“I came up with this recipe while racking my brains trying to veganize choux pastry. I thought, why not combine two big desserts, doughnuts and profiteroles? The outcome is unbelievable!” – Gaz Oakley
For the doughnut profiteroles:
120ml almond milk
5 tbsp vegan spread
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt
50g icing sugar
1.5 litres vegetable oil, for frying
For the cream filling:
320ml coconut cream
1 shot Baileys Almande or vegan liqueur (optional)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tbsp icing sugar
For the chocolate sauce:
300ml almond milk
3 tbsp agave nectar
100g dairy-free dark chocolate, finely
For the sugar string:
200g (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
Lightly flour your hands and your work surface. Pick up around 2 tablespoons of dough at a time and roll it in your hands to form neat balls.
Line a baking tray with kitchen paper and preheat a deep-fat fryer to 170°C or half-fill a large saucepan with the vegetable oil and set over a medium heat. Test if it’s hot enough by dropping in a little piece of dough – if it bubbles and floats to the surface, the oil is ready. Fry 3 to 4 balls at a time for 3–4 minutes, or until golden brown. You may need to flip them over half way through cooking.
When cooked, lift them out of the oil using a slotted spoon, gently shaking off excess oil, and transfer the profiteroles straight onto the lined tray and set aside to cool.
To make the whipped cream, put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together until thick and creamy. Set aside until you’re ready to serve.
To make the chocolate sauce, pour the milk and agave nectar into a saucepan and place over a low heat to warm gradually. Meanwhile, tip the chopped chocolate into a mixing bowl.
When the milk is piping hot, pour it over the chocolate and stir until smooth and all the chocolate has melted.
Cut the profiteroles in half lengthways. Pipe or spoon generous amounts of the cream onto the bottom halves and stick the tops back on.
Before serving, melt the caster (superfine) sugar in a heavy-based pan until golden. Stack your profiteroles on a serving plate then drizzle over the chocolate sauce. Finally, using a spoon, spin the melted sugar around the stack. Be extremely careful as the sugar will be super hot.
Extract taken from Vegan Christmas by Gaz Oakley (Quadrille, £15) Food photography © Simon Smith