The Purrfect Doughnut, by Kim Joy

"You’ll be a smitten kitten with these fluffy, light and proper doughnuts! As is often the case, it’s essential you set aside at least one to snack on while decorating the others. You can also give these extra purrsonality if you’re feline creative! Try adding details using fondant, royal icing, coloured chocolate (use oil-based food dyes to avoid the chocolate seizing), or decorating some simply with cocoa powder paw prints – there are many pawsibilities beyond what is shown here!

Tip: You can fry these doughnuts without a deep-fryer (I’ve never owned one). Just use a deep pan filled with oil, and a thermometer that clips to the side. It helps to check the oil temperature and keep check of the frying times.

This is fairly difficult, due to the handling of the dough, deep-frying and decorating. But if you’re confident with any of those aspects, then you’ve got an advantage already."

Bake Me A Cat by Kim-Joy (Quadrille, £16.99), Photography by Ellis Parrinder

Get baking, with Kim-Joy's recipe for Mochi Cats,Roarsome Vi-cat-oria Sponge Cake and Mochi Cats.

Ingredients for Doughnuts

  • 375g strong white flour
  • 40g caster or granulated sugar
  • 8g salt
  • 10g instant fast-action dried yeast
  • finely grated zest of ½ orange
  • 60ml water
  • 55ml whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 80g unsalted butter, softened

To decorate

  • 24–28 whole blanched almonds (plus the same again if decorating all the kitten doughnut holes)
  • 300g white chocolate (or vegan white chocolate), roughly chopped
  • Various sprinkles (optional)
  • Royal Icing plus black food dye, or 50g dark chocolate, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling and deep frying

How to make Kim-Joy's Purrfect Doughnuts

  1. If working by hand, add the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and grated orange zest (if using) to a large bowl and stir for a few seconds to distribute the ingredients evenly. 
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the water, milk and eggs together. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, and use a spoon to combine until you achieve a rough dough. Tip out the dough onto your work surface, and knead for 10–15 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough will be sticky to start with, but avoid adding too much flour – it will gradually become less sticky as you knead it. If the dough sticks to the surface, use a dough scraper to scrape it off. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth; it will still be a little tacky but that is normal.
  3. Add the butter 40g at a time and knead in. The dough may stick to the work surface but it is important to avoid adding any extra flour.
  4. Tip: If you have a bread machine or stand mixer fitted with the dough attachment, simply add all the dry ingredients, mix, then add all the wet ingredients, except the butter. Let the machine knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes, then add the butter and let the machine knead this in for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to rise until doubled in size, around 2–3 hours at room temperature.
  6. Tip: If it’s a cold day, you can speed up the rise by placing the covered dough in the oven preheated to no more than 30°C [86°F].
  7. When the dough has risen, knock it back and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 2cm [ ¾ in] thick. The dough will keep trying to shrink back every time you roll it out, so allow it to relax and shrink back a little. You can even walk away and come back to it after 10 minutes, to make it easier to roll to the desired thickness.
  8. Stamp out around 12–14 circles (I use an 8cm cutter) and carefully transfer each of these to an individual square of baking paper. Once transferred, you can cut out the centres (I use a 3cm cutter). Removing the centres after transferring to baking paper helps to make sure that each ring doughnut is even in size and shape.
  9. Reroll the dough to stamp out as many doughnuts as possible. Loosely cover the doughnuts with lightly oiled plastic wrap and leave to prove for 1–2 hours (depending on room temperature) until doubled in size.
  10. Heat enough oil for deep frying in a large, deep pan to 180–185°C [350–365°F], and try to maintain this temperature while frying the doughnuts. Fry around 3 doughnuts at a time, carefully lowering them into the oil along with the baking paper underneath (this helps them to keep their shape and prevents deflation during transfer). Use tongs or a similar utensil to remove the baking paper from the oil as quickly as possible. Fry the doughnuts for 45 seconds on each side. They should be deeply golden with a distinctive white ring around the sides (this is a good indicator that your doughnuts were proved for the right amount of time!)
  11. When the doughnuts have been fried on both sides, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Leave to cool before decorating.
  12. To decorate, insert two of the almonds into the tops of each doughnut. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave using short 10–15-second bursts and stirring after each.
  13. Dip each doughnut face down into the white chocolate until coated, then place chocolate-side up on a baking sheet. Place sprinkles on the doughnuts now, if you like. Chill in the fridge for around 20 minutes to harden.
  14. Once hardened, you can add the details. You can either make royal icing, dyed black, or melt chocolate in 15–30-second bursts in the microwave, then transfer to a piping [pastry] bag, cut a small tip and use to pipe the details. If the chocolate is too runny, chill in the fridge for 1 minute. If it’s too solid, microwave it for 5 seconds at a time. Add a sprinkle for the noses and sprinkles for the eyes, or pipe them on. Best eaten on the day they are made, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days – a short blast in the microwave will soften them.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

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