"I don’t know many people who don’t like a doughnut, and I am particularly partial to a coffee too. At the restaurant, we are always playing around with coffee and chocolate in desserts – maybe it’s to sate my desire for coffee ice-cream! We do not use fresh beans for the cinnamon and coffee sugar, as it can leave an unpleasant gritty feel." The custard will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.






Skill level

Average: 5 (4 votes)


Coffee jelly

  • 2 (10 g) titanium-strength gelatine leaves (see Note)
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 400 ml freshly brewed strong coffee
  • store-bought coffee ice-cream, to serve

Chocolate custard

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1½ tbs caster sugar
  • 60 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 300 ml milk


  • 5 g fresh yeast or 1 tsp (3 g) dried yeast
  • 185 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) warm buttermilk, plus 2 tsp extra
  • 1 egg
  • 80 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 375 g (2½ cups) plain flour, sifted
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp instant coffee
  • vegetable oil, to deep-fry

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 1 hour

Resting time 3 hours

To make jelly, soften gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain and lightly squeeze. Dissolve sugar in hot coffee, then stir in gelatine until dissolved. Strain through a fine sieve into a 1L-capacity dish lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

Meanwhile, to make custard, whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until combined. Add chocolate. Bring milk to the boil in a small pan, then pour over chocolate mixture, reserving pan. Stir vigorously until smooth and combined. Strain through a fine sieve back into saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Transfer to a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Cool. Refrigerate until needed.

To make doughnuts, place yeast, 1 tsp sugar and 125 ml buttermilk in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes or until mixture bubbles. Whisk remaining 2 tsp buttermilk with egg in a small bowl until combined. Add to yeast mixture with melted butter and stir to combine.

Using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, place flour, 80 g sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir to combine. Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, and dough comes away from side of bowl. (Alternatively, knead by hand on a lightly floured work surface.) Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 2 hours or until dough doubles in size.

Lightly dust 2 oven trays with flour. Shape dough into 24 balls and place on trays. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 100 g sugar, cinnamon and coffee in a bowl. Set aside.

Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 175C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 12 seconds). Working in batches, drop dough balls into the oil and fry, turning halfway, for 3 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel, then toss in cinnamon sugar.

Place custard into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle. Insert into doughnuts and fill with custard. Cool slightly. Chop coffee jelly and top with doughnuts and ice-cream.


Titanium-strength gelatine weighs 5g per leaf. You can substitute bronze (1.5g) or gold (2g) leaves so long as the final weight matches the requirements. Gelatine leaves are from delis.

As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 15, pg100.

Photography by Alan Benson