salted caramel apple cider doughnuts

  • ½ cup (125ml) apple cider or sparkling apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 
  • 2¼ cups (335g) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting 
  • ⅓ cup (75g) caster (superfine) sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons dried 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 salt flakes+
  1. Heat the apple cider and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat 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 warm apple cider 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. 
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 1–1½ hours or until doubled in size.
  3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1½cm thick. Using an 8½cm round cookie cutter, cut out 6 rounds from the dough. 
  4. Place on a large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, allowing room to spread. Using a 4cm round cutter, cut the inside of each round and remove. Set aside for 30 minutes or until risen. 
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Cook the doughnuts for 8–10 minutes or until golden and puffed. Set aside to cool completely. Spread the top half of the doughnuts with the caramel* and sprinkle with the smoked 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 salt flakes.

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