Hot X Doughnuts

Photographer: Charlie
Makes 20

For me Easter is about finding the perfect hot cross bun, scouring the city for weeks hunting out the perfect fruit to spice ratio. A quick kiss under the grill, topped with a proper slice of butter is the only way to start an Autumn Sunday morning.

I wanted to make a desert this Easter that highlights my favourite Easter treat. A doughnut with all the hallmarks of a great hot cross bun, filled with sultanas soaked in whisky, lashings of peel and a perfect balance of spice. Once fried to golden glory fill these till plump with a thick whiskey and vanilla custard. In case you were wondering what we did with the rest of the whisky, I can confirm that a hot chocolate spiked with a dash of the good stuff completed my ultimate Easter treat.


1 cup whisky
1 ½ cups sultanas
3 cups plain flour
60g chilled butter
½ tsp salt
¼ cup caster sugar + ½ cup extra
2 tsp mixed spice
1 ½ tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp extra
10 g instant yeast
1 egg
¾ cup warm water
1 cup mixed peel

Hot X Dougnut paste
¼ cup plain flour
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp chilled water approx.

Custard (Make the night before)
2 cups full cream milk
2 egg yolks
¼ cups sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 Vanilla pod
2 Tbsp reserved whisky


Hot X Doughnuts
1. Pour whisky over sultanas and leave to soak in an air tight container for at least 24 hours.
2. Strain the sultanas and reserve the liquid.
3. Combine flour and butter in medium bowl, rub in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in salt, caster sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon and yeast.
4. Place flour mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook; add the sultanas, peel, warm water and egg; beat, about 10 mins on low speed, until it forms a soft and slightly sticky dough.
5. Remove from bowl, place on a lightly floured surface, kneed by hand 2-3 minutes until smooth and elastic.
6. Divide into 20 even portions and roll each into a ball, then place on a lightly floured surface allowing room for expansion.
5.Combine all Hot X Doughnut paste into a small bowl. Pipe crosses on top of each ball. Allow the dough to prove in a warm place for 45 minutes.
6.Heat oil in a large saucepan, using a thermometer heat to 180˚C. Lower the dough balls gently into the oil and fry each side for 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown. Carefully remove the doughnuts allowing the oil to drain for a few minutes. Toss in combined extra caster sugar and cinnamon until well coated.
7.Just before serving inject with Thick Whisky & Vanilla Custard.

Whisky & Vanilla Custard.
1. In a small saucepan heat milk until bubbles form around edge. Remove from heat.
2. Remove seeds from vanilla pods and place in a medium sized mixing bowl with egg yolks, sugar and flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the hot milk.
3. Transfer to back to the saucepan adding the vanilla pod. Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring until mix comes to a simmer. Cook for a further 1 minute or until the mixture thickens.
4. Remove from heat and refrigerate, until thick (overnight is best). Just before serving stir 2-3 tbsp of the left over whisky used to soak the sultanas.