Goat’s Milk Puddings with Cherry Sherbet-dusted Doughnuts
I have a slight love affair with cherries and they are one of my favourite summer fruits. This recipe uses cherries in three ways – raw in a superb, fresh-tasting salad, cooked to create a delicious and flavourful compôte, and dried and used to make a fizzy sherbet to coat the hot, crisp doughnuts.
All the cherry flavours work incredibly well together when served with this very light, softly set goat’s milk pudding, which is best served in small glasses. The goat’s milk pudding has its own unique and natural fresh taste and is almost jelly-like in texture.
If you make the goat’s milk puddings and want to turn them out to serve, remember to add a little more gelatine to ensure that they do not collapse. This recipe is for a soft set pudding that is served in glasses rather than being turned out. If cherries are not available and you really fancy making this recipe, you can instead use other fresh berries and seasonal stone fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, apricots or plums.
The goat’s milk puddings are best made the day before you want to serve them as they need to chill and set in the fridge for several hours before serving. You will also need to dry the cherries for the cherry sherbet sugar the day before.
Ingredients & Method
For the goat's milk puddings
- 21/2 leaves of gelatine
- 275ml double cream
- 275ml goat's milk (see Cook’s Notes)
- 70g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out (reserve the pod)
For the cherry sherbet sugar
- 200g fresh cherries, halved and stoned
- 1/4 teaspoon citric acid
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 120g caster sugar
For the bite-sized doughnuts
- 60g strong white bread flour
- 190g plain flour
- 15g fresh yeast
- 100ml goat's milk
- 30g unsalted butter
- 40g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 egg yolks sunflower oil, for deep-frying
For the cherry compôte
- 200g fresh cherries, stoned
- 180g caster sugar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
For the cherry salad
- 100g fresh cherries, stoned
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Make the goat’s milk puddings (I recommend making these the day before you want to serve them). Select 6 small serving glasses and place them in the fridge to chill. Soak the gelatine in cold water until it has softened.
Place the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla seeds and pod in a saucepan and bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 6 minutes. Squeeze the gelatine gently to remove the excess water, then add the gelatine to the warm cream mixture and stir until dissolved. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then pour it into the chilled glasses. Return the glasses to the fridge and leave to set for a minimum of 6 hours.
For the cherry sherbet sugar, drying the cherries can take up to 6 hours. Preheat the oven to 110°C/Gas Mark 1/4. Lay the cherries out in a single layer on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and place in the oven for 3 hours. See if the cherries are dry enough after this time and if not, continue drying them in the oven until they are completely dry and shrivelled – this can take up to 6 hours and it all depends on the size and sweetness of the cherries.
Remove from the oven and let the cherries cool completely at room temperature. Once cold, put the dried cherries, citric acid and bicarbonate of soda into a food processor and process to a fine powder. Stir this powder into the sugar in a bowl (or airtight container), then cover and keep until you are ready to cook the doughnuts.
To make the doughnuts, put both flours in a bowl, then rub in the yeast until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Place the milk, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan and heat together until the butter has melted, then remove from the heat and cool the mixture to blood temperature. Mix the egg yolks into the milk mixture. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, then pour in the warm milk mixture and mix with a palette knife to form a soft dough.
Turn the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough becomes silky smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl, then cover with a clean dry tea towel or cling film and leave the dough to prove (rise) in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it is doubled in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the cherry compôte. Place the cherries and sugar in a small, heavy-based saucepan and set aside for 30 minutes.
Gently heat the cherry mixture over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat and boil rapidly for 10–12 minutes or until the mixture reaches a temperature of 102°C, skimming off any scum from the surface. If you don’t have a thermometer, to test if the mixture is ready, place a small plate in the freezer to chill, then spoon a few drops of the compôte on to the cold plate and run your finger through it – it should be thickened, not runny. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, then transfer the compôte to a bowl and set aside to cool.
Shape the proved doughnut dough. Divide the dough into 20–25 portions and roll each portion into a smooth, walnut-sized ball. Place the balls of dough on a shallow plastic tray or baking tray, cover with a clean dry tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 10–15 minutes or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the cherry salad. Cut the cherries into quarters and place them in a bowl, then stir in the lemon zest. Set aside until you are ready to serve.
To cook the doughnuts, heat some sunflower oil in an electric deep-fat fryer or in a deep frying pan to a temperature of 160°C (or until a small piece of bread browns within 20 seconds in the hot oil). Deep-fry the balls of dough in the hot oil (do this in about 4 batches) for 2–3 minutes or until they are puffed up, golden brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove and drain the deep-fried doughnuts on kitchen paper, then roll each one in the cherry sherbet sugar and serve immediately.
To serve, place a glass of goat’s milk pudding on each serving plate and serve with a spoonful of the cherry compôte and cherry salad on top or alongside. Thread a doughnut on to each of 6 wooden cocktail sticks, then balance a threaded doughnut over each pudding and serve immediately. Serve the rest of the doughnuts in a bowl in the centre of the table for your guests to help themselves to extra, if they like. Otherwise, serve the leftover doughnuts another time (see Cook’s Notes).
Goat’s milk is much easier to digest than cow’s milk and it has a unique, natural fresh and slightly acidic taste – you will be pleasantly surprised as it does not taste goaty at all and it’s nothing like any goat’s cheese I have ever tasted as it’s mellow and light. There are some wonderful goat’s milk and cheese producers around the British Isles, and with many supermarkets and delis selling goat’s milk, it’s much more readily available now.
For the cherry sherbet sugar, instead of drying your own cherries, you can use freeze-dried cherries instead. They are often found in good health food shops and you will need about 25g freeze-dried cherries for this recipe. Citric acid is used to make recipes such as elderflower cordial.
Once deep-fried and cooled, any leftover doughnuts will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard for up to 2 days.