You know what they say – sweet and spicy wins the race! Or something like that...
• 1 tablespoon yeast
• 4 tablespoons caster sugar
• 1 vanilla pod - halved and scraped seeds out
• 150 milliliters milk, warmed gently
• 225 grams plain flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 50 grams butter, melted
• 1 egg, beaten
• 10 grams Szechuan pepper
• 10 grams pink peppercorn
• Raspberry coulis in a bottle
1. Mix the yeast with half a teaspoon of the sugar and two tablespoons of the warm milk. Place in a warm place to rest for 15 minutes, or until frothy.
2. In the mean-time make the sugar by heating a pan to toast the peppercorns. Allow to cool and blend with the remaining sugar. Set aside until needed.
3. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in one tablespoon of the sugar.
4. Make a well in the flour and pour in the yeast mix, the rest of the milk, the melted butter and the egg. Mix to make a dough and then knead, cover the bowl and leave to stand for 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
5. On a floured work surface, knead the dough for five minutes, then divide into 12 balls and place in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.
6. Heat the oil in a deep pan until it reaches 170C, or a cube of bread dropped in sizzles and turns golden in 30 seconds.
7. Gently lower the dough balls one at a time into the hot oil, in batches of two or three, and fry for 3-5 minutes or until golden-brown, and then carefully turn over. Remove from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
8. Make a small slit in the doughnut with the tip of a knife, and fill with a raspberry coulis. Roll the hot doughnuts in the spiced sugar.