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Brioche Donuts | Hands On Gourmet

Makes about 12 donuts

Ingredients

For the Donuts

1 package of dry yeast (¼ ounce = 2½ teaspoons)
2 tablespoons warm water 105-115°
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour plus additional for sprinkling and rolling out dough
1 cup whole milk at room temperature
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt

Sugar to coat hot donuts

For the Chocolate Sauce

¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sugar
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

For the Caramel Sauce

¾ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 ½ cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons orange juice
(or)
3 tablespoons whiskey *optional

Special Equipment

Rolling pin
1 to 2 inch round cutter
Fry thermometer
Stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment *you can knead by hand if no mixer is available
Stainless mixing bowl
Mesh spider

Instructions

For the Donuts

In the stand mixing bowl, whisk together yeast and warm water until dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

In the yeast bowl add: flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar and salt. Run mixer at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium high and beat an additional 3 minutes.

Sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep crust from forming). Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out a ½ inch thick sheet. Cut out as many rounds as possible with cutter.

Place donuts on a lightly floured baking sheet.  Cover donuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes more.

Heat oil in deep fry pot to 350º.  Fry donuts, turning occasionally with a mesh spider or slotted spoon until puffed and golden brown; about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer hot donuts to the sugar bowl and shake.

For the Chocolate Sauce

Place the chocolate in the stainless mixing bowl. Place it on top of a pot of simmering water. Occasionally stir it with a rubber spatula until it melts. In another pot heat the cream and sugar together and bring to a simmer. When the chocolate melts, slowly whisk in the cream mixture in a slow steady stream. You might need more cream, depending on the thickness of the sauce.

For the Caramel Sauce

Combine water and sugar in a non-reactive saucepan. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Let mixture boil gently, without stirring! It will take about 10 minutes for a light amber color to start showing. As sugar darkens in color it is okay to swirl the pan, but do not use any utensils to stir the sugar. If crystals form on the side of the pan, dip a pastry brush in water and brush down the sides of the pan.

When sugar is the desired caramel color, remove pan from heat and add the OJ (whiskey) and cream. The mixture will boil vigorously. Return to the heat and stir the sauce with a spoon. It will thicken a bit more and get slightly darker, and then it is done.

Plate the caramel sauce and top with one or two fried banana pieces.

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