Mini polenta vanilla doughnuts with chocolate dipping sauce

Mini vanilla polenta doughnuts with chocolate sauce

I have a slightly embarrassing confession to make. When I was 17 and had passed my driving test, we just to go to the service station just up the road where there was a Burger King. Now as a sixth form student we had an NUS booklet stacked full of pretty good discounts, and on a Wednesday there would be 2 for 1 on Burger King burgers. I somehow managed to pack away not only the two burgers, but also portion of their now defunct diddy doughnuts with “icing sauce”. An impressive feat, but also one I can no longer imagine achieving or even wanting to. I was reminded of my gargantuan eating habits and of said BK doughnuts when I started making these ones. It’s funny how you forget these silly things and then something small just triggers that memory right back.

I made these doughnuts to almost celebrate the cooler weather since we’re pretty much in Autumn now (and I can hide my podge under a thick jumper), and I really felt it was time to make use of this mini doughnut mould I bought last year since I never got around to using it. I still have a few more ideas for it, after visiting the Doughnuttery in Chelsea Market when I was in New York as I was blown away by the tasty flavour combinations they had. When I was there, I also tried an incredible apple sauce doughnut from Amy’s Bread that was enough for two to share.

Also, I’ve become kind of obsessed with polenta recently. It’s gluten-free because it’s made from maize. When I looked for it in the supermarket it was actually classed as “course ground cornmeal” but came in at a bargain price of about 80p for a huge bag that has lasted me through many rounds of cooking ideas. It make fabulous chips too of course and that was what I made initially, but when I googled around for polenta doughnuts there didn’t seem to be many ideas, so I took up the challenge! The thing I love about polenta is you can get a nice crispy outside and still have a soft inner. I then dusted them with sugar and cinnamon for a little more sweetness and flavour. In contrast, the semi sweet creamy chocolate dipping sauce helps the whole thing slide down almost a little bit too deliciously.

The first lot was a complete disaster, way too runny and just dissolved in the oil. Luckily batch two was delicious and we polished them off for dessert one evening.

If you don’t have a doughnut mould, you could free pipe rings if you really wanted, you just need to handle them very carefully!

{Makes 20 doughnuts using the mini doughnut mould I mentioned above}


For the doughnuts

  • 80g polenta + extra for dusting
  • 180ml cold water
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
  • 15g sugar
  • ½ beaten egg
  • Rapeseed/vegetable oil for frying
  • 1tsp cinnamon + 30g caster sugar for dusting
  • You’ll also need a piping bag

For the chocolate dipping sauce

  • 75ml double cream
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 3½tbsp caster sugar
  • 25ml water


  1. In a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat, combine polenta and water, stirring regularly.
  2. Slowly bring to the boil and continue stirring, the whole process should take about 10-15 minutes for the polenta to cook.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, sugar and beaten egg stirring quickly to prevent the egg for coagulating. Allow the mixture to cool for a five minutes.
  4. Place the mixture in a piping bag and snip a little off the end. Be careful! The mixture will still be warm. Piping into the doughnut mould or freestyle your own doughnut shapes on a piece of greaseproof paper. Make sure the “dough” has a thick enough to hold so it won’t break when you lift it.
  5. Allow to cool a little more then chill in the fridge for an hour.
  6. Warm about 2 inches oil in a pan over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove the doughnuts from the mould or paper and dust with a little polenta. Prepare the cinnamon dusting sugar by mixing both together on a small plate.
  8. Cook 3 or 4 doughnuts at a time by gently placing them into the oil and cooking on each side for 2-3 minutes until a light golden brown. Then remove and place on piece of kitchen towel for a minute or so before tossing them into the dusting sugar to finish.
  9. To make the chocolate dipping sauce, place all the ingredients in a glass bowl over a double boiler until melted and mixed. Serve alongside the doughnuts to dip at your delight!


  1. says

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