Friday, 10 April 2015

White Chocolate, Coconut and Pistachio Muffins

These muffins are like a little breakfast day dream.

They combine so many glorious ingredients, white chocolate, pistachios, coconut, a glorious sprinkling of demerara sugar. 

I wasn't actually planning to post this recipe, I just whipped up a batch for my sister but as soon as I tasted them I knew I had to share the deliciousness with you all.

I used homemade sweetened grated coconut to top my muffins, you can find my recipe here: Brown Sugar Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

Follow the instructions for making my toasted coconut but bake the coconut for the initial 40 minutes only (at 100C) and then remove from the oven and allow to cool before using. You do not want to toast the coconut yet as it will toast in the oven as the muffins are baking.

You can uses sweetened, unsweetend, grated, desiccated or shaved coconut to top these muffins so feel free to use what you have handy.

White Chocolate, Coconut and Pistachio Muffins

Makes 10 large muffins

For the Muffins:

250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder 
3/4 tsp salt
110g unsalted butter, room temperature
165g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste
125ml milk
85g white chocolate, chopped into chunks

For the Topping:

20g pistachios, finely chopped
25g grated, shaved or desiccated coconut
20g demerara sugar 

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Line a 12-hole muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases and set aside.

Begin by making your topping: combine the chopped pistachios, grated coconut and demerara sugar in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla paste and beat until combined.

Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk and beat on a low speed just to combine. Do not over mix. Gently fold in the white chocolate chunks, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Divide the batter between the 12 holes of your prepared muffin tray, sprinkle the top of each muffin with the pistachio and coconut topping, turn the oven down to 170 C  and bake for around 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of one of the muffins comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Macarons

Salted Caramel Macarons are almost certainly one of mankind's greatest achievements. I mean really, have you ever tasted anything more jaw droopingly delicious? 

The very first macaron I ever ate was a Salted Caramel Macaron and I was lucky enough to be eating it in Paris. My infatuation was instant and I made my first ever batch of macarons the very day I landed back in the UK. 

These delicious little macarons combine not one but two of the most delicious things known to man, salted caramel and chocolate.

My Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Macarons are sandwiched together with silky smooth Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Ganache and an extra drizzle of Salted Caramel for good measure.

You will probably have a little salted caramel left over, I highly recommend adding a teaspoon or two to your coffee or drizzling the caramel over ice cream or hot chocolate.

Salted Caramel

150ml double cream
150ml golden syrup
75ml sour cream
sea salt to taste

Combine the double cream and golden syrup in a large heavy based saucepan. Place over a medium heat and allow to bubble for around 10 minutes until thick. Do not stir.

Remove the pan from the heat and without stirring, pour the caramel into a clean bowl and allow to cool before adding the salt to taste.

Caramel Macarons

160g icing sugar
160g ground almonds 
5g cocoa powder

4 medium egg whites, separated into two equal batches

160g caster sugar
50ml water

Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sieve together the icing sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the first batch of egg whites (unbeaten) to the almond mixture but do not mix. Set aside.

Tip the second batch of egg whites into the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.  

Place the 50ml water and the caster sugar into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup registers 110C on a sugar thermometer, at which time start beating the egg whites in the stand mixer on a high speed. Once the syrup has reached 118C remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour it slowly down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the still spinning whisk. Continue to whisk on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and you have a shiny peaked meringue mixture - the bowl should no longer be hot to the touch, but still warm. 

Tip the meringue onto the almond mixture and gently fold together. It is important not to over-mix the batter - it should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula. The ribbon should fade back into the batter within about 30 seconds - if it does not, fold a few more times.

Heat the oven to 170C/160C Fan/ gas 3-4. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle. Pipe rounds onto the prepared baking sheets, knock the air out of the macarons by giving the bottom of the tray a whack on the kitchen counter and leave to rest for 30 minutes, or until the macarons have developed a skin. 

