I'd say they are the perfect donuts - ideally fluffly, soft and tender. A tourist travelling through Germany will surely see these Berliner donuts everywhere so there must be a reason why they are so popular. I've never eaten tastier donuts, and the recipe is relatively easy - just follow the steps and the result will certainly be a great success.
NB: The recipe is for 20 donuts, but I think they were a bit too big. Next time, I'd like to make 30 smaller donuts - so it's up to you if you want 20 big donuts or 30 smaller ones.
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Combine the warm milk with sugar and yeast.
Then stir in the egg yolks, cognac/brandy, vanilla and salt, whisk well.
Add in the butter, whisk to combine.
Flour is the last one - stir well with a whisk or a spoon.
Turn dough onto the floured table and knead for a bit until smooth.
Place dough into a bowl.
Cover with a lid or a cloth and allow for 1 hour to rise.
Meanwhile, cut some parchment paper into 20-30 squares of about 10x10cm - you'll see what we need them for.
After 1 hour, dough looks like this.
Cut into 20-30 small pieces.
Shape them into balls and place each of them on a parchment paper square.
Cover with a cloth and let rise for 1 hour.
After this time, pour oil in a pot or a deep frying pan, heat well.
Carefully take a paper square and smoothly place the dough ball in the oil.
Place the first donut and wait for the moment to add the next ones to the pan - here it's not the right moment yet.
When it turns to golden brown and it is surrounded by foam, you can start adding in more dough balls, until the pan is filled.
Set the heat to medium and fry the donuts well on both sides.
Watch out, they cook very fast.
When done, remove from the oil and place on paper towel to drain excess oil.
You can fill the donuts with jam or favourite cream - you'll need a special confectionary syringe and a bag for this.
This is what they look like inside - I filled them with milk cream.
But you can also serve them simple, dusted with powdered sugar.
They are something special which is worth trying. And even though you see more steps in the recipe, it's not complicated, I was just trying to make it more clear...
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