Not only do these donuts look the part, but every bite is full of traditional Christmas flavour.
Preparation 40 mins
Cooking 15 mins
For the donuts
80 g (2¾ oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
110 g (3¾ oz/1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
185 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) milk
235 g (81/2 oz/¾ cup) fruit mince
550 g (1 lb 4 oz/32⁄3 cups) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
A good pinch of fine sea salt
Vegetable, canola or rice bran oil, for deep-frying
220 g (7¾ oz/1 cup) sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Brandy icing
125 g (41/2 oz/1 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar
2 teaspoons imitation brandy essence
3 teaspoons boiling water
Red and green sprinkles
1 Cream the butter and sugar together in a large standmixer for 3 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla essence, milk and fruit mince and mix until just combined.
2 Sift the flour and salt over the mixture in the bowl. Mix until just combined, but do not overmix or the dough will become tough.
3 Lightly flour a clean surface, turn the dough out onto it and, using lightly floured hands, gently bring it together. Knead gently for a few seconds until the dough becomes smooth. Using a floured rolling pin, gently roll the dough out to a 1 cm (1/2 inch) thickness. Using a floured 8 cm (31/4 inch) round cookie cutter, cut out rounds from the dough, making sure you cut them as close together as possible. Re-roll any off-cuts and cut out more rounds until you have 12 in total. Use a floured 3 cm (11/4 inch) round cookie cutter to cut out holes from the centre of each larger circle.
4 Combine the sugar and cinnamon, for coating the donuts, in a deep, heatproof bowl.
5 Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat until it reaches 180°C (350°F). Deep-fry the donuts in batches, turning occasionally, for 2-3 minutes each, or until puffed, golden and cooked through. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly then, while still hot, roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat on all sides. Allow to cool.
6 Whisk all the ingredients for the brandy icing together until well combined and smooth.
7 Drizzle the icing over the donuts. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking tray, then top with the sprinkles. Allow to set before serving.
The Carousel thanks Tracey Meharg for this recipe from her book Donuts: Sticky-hot donut recipes to make at home.