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Spiced Mini Apple Doughnuts with Caramel Sauce

Spiced Mini Apple Doughnuts with Caramel Sauce

Brought to you by: OcadoLife

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Food writer Lizzie Kamenetzky was inspired by the treats served up at German and Austrian Christmas markets when creating these Spiced Mini Apple Doughnuts with Caramel Sauce. A sweet wintry canape, they’re a festive combo of fried sweet dough, filled with apple and tossed in spiced sugar. The dough freezes brilliantly, and you can fry and fill the dinky morsels several hours before you’re ready to serve. If making the sauce in advance, keep chilled until needed, but be sure to let it warm up to a good dipping consistency for delectable dunking.
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Ingredients

  • 300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 7g sachet fast-acting yeast
  • 12 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • ½ tsp whole nutmeg, grated
  • 2 vanilla pods, halved and seeds scraped out, or 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 100ml whole milk, warmed
  • 1½ litre vegetable oil, for frying, plus extra for the bowl and baking tray
  • 4 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 tbsp calvados brandy (or use spiced rum)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1 jar 220g Bonne Maman Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 1 tbsp spiced rum
  • 2 tbsp double cream

Method

Step 1

Put the flour in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter with your fingers. Stir in the yeast and 4tbsp of the sugar. Whisk the egg, nutmeg and half the vanilla into the warmed milk, then add to the flour. Stir, then bring together with your fingers until it starts to clump into a soft dough. Tip onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 mins, until supple.

Step 2

Clean and lightly oil the bowl, return the dough; cover with a clean tea towel. Leave in a warm place for 1 hr or so, until doubled in size.

Step 3

Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the apples, 2-3tbsp of the caster sugar, the lemon juice, cloves and remaining vanilla in a pan and add a small splash of water. Cook gently for 5-10 mins, until the apples are mushy, adding more water if they start to dry out. Fish out and discard the vanilla pod and cloves; whizz with a stick blender until smooth, adding the calvados (or rum). Spoon into a piping bag with a small round nozzle (or snip the end off a disposable piping bag). Set aside.

Step 4

In a separate dish, make the spiced sugar by combining the remaining 5tbsp caster sugar with the cinnamon and cardamom (if using).

Step 5

Once the dough has risen, use your hands to knock it back and knead briefly, then press it out into a large round about 1cm thick. Use a 3½cm cutter to cut out rounds, re-kneading the trimmings to get as many as you can. Roll each round into a ball, pinching underneath to give a smooth top, and place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Cover and leave to rise for 1 hr, until doubled in size again. (They can be frozen at this point: freeze on the tray then keep in sealed bags until needed. Defrost fully and bring to room temperature before frying.)

Step 6

For the caramel sauce, warm the sauce with the rum and cream. Simmer for 1 min; pour into a bowl.

Step 7

Once the dough has risen, pour the vegetable oil into a large, deep pan and heat to 170°C, or until a cube of bread browns in 30-40 secs. Line a tray with kitchen towel and have the dish of spiced sugar on hand. Fry the doughnuts in batches of about 6 for 2-3 mins, turning to brown evenly. Scoop out with a slotted spoon, drain on the kitchen towel, then toss in the spiced sugar.

Step 8

Use a metal skewer to make a hole in each doughnut and pipe in as much of the apple mixture as you can. Serve with the caramel sauce on the side for dunking. If you like, you can fry and fill them a good few hours before you want to serve.

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