Parma Violet Blueberry Doughnuts
Yep, you heard right. Parma violet inspired doughnuts. Am I taking you down a trip to memory lane? If you’ve got no idea what I’m talking about you’re probably a millennial or younger (I hope you’ve got permission to be using the internet, by the way). I’m just a wise old 80’s girl trying to relive the fabulously retro flavours of my youth. And guys, it REALLY works with this recipe. The blueberry compote and violet flavours mesh beautifully together- my only advice would be don’t worry about overdoing it with the amount of sugared violets you use. They’ve got a really mild flavour against the blueberry so go crazy- this is a case where more definitely IS more.
These fluffy, oozy, delicious doughnuts were inspired by my husband and a fast approaching Valentine’s day. I’m not great with buying Paul presents, he’s way too fussy and I have zero patience for browsing the shops to be honest. But he does love a doughnut bless him. Or 5. He also claims that I smell of Parma violets. You know how were all supposed to have our own natural scent? Well, mine is that apparently. I’m not sure how I feel about that, I think there are better natural scents to be had. It just seems a bit old fashioned, like the perfume your Nan wears, the one she’s always sworn by since her 30’s and hasn’t looked back since.
Buy hey ho, Parma violet doughnuts it is. One of the best baking decisions of my life may I add. He ate 8 of them in 2 days! (my kids ate 4 and the other 2 magically went missing shortly after they were baked… how strange.)
Here’s the recipe and remember, there’s not really a limit on how much violet you roll them in, it’s personal taste!
Makes 12-15 Doughnuts (depending on your cutter size)
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes
For the Doughnuts:
320ml full fat milk, warmed to 95°F/35°C
10g active dried yeast or 7g (1 sachet) instant yeast
115g butter, softened
50g caster sugar
650g plain flour
1 tsp salt
Canola oil (ideal) or Sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying
For the Blueberry Compote filling:
300g frozen blueberries
75g granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp powdered sugared violets (optional)
30g of sugared violets (I bought mine online), blitzed to a powder (optional)
Five 7g packs of swizzles Parma violet sweets, blitzed to a powder (optional)
Caster sugar, for rolling
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk milk and yeast until combined. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
Beat in the eggs, softened butter, sugar and salt into the yeast mixture. Add half of the flour and mix until combined, then mix in the rest of the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour, 1 tbsp at a time, if the dough is too wet. Keep mixing on a medium speed until the dough is soft and smooth. Grease a large bowl with a little oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, and cover. Let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the blueberry compote. Combine half of the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Simmer over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the blueberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in a tsp of powdered sugared violets (for an extra Parma violet hit). Set aside to cool.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll it to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out the doughnuts with a doughnut cutter, or a chef’s ring (like I did), flouring the cutter as you go. Knead any scraps together, being careful not to overwork, and let rest for a few minutes before repeating the process.
Put the doughnuts on two parchment lined baking trays (or cut out parchment squares big enough to sit under the doughnut as it rises- this makes it easier to lift with a spatula when frying) so that there is plenty of room between each one. Cover with a lightweight kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until they are slightly puffed up and delicate, about 45 minutes.
About 15 minutes before the doughnuts are done rising, put enough oil to reach half way up (or at least 3 inches) in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan. Heat over a medium heat until the oil reaches 375°F; adjust the heat to maintain this temperature. Meanwhile, cover two cooling racks with kitchen paper.
Using a metal spatula, carefully lift the doughnuts and slide them into the oil, a couple at a time. Don’t worry if they deflate a bit; they’ll puff back up as they fry. When the bottoms are nice and golden, after 45 seconds to a minute, use a slotted spoon to flip; fry until they’re well golden all over. Transfer the doughnuts to the prepared racks, and repeat with the rest of the dough, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the oil at 375°F. Allow the doughnuts to cool for 5 minutes
Meanwhile, in a shallow tray, combine caster sugar and powdered violets.
Fill a piping bag with the cooled blueberry compote and snip the end off (make sure it’s wide enough so there’s no bitty blueberry blockages!)
Using a standard knife, make a small hole in the side of each doughnut. Move it around to make sure there is a big hole in the centre of the doughnut, all the way to the end.
Insert the piping tip and pipe as much compote as the doughnut will allow. When you pull the piping tip out, the compote should ooze out a little bit. Roll the doughnuts in the sugar violet mixture until fully coated.
Enjoy, you’ve earned it!