Gulab jamun is on the menu for Indian week of #TheChefsLine, so we’re following our doughnut desires and heading on a global adventure.
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18 May 2017 - 12:13 PM  UPDATED 21 May 2017 - 9:41 PM

Before we take off: 8 Aussie favourites

1. An oldie, but a goodie

Inspired by the sugary delights at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria markets, these jam doughnuts are made with cake flower, which carries a lower gluten content and delivers a finer crumb.

 

2. Chocaholics, step right up

Serve these chocolate balls warm for maximum molten effect.

Chocolate molten doughnut balls
 

3. Iced doughnut cookies

Don’t like the idea of deep-frying your doughnuts? These biscuit treats are an excellent cheat. Pipe yours into ‘O’ shapes, ice in your favourite colour, then sprinkle with hundreds and thousands for rainbow fun.

 

4. Citrus kick  

Somewhat reminiscent of Greece’s loukoumades, these bouncy ricotta balls are glazed with orange blossom and honey. Serve with white chocolate sauce for maximum sweetness.

Ricotta doughnuts with orange blossom glaze
 

5. Nutty, but nice  

Muffin-style batter gets a doughnut-y treatment with these cute-as-a-button treats. Sprinkled with pecans and a drizzle of lemon glaze, these nutty bites won’t last long.

Mini pecan crumble doughnuts with lemon glaze
 

6. The sweet life

A soft, pillowy doughnut piped with sweet jam, custard or cream, berliners are thought to have been created in Germany. Variations of this sweet treat can be found under different nom de plums across the globe: be it jelly doughnuts in the U.S. or jam buns back home. This particularly pleasant recipe is filled with a rhubarb and vanilla jam.

Rhubarb and vanilla jam berliners
 

7. It’s a date

Walnuts and mejdool dates team up for this cup-of-tea companion. Glazed with apple juice icing, these cakey doughnuts come with a sweet, fruity kick.

 

8. Sprinkles on top

Like the look of these chocolate sprinkles? Why not make your own from scratch! If you’re not a fan of cocoa, you can use natural colourants, such as beetroot or carrot juice or food dyes. Here, the sprinkles are the ‘cherry on the top’ of Dutch cocoa-glazed doughnuts.  

Chocolate sprinkle doughnuts
 

First stop: India

9. Festival favourite

A sweet favourite during Diwali, the Festival of Lights, gulab jamun are India’s answer to the doughnut. Light, fluffy and soaked in sugar syrup until they double in size, these dumpling are often paired with citrus or rose petal flavours. In his recipe from Tonka, chef Adam D’Sylva pairs ricotta-based dumplings and a cardamom, cinnamon and saffron syrup.

Catch Adam and his Tonka team on Indian week of #TheChefsLine.

Ricotta gulab jamun with saffron syrup
 

10. Spice things up   

Entering savoury territory, vadai are crisp, spiced doughnuts made from urad dhal (split small black beans). This recipe incorporates turmeric, ginger, cumin and chillies, and calls for a side of coconut chutney for a cooling touch.

 

Over to the Middle East

11.  Emirati offering

Known as lgeimat, these Emirati dumplings are coated with a saffron- and cardamom-infused syrup. Unlike other doughnuts, this recipe includes Greek yoghurt in the batter.

 

12. Surprise in the centre

You can find Shane Delia’s Turkish delight-filled doughnuts on the menu at his Melbourne restaurant Maha, but the origin of this recipe harks back to the family home. Feeling experimental, Shane took an old Lebanese doughnut recipe from my mother-in-law Guitta, then decided to stick a slice of Turkish delight in the middle. Drizzled with rosewater honey and toasted pine nuts, it’s a fabulous sweet fusion.


  

Beach break in Africa

13. Tropical tastes

Dusted in a granulated ‘sanding sugar’, reminiscent of their beachy birthplace, these drop doughnuts are commonly found along coasts of Ghana. You can use any sugar you like, but don’t forget to add condensed milk into the batter for a sweet, creamy twist.  

 

24 hours in Japan

14. A different kind of doughnut

For a unique doughnut hit in Japan, bypass Tokyo and head to the island of Okinawa. In this former U.S. Navy base, you’ll find Okinawan black sugar doughnuts. These cakey balls are made with island’s famed black sugar, and hence carry a rich, mollasses-like sweetness you won’t find elsewhere.  

