Making Coconut Tres Leches Doughnuts
“Tres leches” or “three milks” cake is a sinfully indulgent South American (don’t want to step on anybody’s toes by typing which country) dessert consisting of an airy sponge cake drenched in a mixture of 3 milks - evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream. It is not for the faint hearted and should only be consumed once every full moon. Having said that, I swapped the evaporated milk with coconut milk in this recipe in attempt to healthify it (though I don’t think it worked), I mean, just because it says three milks doesn’t mean they have to be dairy.
I had intentionally wanted to make tres leches cupcakes but thought doughnuts would be more of a challenge. There are two ways to which I’d recommend getting the milks into the cake doughnuts - you either soak them in the milk syrup or you inject them with it. I went with the latter just because I have unused disposable syringes just lounging around in my room.
There was a skillslab once when we learnt a method for local anasthesia called “local infiltration” - in which you (first make a welt, but this is not the human skin, it’s a doughnut so skip this part) pierce the needle all the way through and then pull it out while you inject the anasthesia in. This way the fluid infiltrates all the layers. What’s that got to do with this doughnut, you ask? Well I used the same principle here because it allowed the outside of the doughnuts to stay crisp while the inside moist (I hate using that word) and delicious. If you can wait, leave it to soak up for overnight in the fridge for maximum internal moisture. A lucky strike of genius? I certainly would like to think so.
[ 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 cup milk + 1 egg, beaten + 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract + oil for deep frying ]
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a deep heavy skillet or deep-fryer to 370 degrees F (185 degrees C).
On a floured board, roll chilled dough out to 1/2 inch thickness.
Use a 3 inch round cutter to cut out doughnuts. Use a smaller cutter to cut holes from center.
***If you do not have a small cutter, use the mouth of a bottle.
Fry doughnuts in hot oil until golden brown, turning once.
Remove from oil to drain on paper plates. Set aside.
[ 1/2 cup condensed milk + 1/2 cup coconut milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream ]
[ Whipped cream + toasted shredded coconut ]
In a blender or in a bowl with a whisk, combine coconut milk, condensed milk, cream and process until smooth.
***Now, you can either:
Prick the doughnuts with a toothpick all over the surface, put them in a dish deep enough and then pour the milk syrup in and wait about 20-30 minutes for it to soak the syrup up.
Get yourself a disposable syringe (and see if you can buy a big size needle for it - the lower the G (gauge) number the bigger the diameter) and take up around 10ml of milk syrup and pierce the needle through until it reaches the most inner layer of the doughnut. Inject little by little while pulling the needle out so all the layers gets some moisture.
Do this all over the doughnuts.
You’d have to do this twice or thrice to ensure maximum milk-syrup concentration.
Spread the whipped cream on top and sprinkle the toasted coconut.