I almost always start my morning with coffee. It can range from anywhere between a burning hot instant coffee and a cappuccino decorated with my bad attempts at latte art. But almost always, there’s coffee involved.
Most mornings Philip, my son, and I share a hearty oatmeal porridge breakfast. It’s healthy, taste good and the toppings are endless to spruce it up a little. Writing about sugary, buttery, chocolatey things do require a little balance.
This recipe, however, has thrown balance overboard. These donuts are not only donuts. They are brioche donuts – meaning not only are they fried in fat, there’s butter in the dough as well. And they are coated in sugar and served with ice cream. So yes. This is for those days where you want your breakfast over-the-top decadent.
You can, if you want, skip the ice cream and just enjoy a great donut on its own. But combined with the ice cream, they really are something else. It is like the most indulgent Parisian breakfasts of café au lait and fresh baked brioche on that little sidewalk café, all sunshine and blue skies.
“Café au Lait” Breakfast Donuts
Fleur de lait ice cream
5 egg yolks
100g granulated sugar
650g whole milk
50g heavy cream
40 glucose syrup
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. ice cream stabilizer*
Mix glucose syrup, milk and cream together with the salt in a pot and warm up to 45C. If using, mix ice cream stabilizer with 1 tbsp. of the sugar and add to the mixture.
Heat the milk mixture to 75C, and meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until very light and pale.
Slowly pour the mix over the egg mixture while stirring. Return to the pot and heat to 70C/160F.Blend the ice cream base with a hand blender, then pass through a fine meshed sieve. Transfer ice cream base to the fridge and allow to cool and age overnight.
Churn according to the instruction for your ice cream maker.
5g instant yeast
5g fine sea salt
2 medium eggs
2½ Tbsp. whole milk
100g butter, at room temperature, cut int 1cm/½ inch cubes
Vegetable oil, for frying
10g finely ground coffee beans
Combine flour and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl.
Mix milk and eggs and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until it just comes together. Turn the speed up to medium and add 1/3 of the butter. When it is incorporated into the dough add another 1/3. When it is completely mixed in add the remaining butter.
Take the dough out of the bowl, gather into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with cling film and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
Transfer the dough to the fridge and leave overnight.
Next day, remove the dough from fridge and allow it to temper for 10-15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface roll out the brioche dough until it is about 2cm/¾ inch thick. Use an 8cm/3inch cookie cutter to cut the brioche. Gently transfer the rounds to a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Cut out a hole in the middle of the rounds with a smaller 2cm/¾inch cookie cutter. Gather the scraps (or save the small cutouts and fry the donut holes) and reroll them once. Cut out as many donuts as possible and discard the remaining scraps of dough.
Cover the donuts with a moist dishtowel and allow to proof for another 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Mix the ground coffee and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
Heat 2-3l vegetable oil in a large pot to 175-180/350-360F. When the oil reaches the right temperature, fry the donuts a few at a time for 1½-2 minutes on each side. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack then coat in coffee sugar.
Let the donuts cool completely. Cut the donuts in half and place a scoop of ice cream on one of the halves. Top with the other half, press down gently and either serve immediately, or freeze them to be enjoyed another time..