Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts - Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar, then filled with a silky salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache. These are the ultimate stuffed doughnut.
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts
Oye. It’s been a rough few days. My heart hurts for New Zealand - I am heartbroken that such a thing happened in my country, which has always seemed like such a safe haven. It’s reminded me just how important unity and acceptance is, and that we must always stand in each other’s corner. Everyone is welcome here.
Something else I was reminded about though, seeing the country rally behind a community, was how instrumental food is in bringing people together. Whenever things get a bit rough or a bit stressful, either for us or for someone I love, I always find myself turning back to food. It provides a bridge - a common ground everyone can relate to, and is a way of sharing. It can speak the words that may be too difficult to say. It really is my way of expressing love, and I know that rings true for a lot of people. There are few better ways to show you’re there for someone than through providing food.
This recipe is particularly relevant today, because Doughnuts are something that I often make to bring to others if I know they are having a hard time or are in need of some support. I took my all time favourite brioche recipe, which seems to sneak its way into so many things I make, spiked it with some vanilla bean, and shaped it into balls, which I then fried up into fluffy, crunchy, sugary brioche doughnuts. You really can’t get any better than a fresh doughnut.
I then filled them with a new to me filling - a salted caramel milk chocolate ganache. The process behind this is super clever - you make a caramel, and then pour it over chocolate and emulsify it in, the same way you would with the ganache. The result is silky and fudgy, with a creaminess from the milk chocolate and a sweetness from the caramel. It makes the perfect doughnut filling - I will definitely be using it in a bunch more things to come.
Using Neutral Oil to fry Salted Caramel Doughnuts
In the past I have always used a vegetable oil or canola oil to fry with, but recently I have started using Filippo Berio’s Extra Light Olive Oil. Not only is it a more healthy option, but it is great quality and has a high smoke point (410°f - 446°f), which makes it perfect for frying. It is super light in taste, so there is no need to worry about the flavour of the oil transferring to your baked goods. It is definitely my go to from now on - I really recommend giving frying in olive oil a try and see how it goes!
A few wee tips for making Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Ganache Brioche Doughnuts
- The Ganache (which is possibly my new favourite thing) needs to cool overnight in order to firm up. It can be made ahead if desired. If you have any leftover, it makes incredible salted caramel hot chocolates when you mix it with warm milk.
- You ideally need a stick blender / emulsion blender for the ganache. It helps to emulsify the caramel, giving you a super silky finish. A stick blender is a great investment - I use mine loads for making curds and creams, and also a whole bunch for making salad dressing (It makes super quick aioli!).
- I made the brioche dough the night before, and did the first rise overnight in the fridge, which makes the process feel a little less involved.
- Make sure that you give the doughnuts adequate time to cool before filling, otherwise the ganache will melt.
- It seems like a lot of oil used, but I wait for the oil to cool once I am finished frying, then just return to the bottle and use again another time. You can use it a bunch of times before you need to dispose of it! You need it to be deep enough that the doughnuts don’t touch the bottom.
- A thermometer is super important when you are deep frying - too hot and the doughnuts won’t cook inside, and too cold and they will soak up oil and be too greasy. Make sure to test the oil between batches to make sure that it hasn’t changed too much. Frying in cast iron helps this a lot.
Related Recipes to Salted Caramel Doughnuts
- Mini Cinnamon Sugar Brioche Doughnuts
- Brioche Doughnuts with Blueberry Balsamic Cheesecake Filling
- Earl Grey Salted Caramel Tart
- Tahini Macarons Two Ways
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Answers to your baking questions
Over the years, many of you have asked me questions about:
- baking in grams
- adjusting oven temperatures
- what kind of salt to use
- and many more!
I've curated and answered them all for your easy reference in this frequently asked questions post!
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus cooling and rising time
- Yield: 12 doughnuts 1x
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts - Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar, then filled with a silky salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache.
Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Ganache
- 270g milk chocolate, chopped
- 540g heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- ¾ tsp salt
- 35g water
- 240g sugar
- 30g light corn syrup or glucose
- 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 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 vanilla bean paste
- 90g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil
- 150g sugar, for rolling doughnuts
SALTED CARAMEL MILK CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl.
- In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, place the cream, vanilla bean paste and salt, and place over low heat. You just want to warm it - not let it boil.
- In a medium heavy bottomed pan, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Place over medium heat. Cook, stirring or swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a deep amber colour. Remove from the heat and adda third of the warmed cream mixture. Be careful as it will steam and sputter. Whisk well to combine. Add the second third, combine, then add the remaining cream, and whisk until well incorporated.
- Pour a third of the the caramel cream mixture over the chopped chocolate, then cover the bowl with a lid or plate and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Mix with a stick blender to emulsify the mixture. Add the remaining caramel mixture in two additions, mixing well with the stick blender to ensure even incorporation.
