How to Cook Like Heston

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Exploding Potato Donuts Recipe

Heston Blumenthal's unusual recipe makes beautifully light donuts with a crackly popping coating

Heston: "Donuts are normally made with flour but substituting some of the flour with potato flesh gives a lighter, springier donut which can then be coated in crystallised potato and dipped in potato milk jam. . . . all this from the humble spud! The coloured, exploding coating is really for the kids but I love it too!

Serves 6


  • 4 King Edward potatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Oak smoking chips
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 95g white caster sugar
  • 30ml vegetable oil
  • 10g baking powder
  • 255g plain flour
  • Groundnut oil, for deep-frying
  • Potato milk jam, for dipping

For the potato sugar

  • 150g white caster sugar
  • 70g reserved potato flesh
  • Green food colouring (optional)
  • 75g neutral popping candy


1. To start the donuts, preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan 160°C/gas mark 4.

2. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork then coat them in groundnut oil and place them on a layer of salt spread on a baking tray. Place the tray in the preheated oven for 2 hours.

3. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut them in half.

4. Place the smoking chips on the bottom of a saucepan and place over a high heat. Using a blow torch, light the chips until they begin to smoke.

5. Using aluminium foil, make a ‘pillow’ and place in the centre of the pan. Place the potatoes on top of the pillow and cover the pan with a lid. Allow to smoke for 5 minutes.

6. When smoked, scoop the flesh from the potatoes and reserve the skins. Put the potato flesh through a sieve and weigh out 130g. Reserve the remaining flesh for the potato sugar (you will need 70g to mix with the food colouring).

7. Place the smoked skins in a pan with the milk over a medium heat and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 20 minutes before straining.

8. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, infused milk and oil together then add the baking powder and the flour. Mix in the smoked potato flesh.

9. Pipe the mixture in rings on to a baking tray lined with baking paper, then place in the freezer for 1 hour.

10. For the potato sugar, put 75ml water and the sugar into a saucepan and place over a high heat. Bring up to 160ºC then whisk in 70g of the reserved potato flesh and the food colouring until crystallised. Sprinkle on to a tray and once cool, add the popping candy and mix well.

11. Before serving, fill a saucepan ¾ full with oil and place over a high heat until the temperature reaches 180ºC. Remove the donuts from the freezer and fry until golden brown (approximately 5 minutes).

12. Dip the warm donuts into potato milk jam and sprinkle with potato sugar.

How to Cook Like Heston synopsis

Heston Blumenthal takes off his chef whites and steps into a domestic kitchen to show viewers how to inject some Heston-style magic into homemade cooking

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