…..stuffed with Nutella!
(I’ve now looked at the word ‘doughnut’ for too long and it looks completely wrong. I almost went with donuts!) There is nothing original about ricotta doughnuts but I was flicking through NOPI: The Cookbook by Ramael Scully and Yotam Ottolenghi and they had a recipe for ricotta fritters with chocolate soil and a blackberry sauce. It looked delicious but also way too involved for my liking. So after a bit of a nose on Google I found the recipe could be simplified quite easily.
The ricotta makes them so light and gives it a really good crust. I still wanted chocolate in the recipe and thought I could make a dipping sauce like the one used for the poached pears but then decided a little Nutella in the middle would be good. I’m going to make a little confession, I’m not a big Nutella fan. I know that makes me a bit of a freak. So I made couple of them plain and I liked them like that too. Next time I’m going to make the sauce and a berry compote like this one and dip the doughnuts into them.
I would not make these too far in advance of serving them. You could keep them warm in a low oven while you fry different batches if you like, but if you leave them too long they will lose their crispness. You can make the batter, cover it and put it in the fridge for a few hours if you like. Bring it back up to room temperature before frying.
Makes approx 15-18, depending on the size you make them
- 200g Ricotta cheese
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- The finely grated zest of half an orange (or lemon if you prefer)
- 100g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large or 3 small eggs
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Nutella (optional)
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- Sunflower oil for frying
- Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl beat together the ricotta, vanilla and orange zest. This will soften the ricotta and make it easier to mix with the rest of the batter.
- In another bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together until they become pale and fluffy and thicken slightly. Gently combine the ricotta with the eggs, taking care not to knock too much air out of the eggs.
- Fold the flour into the mixture, again as gently as possible and fold until it is just combined.
- Use a heavy medium sized saucepan or frying pan and heat about 3cm of the oil in it. If you don’t have sunflower oil use another neutral tasting oil that can withstand high temperatures.
- Test if the oil is hot enough by dropping a little bit of the batter into it. You want it to sizzle immediately but not too violently; if it is too hot the outside of the doughnut will burn before the inside is cooked. If using a thermometer you want it at about 170c.
- When ready to fry, take a tablespoon, dip it in a little oil to allow the batter drop easily into the oil. Scoop some of the batter, slightly less than the spoon and drop it into the oil. It is always a good idea to do one test doughnut to make sure it is cooked the way you want. And you get to eat that, chef’s treat!
- Fry about 4 at a time so that the oil temp does not drop. Turn them with a slotted spoon regularly as they will brown quite quickly. Remove from the oil and drain them on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.
- Spoon a small amount of Nutella into a piping bag with a very small nozzle attachment. Or if you happen to have food syringes lying around the house (I certainly don’t) they would be even easier to use. When the doughnuts are cool enough to hold pipe a generous amount of the Nutella into the doughnut.
- Put them onto a serving dish, put the hole from the piping at the bottom.
- Dust over some icing sugar and serve immediately.
- Alternatively put some chocolate sauce, salted caramel or berry sauce into little bowls for dipping.