Bake the macarons for around 14 minutes or until they no longer wobble when pushed gently with a finger. Once out of the oven immediately slide the parchment onto a work surface and cool for a few minutes before gently peeling the shells off the paper.

Pair up your macaron shells ready to fill.

Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache

50g unsalted butter
175ml salted caramel
150ml double cream
120g milk chocolate finely chopped

Place the butter, caramel and double cream in a small saucepan and heat just until it begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the cream mixture over the milk chocolate.  Stir the ganache until all the chocolate is melted. Set the ganache aside to cool before beating until you reach a piping consistency.

To Assemble:

Pair up your macaron shells, pipe or spoon Salted Caramel Ganache onto the flat side of one macaron in each pair, drizzle with a little extra Salted Caramel and top with the remaining macaron shell. Repeat until all of your macaron shells are sandwiched together.


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Brown Sugar Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

This delicious ice cream blew my little mind. 

I absolutely love this flavour!
The ice cream itself is not actually overtly coconut flavoured. The toasted coconut, coconut milk and brown sugar culminate in a beautifully smooth nutty depth of flavour, giving this ice cream a more complex flavour profile. You can tell it's special the second you taste it.

I made my Toasted Coconut from freshly grated coconut and it was absolutely amazing! I will never buy sweetened, unsweetened, shredded or desiccated coconut from a store ever again.

To make my freshly grated coconut I pierced the 'eyes' of my coconut and drained the liquid, I called in my boyfriend and his trusty hammer to crack it open. He struck halfway down the coconut with the hammer and to our surprise it split perfectly in half.  I used a blunt knife to ease the white flesh away from the shell and grated it using a fine cheese grater.

I then mixed the grated coconut with a little icing sugar and popped it in the oven. I dried it at a low temperature first and then turned the oven up to toast until golden brown.

It is entirely up to you how you use your toasted coconut, you can reserve it all for sprinkling on top of the ice cream before serving or you can add half of the toasted coconut to the ice cream during the last minute of churning.

I personally like the ice cream smooth and silky with the toasted coconut sprinkled liberally on top.

Toasted Coconut

100g freshly grated coconut
20g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 100C.

Combine the grated coconut and icing sugar in a small mixing bowl, stirring to combine.  Spread the coconut out onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the coconut feels completely dry to the touch.

To toast the coconut turn the oven up to 170C.

Bake the coconut stirring occasionally until golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.

Brown Sugar Toasted Coconut 
Ice Cream

2 large eggs
165g light brown sugar
550ml double cream
200ml coconut milk

toasted coconut

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for 1-2 minutes, add the sugar and continue to whisk for a further 2 minutes.

Pour in the cream and coconut milk and whisk to blend.

Pour the ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker and churn as per the manufacturers instructions.

You can add half of your toasted coconut to the ice cream during the last minute or so of churning if you wish, reserving the rest for sprinkling or reserve the whole lot for sprinkling and garnishing.


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Cupcake Inspiration

Hi Everyone,

I thought it would be fun to create a little cupcake inspiration post for you all.

I have put together a few inspiration boards focusing on Chocolate Cupcakes, Vanilla Cupcakes, Mini Cupcakes, Teddy Bear Cupcakes, Miniature Sugarcraft Cupcakes and Fancy and Frilled Cupcakes.

I'm going to talk about some of my favourite simple cupcake designs, decorating techniques and toppers. Hopefully if you are searching for a little cupcake inspiration you will find something suitably scrumptious here.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes are pretty instantly scrumptious looking if you ask me and the more chocolate you pile on top of your chocolate cupcakes the more scrumptious they will look. 

So with that in mind, I like to frost my cupcakes with silky smooth chocolate buttercream, drizzle them with melted chocolate, sprinkle with more chocolate and finally top with a chocolatey confection. 

