Cheesecake and doughnuts are two of our favourite things. It's a no-brainer to combine the two, adding salted caramel for dipping and drizzling.
- 7 gm dried yeast (about 1 sachet)
- 170 ml lukewarm milk
- 55 gm caster sugar (¼ cup)
- 40 gm butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 350 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting (2 cups)
- For deep-frying: vegetable oil
- 200 gm caster sugar
- 60 gm salted butter, coarsely chopped
- 125 ml pouring cream (½ cup)
- 250 gm cream cheese, at room temperature
- 100 gm firm ricotta
- 40 gm caster sugar
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 220 gm caster sugar (1 cup)
- 30 gm digestive biscuits (about 3), coarsely crushed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1Stir yeast and 60ml warm water in a bowl to combine, and set aside until foamy (5-7 minutes), then place in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook with milk, sugar, butter, egg, half the flour and 1 tsp fine sea salt, and knead on low speed, gradually adding remaining flour, until a sticky dough forms (4-5 minutes; dough will be quite wet). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, dust with a little extra flour, form into a ball, then transfer to a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (1-1½ hours).
- 2Roll out dough on a floured surface to a thickness of 1.5cm. Cut out rounds with a floured 8cm-diameter cutter and place 2cm apart on trays lined with baking paper. Re-roll scraps and repeat, then cover and set aside until doubled in size (45 minutes to 1 hour).
- 3Meanwhile, for salted caramel, stir sugar and 60ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and cook until caramel (4-5 minutes). Add butter, whisk to combine, then add cream (be careful, mixture will foam up) and 1 tsp sea salt or to taste and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- 4For cheesecake filling, process all ingredients in a small food processor until smooth, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 5mm plain nozzle and set aside.
- 5For cinnamon sugar crumb, combine all ingredients and ½ tsp salt in a bowl, then spread on a tray and set aside.
- 6Heat oil in a large saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C. Deep-fry doughnuts in batches, turning once, until golden and cooked through (3-4 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Transfer with a slotted spoon to cinnamon sugar crumb and toss to coat. Pierce base of each doughnut with piping tube and pipe a little cheesecake filling into each and serve warm with salted caramel, scattered with extra cinnamon crumb.
Note When you're making caramel, stir water and sugar over heat until sugar dissolves, then let mixture boil without stirring but swirling the pan so the caramel cooks and colours evenly, brushing down the sides with a pastry brush to remove sugar crystals.