Classic cake doughnuts

These classic deep-fried cake doughnuts show how great tradition can taste.

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time30 mins
  • DifficultyMedium
50g vegetable shortening, plus more for deep frying
200g sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
240ml tinned evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
560g unbleached plain flour, plus more as needed
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground mace
1 tsp fine salt
For coating the doughnuts (optional): 200g caster sugar, or 200g caster sugar mixed with 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, or 125g sifted icing sugar
1) Melt the shortening in a small saucepan over medium heat. Set aside until cooled slightly but still liquid.

2) In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and shortening together on medium speed, until just combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla, and continue beating until the mixture is light, about 2 mins.

3) Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, mace, and salt into a medium bowl.

4) Reduce the mixer's speed to low, add the flour mixture until just combined. (The texture of the dough will be soft and loose.) Transfer the dough to a large piece of clingfilm and wrap it well. (Make sure you scrape off all the dough clinging to the paddle.) Refrigerate the dough for 4 hrs or overnight.

5) On a lightly floured work surface, roll the chilled dough out into a rectangle about 1cm thick. Dip the edges of a 7cm round doughnut cutter in flour and cut the dough into doughnuts. Place the doughnuts and holes on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

6) Put enough vegetable shortening into a tall, heavy-bottomed pot to fill it about a third of the way up. Heat the shortening over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer inserted in the oil registers 190°C. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

7) Working in batches, fry the doughnuts and holes, turning once, until they are golden brown, about 2 to 3 mins. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to the paper towels to drain and cool. Repeat until all the doughnuts and holes are fried. (Make sure the shortening returns to 190°C between batches.)

8) For sugared doughnuts, roll the doughnuts in sugar or cinnamon sugar while they are still warm. To cover the doughnuts with icing sugar, allow them to cool completely before rolling in the sugar.

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