Champagne Custard Doughnuts










We toasted in the New Year with these champagne custard doughnuts.  Aren't they beautiful?

After staying in this year - no crowded party or loud conversations or driving home in the cold, but just the two of us - we slept in late on New Year's Day and then mixed up a soft dough for doughnuts.  I love peeking under the towel at a bowl of warm dough, to see it rising steadfastly towards the top.  The night before, after popping the cork off a bottle of champagne, I had reduced a cup of the champagne to reserve for the custard.  Have you ever had champagne custard?

The custard was lovely, silky and smooth, flavored unexpectedly by the champagne reduction.  The doughnuts were pillowy soft, and while they were warm, I coated them in sugar and filled them with the chilled custard.  The crisp crust of sugar clung to our lips; the soft custard inside melted on our tongues.

We opened another bottle of champagne, for cranberry mimosas, and relaxed all day long, eating doughnuts, sipping champagne, and enjoying our last few days of vacation before it was time to go back to work.












Champagne Custard Doughnuts
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Doughnuts.
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, between 110-115 degrees F
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • oil, for frying
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, for coating the doughnuts
Custard.
  • 1 cup champagne
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Dough.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; let stand for 5 minutes until foamy.  Add the remainder of the 1/4 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, salt, nutmeg, eggs and butter.  Use the dough hook to mix until combined, then knead for about 5 minutes, gradually adding the remaining 1/2 cup flour.  The dough should be soft and pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Place the dough in a greased bowl and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.

On a floured surface, gently roll the risen dough out to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into doughnuts with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter.  Place the doughnuts two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover loosely and set in a warm place to rise a second time until puffed like little pillows.

Custard.
Meanwhile, make the custard.  Pour the champagne into a saucepan.  Over medium high heat, reduce the champagne to 1/4 cup.  Whisk in the milk, sugar, and salt.  Whisk in the egg yolks, then the corn starch.  Cook over medium low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla until smooth.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate until well chilled.  The custard can be made a day in advance.

Frying.
Fill a large, flat-bottomed saucepan with 3 inches of oil.  Heat the oil to 365.  Working with a few at a time to maintain steady oil temperature, fry the doughnuts for 1 minute on each side, until golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to drain.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then generously coat in sugar.  Poke a hole in the side of each doughnut, fill a piping bag with the chilled custard and fill each doughnut with custard.

Yields one dozen doughnuts.  Doughnuts are best the same day they're made.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen