Preparation 50 minutes
Cooking 20 minutes
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
500 g (1 lb 2 oz/31⁄3 cups) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
A good pinch of fine sea salt
20 g (¾ oz/11/2 cups) freeze-dried strawberries
Vegetable, canola or rice bran oil, for deep-frying
125 g (41/2 oz/1 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons imitation strawberry essence
1 tablespoon milk
6 drops of pink food colouring
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 and milk and mix until just combined.
2 Sift the flour and salt over the mixture in the bowl. Add half of the freeze-dried strawberries and 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 6 cm (21/2 inch) heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts from the dough, making sure you cut them as close together as possible. Re-roll any off-cuts and cut out more hearts until you have 18 in total.
4 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 allow to cool.
5 Whisk all the ingredients for the strawberry icing together in a bowl until well combined and smooth.
6 Transfer the donuts to a wire rack set over a baking tray. Drizzle the icing over the cooled donuts. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining freeze-dried strawberries, then allow to set before dusting with extra icing sugar and serving.
The Carousel thanks Tracey Meharg for this recipe from her book Donuts: Sticky-hot donut recipes to make at home.