Next stop: Europe

15. Light and fluffy

They might look more like poffertjes than a regular doughnut but these Danish apple bites, known as aebleskivers, are a wonderfully doughy treat. Containing fried apple and dusted with icing sugar, the doughnuts are best served with raspberry jam.

 

16. The Dubrovnik doughy

Keen for a different kind of doughnut? This Croatian specialty, fritule, is made potatoes (desiree or sebago) and laced with nutmeg, dark rum, vanilla, plus lemon and orange zest. Interestingly, these sugar-coated delights are more commonly served as a welcoming snack – with dried figs and grape brandy – rather than dessert.    

 

17. Feeling fruity?  

Traditionally eaten as a New Year's treat, these Dutch doughnuts known as oliebollen are bejewelled with currants, raisins and bites of granny smith apple.   

 

Next on the itinerary: Mediterranean meandering

18. This is the bomb-olini!

These Italian bombolini are made from a sweet yeast dough of honey, instead of sugar. Filled with vanilla bean custard and dusted with icing sugar, they’re as visually appealing as they are tasty.  

 

19. Step up on the cinnamon doughnut

There are few things more delightful than a warm cinnamon doughnut, but this vegan-friendly recipe goes one better by filling the insides with Spanish quince paste. If you’re less fruity, more cocoa crazy, try this chocolate pâté (vegan, too) for dipping wonderment.  

 

20. Hola, dear bola

This Portuguese specialty, known as bola de Berlim, ticks all the right boxes. Fluffy dough, sugar crusting and a luscious filling of crème pâtissière. The secret to this formidable custard is the generous amount of egg yolks, yielding a rich, pleasing result.

Portuguese doughnuts (bola de Berlim).
 

Across to the Americas

21. Choux know it  

The Mexican buñuelo is a descendent of Spanish churros and comes in many forms: a flat disc of dough, a classic ring-shaped doughnut or a simple ball. Usually scented with anise and soaked in brown sugar syrup, this twist on the recipe and adds pecans and coffee anglaise to wonderful effect.

 

22. Piped to perfection

You may think of churros as a Spanish specialty, but these cinnamon-coated sticks are adored in Brazil, too. Serve with the sweet, thick caramel called dulce de leche – or doce de leite in Brazil – for a doughnut dipping dream.

 

And finishing in the United States

23. Jamin’, Jewish style

Named after the Hebrew word for sponge, sufganiyot, these Jewish doughnuts are fluffy and light. Spiked with cinnamon and lemon zest, the doughy balls are traditionally filled with raspberry jam and commonly served at Hanukkah.

 

24. If jelly rings are more your thing

For those who like edible experimentation, here’s the Hanukkah jelly doughnut, sufganiyot, done with a twist. Coated in chocolate, like a classic American candy, these baked treats are filled with raspberry jam by way of an injector syringe – available from all good cake shops.  

 

25. The bacon effect

Fans of sweet-salty-meaty combos will adore these maple-glazed doughnuts with ‘bacon chips’ on top. Use thinly sliced, streaky bacon here for extra crunch.

 

26. Begin your day the beignet way

Made with copha (vegetable shortening) and evaporated milk, these American doughnuts, or beignets, are absolute deep-fried joy. Dust generously with icing sugar and enjoy warm.  

 

27. Hold up, healthy doughnuts?

Doughnuts aren’t generally thought of as a ‘health food’ but these gluten-free goodies carry plenty of wholesome ingredients. Oat and almond flours come together for the batter, while psyllium husk delivers fibre and structure in the absence of gluten. We can’t explain the health benefit of the mocha-glaze, but hey a little indulgence is allowed!

 

28. Sandwich styles

An ode to the coffee-doughnut combo loved by American cops, this recipe sees coffee-flavoured ice-cream sandwiched between two deep-fried doughies.  

 

29. Spike of cider

Laced with nutmeg and cinnamon, these cakey, cider-flavoured doughnuts are perfect for the cooler months. It does take some effort to deep-fry your own doughnuts at home, but result is always worth it!   

 

30. Perking things up  

Coffee jelly, chocolate custard and buttermilk doughnuts come together for this truly decadent dessert. For an extra caffeine hit, dust your balls in a cinnamon and instant coffee sugar.

 

Have we got your attention and your tastebuds? Tune in to Indian week on The Chefs' Line, 6pm weeknights on SBS. Check out the program page for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more.