salted caramel apple cider doughnuts

  • ½ cup (125ml) apple cider or sparkling apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups (335g) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ⅓ cup (75g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup (60ml) double (thick) cream
  • 1½ cups (450g) store-bought thick caramel or dulce de leche
  • 2 teaspoons smoked sea salt flakes+
  1. Place the cider and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until just warm. Place the flour, sugar and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the cider mixture and egg yolks and beat until just combined. Add the butter and cream and beat for 6–8 minutes or until a smooth sticky dough forms. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour – 1 hour 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. 
  2. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1.5cm thick. Using an 8.5cm round cookie cutter, lightly dusted in flour, cut 6 rounds from the dough. Arrange on the tray, allowing room to spread. Using a 4cm round cookie cutter, lightly  dusted in flour, cut and remove the centre of each round. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or until risen.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Bake the doughnuts for 8–10 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Allow to cool completely on the trays. Spread the doughnuts with the caramel and sprinkle with the salt to serve. Makes 6

+ Smoked salt is cold-smoked, giving it a subtle woody flavour and colour. Find it in gourmet food stores, or substitute with regular sea salt flakes.

Note: These doughnuts are best eaten on the day they are made.

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