Fluffy, delicious and totally easy gluten free yeast-raised donuts with a margarita cheesecake filling and lime sugar coating
For the donuts:
1 tbsp dried active yeast
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup (180ml) warm water
1 cup (140g) cornstarch (cornflour)
2 cups (320g) gluten free all purpose flour blend
1.5 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend contains xantham gum already)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple sryup
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
4-8 cups (1-2 litres) vegetable oil, amount will depend on size of pan - it needs to be approx 5" deep
For the lime sugar coating:
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 tbsp lime zest
2 tbsp butter, melted
For the margarita cheesecake filling:
8oz (225g) cream cheese
1 cup (125g) confectioners (icing) sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tequila
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream)
To make the donuts:
Put the yeast and 2 tbsp sugar in a bowl and pour in warm water. Stir, then leave in a warm place (75F/23C) to bloom for 5-10 minutes. It's ready when the yeast is dissolved and frothy. I find it best to turn oven on to lowest setting for a couple minutes, turn it off and place the bowl of yeast inside.
Put the cornstarch, gluten free flour blend, xantham gum, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl and lightly whisk to combine. Set aside.
Using your mixer with the dough hook attachment, beat the yeast with the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, maple syrup, vinegar and oil until combined.
Add the flour mixture and beat on a medium speed for 2 minutes, dough should be thick, wet and smooth. Add a little more warm water if too dry (1 tsp at a time). Beat for another 2 minutes. Dough will be stretchy, smooth, wet and sticky
Put some parchment or wax paper down on your work surface and sprinkle with cornstarch. Coat your hands in cornstarch also. This is where it gets sticky! Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and use your hands to flatten until about 3/4" thick, the dough is so wet you don't need a rolling pin.
Coat a 3" cookie cutter with corn flour and cut out rounds. Place these on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Re-"roll" dough as needed - be as gentle as possible, the more the dough is worked the tougher it will get.
Cover the baking sheets with the donuts on loosely (with cling-film or a clean towel) and put in a warm place (75F/23C) to raise for 30 minutes. I turn the oven on for 5 minutes, turn it off, and then place the donuts in the oven. Donuts are properly raised when they are puffy and gently pressing a finger on them leaves an indent
While the donuts are rising, make the lime sugar by processing the sugar and lime zest in a food processor. See my recipe video for this here. And then spread out on a plate.
Remove from raising place and leave to dry for 10 minutes.
While the donuts are drying, heat your oil in your saucepan. I use a small one so I can use less oil and the temperature is easier to control, but whatever size you use the oil needs to be about 5" deep. Heat to 360-375F/180-190C, use a candy/oil thermometer to monitor
Dirty your oil by frying a few 1" pieces of bread or dough cut offs, the oil is ready when the bread/dough turns a deep golden brown in around 60 seconds.
Fry your donuts one at a time, for 90 seconds each side. They are ready when they are deep golden brown. Carefully remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with kitchen towel.
When the donuts are cool enough to handle, after about 3 minutes, brush the donut with some melted butter and then roll in the lime sugar. This takes about 30 seconds to do, so you can do this while another donut is frying. I use the stopwatch on my phone to make sure I keep an eye on the frying time.
Repeat until all donuts are fried and coated. Leave to cool.
While the donuts are cooling, make the margarita cheesecake filling by add the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, lime juice and tequila to a bowl and whisking to combine.
In a separate, clean, bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form (cream will hold it's shape, and be fluffy looking). Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture.
Spoon the cheesecake mixture into piping bag fitted with a 1/2" round or star nozzle. Stick the nozzle all the way into the side of the donut and squeeze to fill, watch the sides of the donuts for signs they're about to split. For reference, you want to fill them with about 1-1.5 tbsp of filling. Repeat with all donuts.