Eton mess doughnuts

Eton mess doughnuts

This Eton mess doughnut recipe combines arguably two of the best desserts out there. Filled with fresh strawberries, custard, cream and meringue, these doughnuts are a real Summer celebration.
  • Cooking:
  • Serves: 10 persons



  1. Step 1

    The day before baking, bring all of the dough ingredients, apart from the butter and sunflower oil, together in a bowl. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead for 5 minutes using the heel of your hand (you could also use a stand mixer.) Leave to rest for a minute
  2. Step 2

    Start to add the butter a quarter at a time, kneading it in until it is all incorporated. Knead the dough for a further 5 minutes until it is glossy, smooth and very elastic when pulled. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a plate and leave to prove until doubled in size, about 11/2 hours. Knock back the dough, re-cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight
  3. Step 3

    The next day, dust a large baking sheet with flour, or grease with a little oil. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut into 10 pieces, about 50g each. Roll the dough into 10 smooth, tight buns and place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving plenty of room between them as you don’t want them to stick together while they prove. Cover lightly with a damp dish towel or lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size
  4. Step 4

    In the meantime, make the meringue. Preheat the oven to 110°C/90°C fan/gas ¼ and line a baking sheet with baking paper
  5. Step 5

    In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy and turning white in colour. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. (You can do this in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk if you wish)
  6. Step 6

    Fill a piping bag fitted with a 15mm plain nozzle (or cut a hole in the end of the bag) with the meringue mixture. Pipe pencils of meringue, each about 8cm long, onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 2 hours, ensuring the meringue doesn't start to colour. Leave to cool
  7. Step 7

    Next fry the doughnuts. Carefully heat a deep-fat fryer or large pan of the sunflower oil to 180ºC. The gauge on the fryer or a kitchen thermometer really is essential here for accuracy
  8. Step 8

    When the oil is heated to the correct temperature, carefully remove the doughnuts from the tray by sliding a floured dough scraper or spatula underneath them, taking care not to deflate them, and carefully lower them into the oil. Do not overcrowd the fryer – cook 2–3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown – they will puff up and float
  9. Step 9

    Remove from the fryer with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain, then toss the doughnuts in the caster sugar while still warm.
  10. Step 10

    Repeat until all doughnuts are fried but make sure the oil temperature is correct each time before frying – if it is too high, they will colour too quickly and burn, and will be raw in the middle; if it is too low, the doughnuts will absorb the oil and become greasy. Let cool before filling
  11. Step 11

    To make the crème pâtissière, split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds into a pan of the milk. Slowly bring to the boil then take off the heat
  12. Step 12

    Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk together, then sift in the flour and mix again. Slowly pour over the warm milk, whisking as you go to avoid lumps. Once all the milk is added, return the mixture to the pan and place over a medium heat, whisking continuously until nice and thick (about 3 minutes)
  13. Step 13

    Pass the créme pat through a sieve, then leave to cool with a sheet of baking powder or fine sprinkling of caster sugar over the top to prevent a skin
  14. Step 14

    To finish, chop the strawberries into 1-cm (½-in) pieces (reserving a few to slice and decorate the doughnuts) and roughly crush about half of the meringues. Whip the cream and sugar together until thick, then fold in the chilled custard. Finally, fold through the chopped strawberries and crushed meringues
  15. Step 15

    Fill a piping bag with the mixture. Make a hole in the crease of each doughnut with a butter knife and fill each doughnut with the cream mixture. Top with a generous shard of meringue and a sliced strawberry