You can find my Chocolate Cupcake, Chocolate Buttercream and Chocolate Drizzle Recipes here:

Chocolate Cupcakes

Some of my favourite chocolate cupcake toppers and toppings,(as seen above), include:

 Oreos, crushed for sprinkling and halved for topping, sliced chocolate bars, such as Snickers or Mars, chocolate shavings, salted caramel and Hershey's Kisses.

Vanilla Cupcakes

The Vanilla Cupcake is the quintessential cupcake. 

As you can see above, I love the contrast of chocolate against vanilla. Chocolate moulds are a brilliantly simple method of making cupcake decorations. You can see my chocolate teaspoon topped cupcake in the top left hand corner of the image above. My teaspoon chocolate mould is one of my favourites. You can find the awesome mould here: Siliconemoulds.com - Chocolate Teaspoon Mould

I also love turning Vanilla Cupcakes into 99 Ice Cream style cupcakes with Flake chocolate Bars. Simply push around a quarter of a Flake into the Buttercream and scatter with shards of flakey chocolate.

Vanilla cupcakes look gorgeous decorated in pretty pastel colours, topped with pretty sugarpaste flowers or topped with colourful sprinkles. I also love to sprinkle my Vanilla Cupcakes with white chocolate shavings and lemon zest for a little burst of flavour.

You can find my Vanilla Cupcake Recipe, Vanilla Buttercream Recipe and Homemade Sprinkles Recipe here:

Vanilla Cupcakes

Mini Cupcakes

I am not going to go into too much detail about miniature cupcakes here because I have a whole Miniature Cupcake Inspiration post to refer you to:

Miniature Cupcake Inspiration 

My miniature cupcake inspiration post features all my top tips and tricks for making and decorating miniature cupcakes. I have tried to include information on everything from filling your miniature cupcake cases to piping your buttercream.

Teddy Bear Cupcakes and Cupcake Toppers

Now we're getting fancy! 

We love our teddy bears at Buttercream Bakery. We make an unbelievable number of teddy bear cake and cupcake toppers and I love each and every adorable one. 

Even if you have never made a cake topper in your life, with a little practise you will master the basic teddy bear techniques in no time and once you have those down, you can adapt the design to fit almost any theme. 

I have not one but two Teddy Bear Cupcake Topper Tutorials for you. You can find my basic Teddy Bear Tutorial here:

Teddy Bear Cupcake Topper Tutorial

And if you want to really go for it, you can find my Pumpkin Teddy Bear Cupcake Topper Tutorial here: 

You can also make seriously cute chocolate teddy bears out of Modelling Chocolate, perfect for topping chocolate cupcakes. You can find my Modelling Chocolate Recipe here:

Miniature Sugarcraft Cupcakes

While miniature cupcake toppers may look scarily complicated, once you have practised a few miniature techniques and managed to get into the miniature mind set you will be amazed at what you can come up with.

Why not have a little go, you can find my Miniature Patisserie Cupcake Topper Tutorial here:

Miniature Patisserie Cupcake Topper Tutorial

Fancy and Frilled Cupcakes

Last but by no means least, lets talk about fancy cupcakes.

 Frosted, fancy and frilled these adorable cupcakes owe all their gorgeousness to pretty piping techniques.

Piping techniques can take a little time to master but once you do you will be able to whip up a batch of flawlessly decorated cupcakes in record time.

All the cupcakes above use one of two piping tips.  The two mini cupcakes in the top right hand corner are decorated with a 
French Star Tip, (also know as a fine toothed open star tip). To create the frilled effect, first try holding the piping bag/tip above and directly in the centre of the mini cupcake and pipe without moving the tip from that spot. Simply apply pressure to the piping bag and allow the frosting to fill before releasing the pressure and moving the tip away. Now with a new cupcake do exactly the same only instead of holding the piping bag still on the spot move it in the tiniest of circles as you squeeze. This will create really frilly frills.

