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Brazilian Caramel-Filled Doughnuts (Sonho de Doce de Leite)

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Level: Easy

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Description

A delicious Brazilian sweet treat, these filled doughnuts are easy to make and difficult to stop eating! Traditional filing variations include milk caramel, pastry cream, or jam-like fruit. They make a great snack with your afternoon tea or coffee!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CARAMEL FILLING:
  • 2 cans (14 Oz. Size) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • FOR THE DOUGHNUTS:
  • 1 cup Warm Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar, Plus 1/4 Cup, Divided
  • 2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 4 cups Flour
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • 2  Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons Softened Butter
  • 5 cups Approximately, Canola Oil For Frying
  • Additional Sugar (about 1 Cup), For Dipping The Doughnuts

Preparation

Prepare caramel (doce de leite) filling in advance, allowing enough time for the cans to fully cool before opening. The filling can be prepared hours or a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

To prepare the caramel filling, remove the labels and the label adhesive from the cans of sweetened condensed milk. This is necessary to prevent any paper or adhesive from potentially gumming up the pressure cooker’s release valve.

Place the cans in a pressure cooker and cover with water, to a minimum of 2 fingers over the cans.
Seal the pressure cooker and turn it to pressure mode. Place on a burner over medium heat and cook until the pan starts to hiss, indicating the buildup of pressure.

Once the hissing starts, set a timer for 40 minutes. When the 40 minutes are up, release the pressure then open the pressure cooker and, using a set of tongs or a canning lifter, lift the cans out of the pan.

DO NOT OPEN THE CANS UNTIL COMPLETELY COOLED. The milk caramel will be liquid and very hot. This creates pressure in the can. If it is not completely cooled, the contents of the can could spray and potentially cause burns, not to mention make quite a mess. I cool mine in a sink full of cold water.
Open the can after it has cooled and transfer the milk caramel to a glass container with a lid for storage or use right away.

To make the doughnuts, warm milk to about 110ºF. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast. Whisk until well blended, although clumps of yeast may remain. Set aside for 5 minutes or until yeast blooms and starts to rise in a foam.

Combine remaining doughnut ingredients (flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, eggs, butter), including yeast and milk mixture, in the pan of a bread machine set to dough only and allow the bread machine to mix, knead, and proof the dough until double in size (about 1 ⅓ to 1 ½ hours).

Turn dough onto a clean floured surface and with a rolling pin and roll to about ½-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cutting tool, cut as many doughnut rounds as possible from the dough. Place cut doughnuts on a large, lightly floured sheet pan, sprinkle lightly with more flour, and cover with a clean cloth. Allow to rise until double in size (about 1 hour).

Heat the canola oil to 375°F in a heavy pan or a large skillet. Fry doughnuts, 5 or 6 at a time, until medium golden brown, flipping to cook both sides evenly. Transfer fried doughnuts to a raised rack to drain, or to a paper-lined pan to absorb any excess oil. Allow the doughnuts to cool slightly, but they can still be warm.

Using a thin serrated knife, cut each doughnut in half horizontally to all but the last ¼ section. Then fill each doughnut with a heaping tablespoon of the caramel filling. Continue until all doughnuts are filled.

Add sugar to a shallow bowl and roll each doughnut in the sugar until coated on all sides. Serve as quickly as possible for best quality.

Note:
1. If you do not have a bread machine, you can use an upright mixer. You will need to mix the dough for about 10 minutes in an upright mixer for a good knead, and then cover the mixed dough in a bowl to rise until double in size.
2. Excess dough can be discarded or saved to fry up and coat with cinnamon and sugar for a quick snack. Or it can be reshaped and rolled for more doughnuts, but the surface is likely not to be as smooth on the second group as the first.

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