These doughnuts are complicated to make, but totally worth your time and effort. The dough is light with a crisp outside filled with a delicious crème pâtissière and homemade honeycomb. You won't be able to stop eating these once they're out of the pan.
Honeycomb Doughnuts [Vegan]
For the Honeycomb:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Coconut oil, for greasing
For the Crème Pâtissière:
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1 2/3 cups soy milk
- 2/3 cups cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- A handful of honeycomb
For the Dough:
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups flour
To Make the Honeycomb:
- Place the cane sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan on a low heat until the cane sugar is no longer visible.
- Now turn up the heat to medium, and place a candy thermometer in the saucepan.
- Bring the sugar mix up to a hard crack – around 300° F. Don’t stir the sugar, but you can swivel the pot around if you wish.
- When the sugar has reached the correct stage, take off the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda with a wooden spoon. Do this fast, and pour into your greased dish to set.
- After about an hour, it’s ready to crack into smaller pieces.
To Make the Crème Pâtissière:
- Place the flour and 1/4 of the milk in a bowl and whisk it well until it's completely smooth.
- Now add this flour mixture and the rest of the milk to a saucepan on a low heat.
- Whisk in the sugar, coconut oil, and lemon juice until the crème thickens.
- Lastly, add in the vanilla and take the saucepan off the heat.
- Transfer the crème pâtissière to a bowl and add plastic wrap on top – it should touch the top of the crème to avoid creating a skin. Once cooled, break the honeycomb into small pieces and stir it through the crème.
To Make the Dough:
- Stir together the warm water, dry yeast, and cane sugar in a bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes until it starts to froth up.
- Pour in the aquafaba, olive oil, and sea salt. Mix it well.
- Finally, add in the flour. Start kneading as soon as it comes together. Keep going for 7-8 minutes, adding more flour as needed. The dough should be slightly sticky, but not so sticky that it sticks to the worktop.
- Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with cling film and a tea towel and leave to rise for about 45 minutes.
To Make the Doughnuts:
- After the dough has had its first rise, punch it down lightly and knead for another two minutes or so.
- Now, you can either roll out the dough and make rounds using a doughnut or cookie cutter, or you can, like I did, just divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and roll into balls, like as if you were making buns. Cover the dough balls with floured plastic wrap and leave to rise a second time for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat up of canola oil in a pot to a temperature of 375° F.
- When the oil is at the right temperature, add the doughnuts in one by one and fry until golden brown, flip over and fry until the other side is golden brown too. This should take around 30-45 seconds per side. You can also do a few at a time – just make sure you’re not overcrowding the pot.
- Once fried, place them on a plate covered with kitchen roll to soak up some of the excess oil, and then dip in a bowl full of cane or white sugar.
- Once the doughnuts have cooled to around room temperature (it’s okay if they’re still a little warm), fill a piping bag with the honeycomb crème pâtissière and stick it into the sides of the doughnuts and fill them up.
- Put a piece of honeycomb on top of the hole where you filled them.