All of the remaining cupcakes in the image above were decorated with my favourite piping tip, the Atteco 855
I am such a sucker for buttercream fills and ruffles and you can do so much with the 855. Have a play around and see what you can come up with. I will maybe try and put together a little tutorial for you all, so you can see the different ways I use the tip.

That's it for my little cupcake inspiration post, I hope you are feeling suitably inspired!

 Don't forget to use #theextraordinaryartofcake when posting your extraordinary creations on Instagram and Twitter, I absolutely love to see all your makes and bakes.

Happy Cupcaking!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Vanilla Cupcakes with Homemade Sprinkles

I have a confession to make....I'm a big old cupcake snob.

I have pretty strong views about basically all things cupcake and I kid you not when I say, I could rant about vanilla cupcakes for hours, maybe even days!

I have tried so many hard topped, dry, flat, flavourless vanilla cupcakes. I honestly can't think of anything quite as disappointing as a rubbish cupcake and so as mad as it may sound, of all the Buttercream Bakery cupcake recipes, I spent the most time perfecting my vanilla cupcake recipe.   

   For me, this really is the ultimate vanilla cupcake recipe. They are beautifully soft, light and fluffy, moist, sweet, buttery and generously vanilla bean studded.  They rise into a beautiful dome and pair beautifully with every buttercream and frosting in existence.

Here I have topped my Vanilla Cupcakes with silky smooth Vanilla Bean Buttercream and seriously cute homemade jumbo sprinkles.

Making your own sprinkles may seem a little over the top but trust me, when you taste them you will be immediately converted. These are the yummiest sprinkles ever!

If you decided to make flavoured sprinkles like I have, I highly recommend using a pipette to add your extracts and flavourings. There is nothing worse than extract over kill.

Here is a little list of the food colouring pastes and flavours I used:

Baby Blue - 1-2 Drops Natural Blueberry Flavouring
Light Green - 1-2 Drops Natural Apple Flavouring 
Yellow - 1-2 drops Natural Mango and Natural Tropical Flavouring
Baby Pink - 1-2 Drops Natural Raspberry Flavouring
Aqua - 1-2 Drops Natural Coconut Flavouring

My fruity sprinkles tasted absolutely amazing with my vanilla cupcakes.

Notes on the Recipe:

Use room temperature ingredients to make your cupcakes!! If you use cold butter, milk or eggs to make these cupcakes they will NOT come out perfectly. You absolutely must use room temperature ingredients.

Every time I post a picture of a vanilla cupcake online I get asked for my buttercream recipe. Most people think that the recipe is the key to perfect buttercream but when it comes to American Buttercream this isn't really the case. American Buttercream is really simple and most recipes really do not differ that much. The secret to perfect buttercream is in the method. Think Michael Jackson and beat it, beat it...beat it!! Follow my method exactly and you will have the silkiest, smoothest buttercream around.

Vanilla Cupcakes

175g plain flour
25g cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
190g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla paste
125ml milk

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

250g unsalted butter, room temperature
200g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
60ml milk

To Make the Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 180C (170C FAN OVEN).

Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 12 muffin sized cupcake cases and set aside.

Sift together the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the golden caster sugar and continue to beat for 3-5 minutes, or until very light and fluffy. Do not forget to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically as you beat.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions.  Once the eggs are completely combined, beat the mixture for a further 30 seconds.

Add the vanilla paste and beat until evenly distributed. 

Add one-quarter of the flour mixture and beat at a low speed just until combined, now add one-third of the milk and beat just until combined.  Continue alternating between the flour and milk beating just until combined after each addition and no longer. Do not forget to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically between additions.

Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cupcake cases in your prepared muffin pan and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing.

To Make the Buttercream:

In a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until very soft, smooth and creamy. Add two-thirds of the icing sugar, the milk and the vanilla paste and beat for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for a further minute.  Add the remaining icing sugar and beat the buttercream on a medium speed for a minimum of 5 minutes.  

Use a large rubber spatula or scraper to push and spread the buttercream against the sides of your bowl to remove some of the larger air bubbles.

