BBC

Taste of the fairground

Raspberry curd doughnuts, chocolate-y peanut popcorn, toffee apples and marshmallow kebabs: fairground food doesn’t just have to be for kids. Pick and mix the elements of this fancy dessert that you like best.

Ingredients

For the doughnuts
For the cinnamon sugar
For the raspberry curd
For the honeycomb lollipops
For the coconut custard
For the peanut popcorn
For the toffee apples
For the marshmallow

Preparation method

  1. For the doughnuts, put the water, butter, salt and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and simmer until well combined.

  2. Mix well and add the flour. Beat the mixture hard over the heat - when the mixture leaves the sides of the pan it is ready. Place on a tray and leave to cool.

  3. Put the mixture into a food mixer, pulse briefly and then gradually add the eggs, blending as you go, to form a velvety texture.

  4. Place the mixture into a piping bag, line a tray with greaseproof paper and pipe bite-sized balls of the mixture onto the prepared tray.

  5. Place in the freezer and freeze for 2-3 hours, or until solid.

  6. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl and sprinkle onto a plate.

  7. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer until a piece of bread sizzles and goes golden-brown. (CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous; do not leave it unattended). Fry the doughnuts for 8-10 minutes, or until puffed up and golden-brown. You may need to cook them in batches.

  8. Carefully remove the doughnuts from the hot oil and roll in the cinnamon sugar.

  9. For the raspberry curd, blend the raspberries to a purée in a blender, then pass through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Heat the raspberry juice for 2-3 minutes, or until reduced. Set aside to cool.

  10. Whisk the egg yolks, eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk in the raspberry juice and gelatine leaf until smooth and well combined. Continue to cook, whisking all the time, until the mixture is thick and custard-like.

  11. Gradually add the butter, little by little, constantly whisking until the curd has emulsified. Pour into a tray to cool, then place into a piping bag. Push a hole into the side of each doughnut with the piping bag and pipe some of the curd into each doughnut. (Any leftover curd can be piped into an airtight, sterilised jar; it will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks.)

  12. For the honeycomb lollipops, line a tray with greaseproof paper.

  13. Make heat the sugar, honey, glucose syrup and water in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is a light caramel. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the bicarbonate soda.

  14. The honeycomb will froth up so keep whisking for another minute or two to knock it back down. Pour the mixture into the tray and stick in the lollipop sticks. Set aside until the honeycomb has hardened.

  15. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Sprinkle the almonds and popping candy onto separate plates.

  16. Cut around the honeycomb to form lollipops and dip each lollipop in the melted chocolate, then the almonds and popping candy. Set aside in the fridge for 1-2 hours, or until the chocolate has set. (You can either insert the lollies into a small polystyrene block or invert the lollies onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

  17. For the coconut custard, place the coconut rum into a pan and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.

  18. Put the coconut milk, double cream and vanilla pods and seeds in a separate pan and bring to the boil.

  19. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until beige in colour.

  20. Take about 50ml/2fl oz of the hot cream and place in a small pan. Squeeze the gelatine of any excess water and add it to the cream in the small pan.

  21. Pour the remaining hot liquid on to the eggs and mix well. Transfer the eggs back to the main pan of cream and cook until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.

  22. Add the dissolved gelatine cream to the custard.

  23. Pour in the reduced coconut rum, mix well and pass through a sieve. Discard the vanilla pods and set the custard aside to cool. Spoon the custard into a piping bag and pipe the custard into small glasses.

  24. For the peanut popcorn, preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.

  25. Take a medium-sized saucepan and lid, warm up the pan and add the olive oil. When hot, add the corn kernels and place the lid straight on top.

  26. Shake the pan until you can’t hear any more popping. Remove from the heat, place the popcorn on a tray and pick out any kernels that did not pop.

  27. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring to a smooth consistency. Add the peanuts and popping candy.

  28. Fold the popcorn through the chocolate and peanut mixture. Mix well, transfer to a tray and place in the fridge to set for about 10-15 minutes.

  29. Remove from the fridge, break up into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle the peanut popcorn over the coconut custard in the glasses.

  30. For the toffee apples, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  31. Use a pastry cutter to cut the apples slices into perfect circles.

  32. Heat the sugar, butter and thyme in a frying pan until the sugar and butter have melted, increase the heat and continue to cook until the mixture is a toffee consistency. Dip the apples in the mixture until well coated, then transfer to a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

  33. For the marshmallow, add the sugar, glucose and water to a heavy-based medium-sized saucepan. Bring to the boil and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 127C/260F (use a sugar thermometer to check this). Stir in the gelatine sheets and vanilla and transfer to a heatproof jug.

  34. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites using an electric whisk to form stiff peaks when the whisk is removed.

  35. Slowly whisk in the hot sugar mixture until the egg whites thicken and become very glossy. When you have added the sugar syrup, continue to whisk for about five minutes, or until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.

  36. Take a tray with shallow sides and very lightly brush it all over with olive oil, then dust with some cornflour and icing sugar. With a spatula, spread the mixture onto the tray and spread level all over. Leave to set for at least an hour.

  37. Turn the marshmallow out onto a surface dusted with cornflour and icing sugar and with a hot knife cut 2cm/¾in by 2cm/¾in cubes of the marshmallow. Thread apple slices and marshamallow cubes onto kebab skewers, then using a cook's blowtorch, caramelise the outside of the marshmallow.

  38. For the candy floss, add the apple-flavoured sugar (or caster sugar) to the candy floss machine and turn on. When the mixture starts to go fluffy, put the tip of each stick in and start to turn really quickly - the more turns, the better the effect. Once you have the desired amount on your stick, pull away and start on the next one. Serve straight away.

  39. To serve, arrange all the elements on a platter for everyone to take what they wish.

1-2 hours preparation time

Over 2 hours cooking time

Serves 4

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