For the filling


  • STEP 1

    Ideally, for the best flavour and texture, make the dough the day before frying. Heat the milk in a small pan over a low-medium heat until steaming, then add the butter, remove from the heat and set aside until the butter has melted and the mixture is just warm to the touch.

  • STEP 2

    Weigh the flour out into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and gently mix this in using your fingers. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and ½ tsp salt to the other. Beat the egg into the tepid milk mixture, then pour this into the dry ingredients. Use your hands or dough hook attachment on your mixer to mix the ingredients until they start to clump together. Tip the dough out onto a work surface and knead for 8-10 mins until smooth and stretchy, or knead in the mixer for about 5 mins.

  • STEP 3

    Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, then cover and chill overnight to achieve the best results. If you don’t have time, leave to prove for at least 2 hrs, or until the dough has doubled in size.

  • STEP 4

    To make the filling, tip the blueberries and 2 tbsp of the sugar into a saucepan, bring to a bubble over a low-medium heat and simmer for 5 mins until syrupy. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then transfer to a piping bag and chill until needed. Mix the soft cheese with 1 tbsp sugar and the vanilla until just combined – be careful not to overmix, as this could make the soft cheese runny. Transfer to a second piping bag and chill alongside the first.

  • STEP 5

    Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, weighing about 50g each. Shape each into a tight, smooth ball and arrange on a floured baking tray, leaving plenty of room between each. Cover loosely and prove for another 30 mins-1 hr, or until the dough has doubled in size. (This depends on the temperature of the room and whether the dough was first proved in the fridge or not.)

  • STEP 6

    Fill a deep-fat fryer with oil according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or a heavy-based saucepan, ensuring it is no more than a third full. Heat to 180C or until a small cube of bread sizzles and browns within a minute. Line a plate or tray with kitchen paper and fill a shallow bowl or tray with golden caster sugar. Set both aside.

  • STEP 7

    Use a slotted spoon to carefully lower in two or three doughnuts into the fryer or pan at a time, being gentle so as not to deflate them. Fry for 2-3 mins on each side until golden brown, then transfer them to the kitchen paper to drain for a minute. Toss in the sugar to coat completely, then transfer to a plate and leave to cool. Repeat with the rest of the doughnuts in the same way, checking the temperature of the oil every now and then, and regulating the temperature, to make sure it doesn’t get too hot.

  • STEP 8

    When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, poke a skewer into the centre of each one to make space for inserting the piping bag nozzle. Fill the doughnuts with soft cheese first, pushing into the hole, then squeezing for a second or two. Repeat with the blueberry mixture. When filled, the doughnuts should feel heavy and the fillings should ooze out of the top a little. Best eaten on the same day.

Recipe tip

Twist it

Raspberry jam doughnuts
Use a chunky raspberry jam to fill the doughnuts, or use up a standard jar by mixing it with a handful of crushed fresh raspberries for extra zing.

Chocolate custard doughnuts
Melt 100g dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (or in the microwave in 20-second bursts), then mix with 200g ready-made custard. Chill for 1-2 hrs to firm up before using.

Crunchy biscuit doughnuts
Fold a handful of crushed chocolate sandwich cookies or caramel biscuits through lightly whipped cream for a filling that adds texture as well as flavour.

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