Vanilla Maple + Coffee Crullers

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Puffed, soft, sticky and sweet. French Crullers. I didn’t actually know that they existed until a few weeks ago when I was thinking about making doughnuts and ended up coming across them. One of my greatest pleasures is a strong cup of coffee alongside a golden brown, shiny, glazed doughnut.

The only downside to making them at home is that its quite a long process. It takes hours to make, prove, shape, prove again, fry and finish. I’m very much the kind of person that would take half a day to do that but I get that not everyone is. That’s where Crullers come in. Make choux paste, pipe it, fry it and glaze it. Finished.

However, these don’t have an ordinary doughnut texture. Expect a soft airy interior that’s not sweet nor savoury; very much like a traditional baked choux. The outside stays soft but retains its shape so that the sweet glaze can rest in its grooves.

Quick, fun and delicious. I just wish I made more.

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Ingredients – makes 8 Crullers

  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 96g water
  • 5g salt
  • 5g caster sugar
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 120g strong flour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • neutral oil to fry

Coffee glaze (makes enough for 4 crullers – double if making only one glaze)

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 35ml whole milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Vanilla Maple glaze (makes enough for 4 crullers – double if making only one glaze)

  • 120g icing sugar
  • 20ml whole milk
  • 45g maple syrup
  • 1.2 tsp. vanilla extract

Method

To make the Crullers

  • Cut 8 squares of baking paper at 4.5 by 4.5 inches.
  • Place the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt into a saucepan. Have the flour and eggs weighed out ready as well as a stand mixer bowl to one side. Bring the ingredients in the pan to the boil and add in the flour. Lower the heat slightly and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the flour into the wet ingredients to make a smooth paste. Continue to cook the choux paste for a few minutes whilst moving it around the pan so it doesn’t catch. The finished paste should be smooth and not sticking to the pan.
  • Tip the hot paste into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low with the paddle attachment. Once the paste stops steaming, add in the eggs one at a time. You should be left with a smooth and shiny mix.
  • Fit a piping bag with a large star nozzle (I like to use an extra large nozzle with a closed star tip.) Put the warm choux paste into the piping bag and pipe a ring onto each piece of prepared baking paper, overlapping the end slightly. This may take practice, but you can always scrape it back into your piping bag and re-pipe (although if you do this, try to avoid getting air pockets in the piping bag or you won’t be able to pipe a continuous line.)

To fry and finish

  • Fill a pan with 3-4 inches of neutral oil and heat until it reaches between 170-180°C.  Pick up a cruller by the corners of baking paper and carefully place it into the hot oil (this can also be done by placing the cruller, on its paper, onto a slotted spoon and then into the oil.) Once slightly fried it will release from the paper. Remove the paper from under the cruller with tongs. Fry 3 or 4 at a time for around 5-6 minutes, turning over halfway. As choux paste is so delicate, if these are under baked they can collapse once cooled so make sure to fry them well. Once the crullers are a deep brown, remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper until cool.
  • For the glazes, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl. Take a cooling rack and place a tray underneath. Take a cooled cruller and place into the glaze, flipping over and coating the entire outside. Place onto the cooling rack, letting the excess glaze drip off.
  • Leave the glaze to dry for 20-30 minutes. Best served fresh!

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