The Perfect Strawberry Heart Donuts For Valentine’s Day

The Perfect Strawberry Heart Donuts For Valentine’s Day

Spoil your true love with these little bites of strawberry sweetness. So much better than a bunch of roses.

Makes 18
Preparation 50 minutes
Cooking 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Cake 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
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

Strawberry icing
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

METHOD
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.