Coconut is a flavor that people seem to either love or hate. Personally, I think you either love it or you’ve had only nasty versions of it. Bad coconut desserts can be oversweet and cloying, and leave a stale, sour taste in your mouth. Not these doughnuts. Tucked inside a light and airy Berliner dough is the silky, nutty, not-too-sweet coconut cream that I count among my favorite substances on earth. Add a dusting of toasted coconut sugar and you’ve got a tender, creamy bite of heaven.
If you accidentally burn the bottom of the pot while cooking custard (hey, we’ve all done it), you can usually salvage the batch by transferring the custard to a new pot, leaving the burnt parts intact in the old pot to avoid spreading the flavor. The same goes for straining the custard: if you’ve burned the bottom, avoid scraping the burned bits out during straining.
- Yield: 1 dozen doughnuts
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Toasted Coconut Sugar
- Coconut Pastry Cream
- Prepare the Berliner dough as directed.
- Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer until the oil reaches 350°F. Prepare two baking sheets: one lined with paper towels, and the other dusted with flour.
- Using a floured biscuit or doughnut cutter, cut the dough into 2½- to 3-inch rounds and put them on the flour-dusted baking sheet.
- Fry the doughnuts in batches, taking care not to crowd the pot, until golden brown all over, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on the paper-towel-lined baking sheet.
- While the doughnuts still feel almost too hot to handle, pierce each one with a pastry tip, paring knife, or other sharp object to create a point of entry for your doughnut filling. Roll the warm doughnuts one at a time in the coconut sugar and put them on a wire rack to set.
- The best time to fill your doughnuts is no more than 1 hour before serving. Spoon room-temperature (or slightly warmer) pastry cream into a pastry bag fitted with a #2 round tip. Pipe the pastry cream into the doughnut’s cavity until the pastry puffs slightly. Serve immediately, or store at room temperature for up to 6 hours.