To Assemble:

Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag, fitted with a piping tip of your choice. I have used a 1.5cm plain round piping tip. Pipe swirls of frosting onto the cupcakes, practising a few in the buttercream bowl first if you do not feel confident and scatter with sprinkles if you wish.

Homemade Sprinkles 

450g icing sugar
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp salt

assorted food colouring pastes
assorted extracts and natural flavours

To Make the Sprinkles:

Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
Sift the icing sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl.  Add the egg whites and salt and whisk at a low speed to a paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk once again ensuring all of the ingredients are fully combined.

If you are making lots of different coloured sprinkles; divide the mixture between a number of small bowls and add food colouring paste sparingly until desired colour is achieved. Add tiny drops of extract or flavouring to each bowl if desired.

Transfer the various coloured pastes into their own piping bags fitted with small round piping tips (#1 or #2) and pipe out long thin lines onto the prepared baking trays. Make sure your piped lines do not touch each other.

Repeat until all of your coloured pastes have been used up.  Allow the sprinkles to set for a minimum of 3-4 hours or ideally overnight before using a sharp knife to cut into pieces. You can make longer jumbo sprinkles like I have or chop your sprinkles into smaller pieces.

Store the sprinkles in an airtight container or jar.

Other Decorating Ideas:

Pretty Pink Vanilla Cupcakes

Here I have iced my cupcakes with pink buttercream using an Ateco 855 Closed Star Piping Tip and topped with pretty pink Very Berry Vanilla Bean Macarons

Check my recipe index for alternative macaron recipes.

99 Ice Cream Style Cupcakes

This is a brilliantly simple way to decorate your vanilla cupcakes.  Frost your cupcakes using a plain round piping tip, break up a Flake chocolate bar and push around a quarter of the bar into the frosting, sprinkle with any remaining shards of chocolate.

Happy Cupcaking!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Mini Waffles and Nutella Dipping Sauce

Soft, light and fluffy on the inside, golden brown and crisp on the outside, lightly cinnamon and vanilla scented, these waffles are just perfect.

 Drenched in maple syrup, dusted with powdered sugar, dipped in silky smooth Nutella dipping sauce, served with strawberries and cream. I'm not fussy, just bring on the waffles!

Mini Waffles

Makes 14 mini waffles or 3 large waffles 

210g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

200g Greek yogurt
60ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
3 large eggs, separated
100ml vegetable oil

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 

In a separate bowl whisk together the Greek yogurt, milk and vanilla. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the yogurt and milk mixture. Beat the egg yolks together and pour into the well, finally pour in the vegetable oil and stir everything to combine.

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until just stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter, do not over mix.

Preheat your waffle maker or iron and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop portions of the batter and dollop right into the centre of each waffle plate. Cook until golden brown and crisp.

Dust, drizzle and dip as desired.

Nutella Dipping Sauce

70g Nutella
60ml double cream

Combine the Nutella and double cream in a small saucepan and place over a low to medium heat. Stir, warming through, until the Nutella and cream combine and the sauce becomes silky and smooth. Remove from the heat and serve.


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Brioche Doughnuts

Oh hello doughnuts!

These doughnuts are seriously the stuff dreams are made of, this amazing recipe from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery is probably the best doughnut recipe I have ever tried. I have made these beautiful brioche doughnuts a number of times now and can safely say this is a flawless, no fail recipe.

A couple of notes on the recipe before you begin:

1. If you have the Bouchon Bakery cookbook and are working from the recipe in the book, there is a little mistake in the list of ingredients. the book says you will need 5g of butter when you actually need 57g.

2. To make these doughnuts you will need a stand mixer, you need to mix the dough with a dough hook for half an hour so make sure your mixer can handle it.

