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Mini Pastry Cream Filled Brioche Doughnuts

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Mini Pastry Cream Filled Brioche Doughnuts



Doughnut dough

  • 1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
  • 250g (1 cup) whole milk, lukewarm
  • 4 Tbsp (50g) sugar
  • 565g (3 ¾ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Heilala vanilla bean paste
  • 90g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Neutral oil for frying

Vanilla Pastry Cream

To Finish

  • 500g Sugar, divided into 100g portions
  • For Vanilla Sugar: add ½ tsp vanilla bean powder to 100g sugar
  • For Coffee Sugar: add ½ tsp espresso powder to 100g sugar
  • For Strawberry Sugar: add ½ tsp Freeze Dried strawberry powder to 100g sugar
  • For Pumpkin Spice Sugar: add ½ tsp pumpkin spice to 100g sugar
  • For Cocoa sugar: add ½ tsp cocoa to 100g sugar



  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk and 2 Tbsp of the sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla, and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth.
  4. Transfer to an oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place overnight in the fridge to rise (see notes).


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl. 
  2. In a medium pot, warm the milk and vanilla paste until there is movement just around the edges of the milk - do not bring it to the boil. 
  3. Remove the milk from the heat, and, whisking constantly, add half of the milk mixture into the egg and cornflour mixture to temper the egg yolks. Whisk briskly for 30 seconds. Transfer the milk-yolk mixture back to the pot, and return to a medium heat. Whisk constantly until very thick. 
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, mixing well until totally combined. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes, whisking occasionally. 
  5. Weigh the pastry cream and divide into four if flavouring. Add ¾ tsp each flavour of Heilala infused vanilla extract to each portion of pastry cream. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of each portion of pastry cream and place in the fridge to cool completely.


  1. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Roll until it is ½” thickness.
  2. Using a 1 ¾” round cutter, cut out circles of dough. Repeat until you have cut out all of the dough - scraps can be pressed together and re-rolled. I like to use the scrap ones for the first test fry, as they sometimes turn out a little wonky.
  3. Lightly cover the cut-out doughnuts with plastic wrap, and leave to rise for 45-50 minutes, until puffy. When you poke them lightly with your finger, it should leave a small indentation that springs back.
  4. In the last 15-20 minutes of the doughnuts proofing, heat neutral oil to 350°f / 180°c in a large heavy-bottomed pot (cast iron works great). Place a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix up the flavoured sugars, if using.
  5. Once the oil has come to temperature, test it with a few scraps of dough, or your doughnuts you cut from the re-rolled dough. Gently lower the doughnuts, up to six at a time (depending on the size of your pot), into the hot oil. Cook , flipping every 30 seconds, for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 30 seconds before tossing in the sugar. Repeat the process with the rest of the doughnuts.
  6. Allow the doughnuts to cool completely, then, using a chopstick or paring knife, cut a hole in each doughnut. Transfer the pastry cream to piping bags either with the end snipped off or fitted with a round piping tip.
  7. Fill each doughnut with pastry cream (correspond the pastry cream flavour to the tossed sugar flavour if you are using different flavours of pastry cream), piping a small blob on the top of each. Sprinkle with a corresponding garnish (I used valrhona crispy pearls, pumpkin spice, espresso powder, a little piece of vanilla bean, and a sprinkle of freeze-dried strawberry powder on the strawberry vanilla ones.
  8. Best eaten on the day that they are made.


Pastry cream adapted from Bouchon bakery