Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ricotta Zeppole with Cherry n Chocolate Filling

I've been going over the blog lately... and I realized that my last video was posted in august TWO YEARS AGO !!

At first I couldn't believe that two years have gone by since my last video. 
Then I realized that that's just wrong, and decided to make a new one! 
However, I got so excited about shooting a video, I forgot to take pictures... 
If I hadn't told you, would you have noticed that these are actually screen shots?
(Do tell in the comment section!!)

I came across the idea when we were served ricotta Zeppole in a most boring restaurant somewhere in the Italian Alps. This dessert is really the only thing that redeemed it (well, only partially. The food was so plain). It was originally filled with nougat and served with vanilla sauce, yummmm. 

My version looks more like mini sufganiyot - Just in time for Hanukkah !! 
Ahm, well maybe more like just in time to not miss Hanukkah... 
But nevertheless! Just in time!

*Disclaimer: Since cherries are not in season, I used preserved cherries. I got Toschi Amarena solely because their box is so darn pretty!! After tasting their product I can say that I still really like the box... I find them a bit too sweet for my taste and that the quality doesn't really justify the price (I payed the equivalent of 9.5 euros for 180g of actual cherries). However, they are better than the cherries that are preserved in more watery syrups because they're not as squashy. If you know of a better brand please share :)

Ricotta Zeppole with Cherry n Chocolate Filling

40-45 zeppole, based on this recipe

30g bitter-sweet chocolate
40-45 cherries*

140g of flour
2 1/2 tsp of baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 eggs
50g sugar
2 tsp vanilla paste
350g fresh ricotta cheese
80g cream cheese
Icing sugar for decoration
oil for deep-frying

Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie. Place the cherries on a baking parchment and drizzle the chocolate over them. Let cool.

Mix flour + baking powder + salt in a small bowl. Use a big bowl to beat the eggs + sugar till the mixture is slightly foamy and a bit lighter in color. Stir in the ricotta + cream cheese + vanilla paste. Finally, add the flour mixture and beat till uniform. 

Fill a medium pot with enough oil to deep-fry tablespoons of batter - I measured about 2 1/2 cm of oil from the bottom. Heat it up on low-medium heat to about 170-180 degrees Celsius (if you don't have a thermometer see tips to follow). 

Make batter balls using a tablespoon sized cookie scoop (if it sticks to the scoop, dip it in some water, before scooping), push one chocolate coated cherry into the center of the scoop and then use your fingers to close the batter over it. Deep-fry these beauties for about 1.5-2 minutes until golden to light brown. Tip nu. 1: if it takes the Zeppole less time than that to fry, the oil is too hot and they won't be ready on the inside - reduce the heat. If it take much longer than that - turn the heat up a bit. Tip nu. 2: you are looking for lazy and slow frying bubbles, not crazy loud ones. Loud ones indicate the oil is too hot for the Zeppole.

Remove from the oil and soak up extra oil with paper towels. Sift icing sugar over the Zeppole and serve immediately.

Happy last day of Hanukkah everyone :) Oh, and merry Christmas, of course!

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