3. Note that both the eggs and milk in the recipe are measured in grams.

Brioche Doughnuts

Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller

518g plain flour
10g instant yeast
74g golden caster sugar
9g kosher salt
212g whole milk, warmed to 23.8C (75F)
111g eggs
9g vanilla paste
57g unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, at room temperature

canola oil for deep-frying

300g vanilla sugar or caster sugar 

non-stick spray

1 x 3 1/4 inch round cutter

1 x 1 1/2 inch round cutter

To Make the Dough:

Begin by dusting your work surface with a little flour and spray a large mixing bowl with non-stick spray.

Combine the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix together, ensuring the yeast is evenly distributed. 

Add the sugar, salt, milk, eggs and vanilla to the flour mixture and mix on a low speed for 4 minutes to incorporate.  Continue to mix the dough on a low speed for 30 minutes, the dough should begin to stick to the sides of the bowl.  Add the butter a few pieces at a time, mixing until each addition is incorporated before adding the next.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and push the dough off the hook. Continue to mix for a further 5 minutes.

Use a dough scraper to release the dough from the mixing bowl and turn it out onto the prepared, flour dusted work surface.  With your hands gently pat the dough into a rectangular shape, the dough will be sticky but add flour sparingly only as needed to keep it from sticking.

Once the dough has been shaped into a rectangle, you want to fold the dough like a letter; stretch the left side of the dough out and fold it over two-thirds of the dough, then stretch and fold from the right side to the opposite side.  Repeat the process, working from the bottom to the top.

Lift the dough up with a dough scraper, turn it over and place it seam side down in the prepared mixing bowl you sprayed with non-stick spray.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Lightly dust your work surface with flour once again. Use the dough scraper to release the dough from the bowl and turn it out onto the floured counter top. Once again, gently pat the dough into a large rectangle, pressing any air bubbles to the edges and out of the dough.  Repeat the stretching and folding process exactly as you did the first time. Stretch the left side of the dough out and fold it over two-thirds of the dough, then stretch and fold from the right side to the opposite side.  Repeat the process, working from the bottom to the top.  Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl, placing it seam side down as before, cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough over night.

To Roll Out, Shape and Proof the Doughnuts:

Lightly flour your work surface and begin to roll out the dough, stop, lift the dough and rotate it clockwise. Continue rolling, repeating the lifting and rotating periodically as you roll out the dough into an 11 inch round.  Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes, until the dough is firm enough to cut.

Line another two baking trays with parchment paper and lightly spray the surface of the paper with non-stick spray.  Take the larger 3 1/4 inch round cutter and cut as many rounds from the dough as you can, then cut holes in the centre of each round using the smaller 1 1/2 inch cutter.  Reserve the small cutouts to make doughnut holes and use the small cutter to cut a few extra doughnut holes out of any remaining dough.

Brush any excess flour off of the doughnuts and doughnut holes and place them on the prepared baking trays.  Cover the baking trays with a large plastic tub or cardboard box and proof for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  The doughnuts should have doubled in size and when the dough is gently pressed with a finger, a little indent should remain.

To Fry the Doughnuts:

Fry the doughnuts in a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot: pour 3 inches of canola oil into the pot making sure it does not come more than one-third of the way up the sides of the pot but is still deep enough to allow the doughnuts to float freely.

Heat the oil to 177C (350F).

Place a cooling rack over a baking tray and pour the vanilla sugar out onto a large plate.

Gently drop a few doughnuts into the hot oil, being careful not to over-crowd the pot, fry for around 30 seconds and then flip the doughnuts over and fry on the second side for 45 seconds. flip the doughnuts over one final time and fry for 45 seconds, or until they are golden brown.

Transfer the cooked doughnuts to the prepared cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before tossing each one in the vanilla sugar, make sure the doughnuts are coated on all sides.  Continue to fry the remaining doughnuts and doughnut holes, coating each batch in vanilla sugar as you go.

The doughnut holes will fry very fast, fry just until golden brown and be careful not to over do it.

Doughnuts are best eaten the day they are fried but you can store them in an airtight container for 1 day.