I know, I know, I have been on a bit of an Italian bender lately – desserts and pastry especially! It all started with the Torta di Ricotta from Papa’s in Haberfield! Since then, I’ve been studying a whole heap of Italian delicacies.
Today, I’ll share with you my version of the Zeppole – little Italian doughnuts! This particular recipe is courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis who posted it on foodnetwork. Essentially, it is fried balls of choux pastry. Now I know these little treats are great as they – but that light fluffy and airy cavity inside just begs to be filled. I’m thinking jam, custard, pastry cream, or chocolate. Then, during a phone call to a good friend who is married to an Italian girl, I mentioned Zeppole and he says I have to learn how to make it with anchovies!
I’ll have to do a little more research and will make these for you another day!
3tbsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 cup flour
Oil for frying
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
In a saucepan, combine butter, salt, 3tbsp sugar and water on medium heat. Bring to a boil.
When it just gets to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the flour. There’s a bit of elbow grease required at this stage.
Return pan to heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until mixture comes off the sides of the pan and forms a ball.
Cook, continually stirring for 3-5 minutes. This will ensure that you don’t have the raw flour taste.
Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure you incorporate each egg completely before adding the next.
Beat until smooth. Cover with plastic film and rest until cool.
For the dusting mix, cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using the back of a small knive, scrape along the inside of the cut to collect the seeds.
Scrape vanilla bean seeds into a small bowl. Combine this with 1/2 cup caster sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside.
To cook, pour enough oil into a pan to a depth of about 5cm. Heat oil to about 175C.
Using small spoons, drop about a tablespoon of dough into the hot oil. Cook zeppole until golden and puffed up. Drain on paper towels before tossing in the cinnamon & vanilla sugar. Serve immediately.