- Cool the mixture to 95°f / 35°c (you can either leave it at room temperature, stirring occasionally, which will take some time, or you can pop it into the fridge, stirring and checking the temperature often), then add in the butter and mix with the stick blender to emulsify. Transfer to an airtight container and leave to set overnight in the fridge.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer to an oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, approximately 1 - 1 ½ hours. Alternatively the first rise can be done overnight in the fridge.
- Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Weigh the dough, and divide into 12 equal weight portions. Roll each portion into a tight ball. Place the rolled doughnuts on a baking tray sheet with parchment paper, leaving adequate space between (you may need two baking sheets).
- Leave the doughnuts to proof for a further 20 minutes. When you poke them lightly with your finger, it should leave a small indentation that springs back.
- While the doughnuts are proofing, heat Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot (cast iron works great). Heat the oil to 350°f / 180°c. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the sugar in a shallow bowl.
- Once the oil has come to temperature, test it with a few scraps of dough. Gently lower the doughnuts, two at a time, 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. Once the doughnuts are totally cool, poke a hole in them using a chopstick, and widen the hole using your finger.
- Transfer the chocolate ganache to a piping bag filled with a round piping tip. Fill each doughnut with the ganache - you will feel it become heavy in your hand, and will begin to come out the top a little. Pipe a small blob of ganache on the doughnut where the filling pokes out.
- Doughnuts are best served on the day that they are made.
Keywords: salted caramel, milk chocolate, ganache, brioche, donut, doughnut
I’ve been following you on Instagram for a while now. I tried your brioche doughnuts today and they were yum, except that the centre was a little uncooked in most of them. Can you help with that ?
Hi! This sounds like an oil issue - if it was too hot, the doughnuts will be brown on the outside before they cook in the middle. Keep an eye on your oil temp 🙂
These came out absolutely delicious - an absolute hit in my household!
I'm already dreaming up other uses for the chocolate salted caramel ganache
Oh yayyyy! I used it in a tart as a filling and it was so good - this one!
This filling is MY FAVORITE. takes a bit of work to make but it’s so worth it
will the filling firm up enough to use for frosting a cake? OMG! It sounds decadent and I can't wait to try!
It should? I have a recipe planned using it as the filling or frosting on a sheet cake. I don't know it would be sturdy enough for a layer cake but would definitely work for a sheet!
hi! adore this recipe. my ganache doesn’t thicken up though once cooled. is that a cream issue maybe? i can’t get heavy cream here in the netherlands so use a 35% fat one. works for other ganaches and caramels i normally make. any ideas?
Hi Laura did you ever get a reply? I live in Canada and want to make this recipe but like you we don’t have the very high 50%? Fat content here so I am wondering if it will work using the only higher fat content that we have here which is 35%. It’s nice to have the answer before wasting all these ingredients.
Hi hi! I made this recipe when I was in the US so just used 'heavy whipping cream' which should be the same fat content as in canada!
Oh that’s great news thanks for letting me know. I thought since the heavy cream listed in the ingredient was in grams and not in ml that it was the cream with the 48% fat which makes for a much more dense and thick end result. I am so happy I can attempt to make this recipe.
Hi Erin, thank you so much for this recipe ! I have a question - what weight should the donuts be ? I made 12 equal portions like you said - those were in the range of 85 to 90 grams per donut and they just did not cook through properly. I used a temperature controlled fryer and let it fry for 90 seconds on each side. I also shaped them into balls. Is that where I went wrong ? Am I supposed to make them into discs instead? Thank you so much 🙂
Hi! You can make them smaller if you are having an issue - closer to 75g, or it sounds as if you are not frying them for long enough / maybe your oil temperature is a little low! A good way is to do one as a test and time it and then cut into it and see how the middle is and then adjust your time or temperature from there! 🙂
What can I replace the eggs with in Brioche? Which will work best - Flax egg or A little yogurt?
I don't know sorry - the brioche really needs the eggs. I would look up an egg free doughnut recipe and use that as the base!
Hi! I have tried making brioche donuts many times but something always goes wrong! I feel because my kitchen is too warm the dough balls become very soft - they are so delicate to touch and place into the oil when they rise; and on frying it never comes out with the beautiful colour and signature tan line! Where could I be going wrong?!
Hi! Was that using my recipe?
These donuts are amazing. I've made them twice now. I struggle a but with the caramel though, should I be leaving it and stirring it occassionally rather than stirring it constantly ? I'm so worried I will burn it so I keep stirring it constantly.
I don’t have a thermometer for cooking, so how would I know when the oil is hot enough?
Hi! There's not really any way to tell accurately without a thermometer sorry!