Krofne with Nutella-Tim Tam pastry cream

I have been on a real Montenegrin fix lately, and I just wanted to continue that with one of my favorite desserts, the krofne. Krofne are super fluffy doughnuts, golden brown on each side, dusted in powdered sugar, and sometimes, with jam or custard piped inside of them. Very similar to a Berliner, and eaten in various regions of Europe, ranging from Montenegro to Serbia. And most importantly, they’re really delicious. Like out of any of the doughnuts I have made, these would have to be the best I have ever created!

For my filling, I wanted to be playful. I had recently had a Tim Tam for the first time(for those of you who don’t know, they are Australian biscuits/cookies coated in chocolate and sandwiching a delicious cream filling), and I had been dying to make a Tim Tam butter, similar to speculoos. I figured, since I also had a lot of leftover hazelnuts from a dessert I wound up never making, to combine the two with some dark chocolate to make my own Nutella-Tim Tam mixture, and combine that with pastry cream to make it super sawing-off-your-foot-levels-of-diabetic decadent.

For the dough:
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour + more for rolling
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 packet instant-dry yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup warm water
a pinch of salt

vegetable oil for frying with
powdered sugar to dust with

In a bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and water and allow to sit. In a pot, combine heavy cream, butter, and salt and heat until the butter is just melted. At this point, crack three eggs, straight from the fridge, into a bowl and whisk in the melted butter-cream mixture. This guarantees the fastest cooling of the cream-butter so that you can add in your yeast mixture right away. Make sure that the egg-cream-butter mixture is no warmer than 115 degrees F and then add in your yeast, then flour, and whisk until combined. Scrape into a bowl lined with oil and wrap with cling wrap. Allow to sit in a warm place to proof for 1 hour. After an hour, pour the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to about a 1/4 of an inch in thickness. Cut out 3 inch circles and allow those to sit and proof for another 15 minutes. Heat up your oil in a pot or deep fryer to 330 degrees F before cooking off your doughnuts, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel to remove any excess oil and allow them to cool slightly before piping in your filling and finishing with some powdered sugar.

For the pastry cream:
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup hazelnuts
8 Tim Tams
a pinch of salt

Whip egg yolks with cornstarch and sugar. Bloom gelatin in water and melt into the heavy cream. Temper with the dark chocolate and egg yolks, whipping on medium heat until thickened. Transfer to a blender and puree in the Tim Tams and hazelnuts with that mixture until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a piping bag and allow the mixture to cool in the refrigerator until set, about 1 hour.

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