Warm chocolate doughnuts with a damson fool

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A dessert of warm chocolate doughnuts, dusted liberally in sugar, is always going to be a winner, but Adam Gray gives these decadent treats an elegant twist by serving with a creamy damson fool. British damsons are available throughout the Autumn, but are often overlooked in favour of the more common plums.

First published in 2015




Chocolate doughnuts

  • 125ml of milk
  • 225g of plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g of cocoa powder
  • 25g of caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 egg, beaten
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  • 1 tsp fresh yeast

Damson fool

  • 125ml of apple juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 10g of caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 gelatine leaves
  • 100ml of whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

Damson purée

Italian meringue

  • 2 egg whites
  • 25ml of water
  • 120g of caster sugar
  • 10ml of glucose syrup


  • Deep fat fryer
  • Food mixer
  • Sugar thermometer
  • 4-5cm cookie cutter


To make the damson purée, combine the fruit, sugar and apple juice in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes
Blitz the cooked damsons in a blender then pass through a fine sieve. You will need 225g of purée for the fool – freeze any leftover for use in other recipes
To make the Italian meringue, whisk the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer until they form soft peaks. Meanwhile, boil the water, sugar and glucose together in a saucepan until the syrup reaches 118°C
  • 2 egg whites
  • 25ml of water
  • 120g of caster sugar
  • 10ml of glucose syrup
Carefully pour the boiling syrup onto the egg whites and continue whisking until the meringue forms stiff, shiny peaks. Set aside 100g of the meringue to use in the fool and place the remaining into a piping bag
To make the damson fool, bring the apple juice to the boil in a small saucepan and reduce to 50ml, remove it from the heat and leave to cool
Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale, adding the reduced apple juice slowly
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes to soften
  • 1 1/2 gelatine leaves
Meanwhile, put the yolk mixture in a saucepan and heat gently until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, or reaches a temperature of 81°C. Remove the pan from the heat
Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine, add it to the yolk mixture and stir to dissolve. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl
Fold in the damson purée, Italian meringue and whipped cream. Spoon into serving dishes and leave to set in the fridge
  • 100ml of whipping cream
To make the chocolate doughnuts, warm the milk in a small pan and mix in the yeast, stirring to dissolve
  • 125ml of milk
  • 1 tsp fresh yeast
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Switch it to a low speed and, as it mixes, add small pieces of the butter until it is fully incorporated
Pour the beaten egg into the mix, then add the milk and yeast. Mix for about 10 minutes or until a smooth dough forms
Take the bowl from the machine, cover with cling film and leave in a warm spot to prove for about 25 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size
Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to a thickness of 1cm. Use a 4-5cm cookie cutter to cut the dough into rounds. Put them on a tray and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes before cooking
  • 225g of plain flour
Heat a deep-fryer of vegetable oil to 175°C. Deep-fry the doughnuts for 3 minutes in total, flipping them halfway through cooking. Drain and, while still hot, roll them in sugar to coat. Serve with the damson fool
  • 25g of caster sugar
First published in 2015

Adam Gray pulls off classic British flavours with grace, intelligence and admirable lightness of touch.

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