneading on a lightly oiled surface for 10 minutes.)
- Turn out the dough on to a lightly oiled work surface and shape into a smooth ball. Place in a lightly greased large bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until at least doubled in size.
- Turn out the risen dough on to a lightly floured surface. Slightly knock out the air, then divide equally into either six large balls or 12 mini balls. Gently pinch and pull the outside of each ball into the middle so you get a nice smooth, round shape. Arrange the balls, not touching each other, on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Place this in a clean plastic bag and leave for 45-60 mins until doubled in size.
- Heat 10-15cm of rapeseed oil in a high-sided medium-sized saucepan or deep-fat fryer until the oil reaches 150C. Deep-fry the doughnuts in batches – no more than 3 at a time – and check the oil temperature between each batch. Carefully place the dough balls into the oil. If they are large, fry for 3 minutes on each side; fry small balls for 2 minutes on each side. When done, the doughnuts will be puffed and golden brown. Lift out with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain.
- At this point you can roll the warm doughnuts in caster sugar if you like. Put the rhubarb, white wine, golden caster sugar and orange zest in a small saucepan. Set on a low/medium heat and cook until the rhubarb is softened and the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup. Transfer 1tbsp of the syrup to a small bowl. Set the pan of rhubarb aside to cool.
- In another bowl, combine the double cream, mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla and whisk together until the mix is just thickened and will hold its shape. Spoon the cream mixture into a piping bag fitted with a fairly large round nozzle. Fill a second piping bag fitted with a fairly large, round nozzle with the rhubarb mix.
- Using a chopstick, poke 2 holes side by side into the side of each doughnut – give the chopstick a wiggle around so you create space inside the doughnut. Pipe the cream mix into one hole and the rhubarb mix into the other hole (be careful as this mix is a little thinner and may run).
- If you haven’t rolled the doughnuts in caster sugar, then make a glaze with the reserved rhubarb syrup and the icing sugar. Drizzle this over the top of the filled doughnuts.