Sometimes when life gets tough, or when I’ve had a really bad day, I come here to my blog – my little space on the internet (or, alternately, I visit the Daily Puppy for some cuteness overload!) Here, I share some of my favourite recipes. I read your lovely comments and they make me smile, every time without fail.
That’s what I did today, when nothing went as planned. So, I just wanted to say thank you to all my lovely readers, especially those who take the time to comment. You brightened my day, and for that I give you doughnuts!
I made these little Italian doughnuts, called zeppole when I was in Perth over Easter, a fitting end to a fantastic dinner. For some people, making doughnuts can seem a little scary, what with the yeasted dough and deep-frying. But this is one of the most well-behaved (and delicious) doughs I’ve ever worked with. It comes together so easily, whether you’re mixing by hand, as I did, or in a stand mixer.
For the sugar-espresso coating, I opted to simplify the recipe by simply mixing finely ground espresso with the caster sugar, as you would make cinnamon sugar for regular doughnuts. I was a little worried it would be bitter or grainy but it worked perfectly and was actually quite a subtle coffee flavour. The mascarpone, with hints of vanilla and rum was the perfect accompaniment. I substituted the Marsala used in the original recipe for rum.
Espresso Zeppole with Vanilla Mascarpone
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller
• 125ml (1/2 cup) pouring cream
• 60ml (1/4 cup milk)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 225g (1 ½ cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
• 1 tablespoon dried yeast
• 30g caster sugar
• Vegetable oil for deep frying
• 5 tablespoons caster sugar
• 1 tablespoons espresso
• 250g mascarpone
• 2 tablespoons rum
• ¼ cup pure icing sugar, sifted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For espresso sugar, combined caster sugar and espresso in a container and
shake to combine.
For zeppole, combine cream, milk and vanilla in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until lukewarm (30 seconds – 1minute). Meanwhile, combine flour, yeast, sugar and a pinch of fine salt in a large bowl. Add cream mixture and stir to combine. Turn onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth. Transfer to a lighly oiled bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (35-40 minutes).
Knock back dough, divide into walnut sized pieces and roll into smooth balls. Place on a lighly floured tray, cover with a tea towel and stand for 30 minutes or until risen.
Meanwhile, whisk mascarpone, rum, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth and combined. Refrigerate until required.
Preheat oil in a deep fryer or deep-sided saucepan to 180°C (350°F). Deep fry zeppole in batches, turning occasionally until golden and cooked through (3-4 minutes) Drain with a metal sieve, toss in espresso sugar and serve hot with mascarpone.