I was very excited to participate in my first blog event and Master Baker made my first time very enjoyable. For this event, an ingredient is chosen and you simply have to prepare an item that uses this ingredient.
The ingredient of choice -- cinnamon.
I wanted to make something I'd never made before and something my family and I would actually eat. For this, I decided to try zeppole.
Zeppole are a type of fried doughnut or fritter. It is Italian in origian and has a sweet flavor. I first saw them prepared on Everyday Italian. For those who didn't know, I am a HUGE Giada fan!
I watched A LOT of Everyday Italian while at home after my daughter was born and since then, several of Giada's recipes have made their way into our regular dinner rotation. This recipe however wasn't in the one cookbook of hers that I have. Before going to the internet, I thought I'd be resourceful and seek out zeppole in my cookbook library. Lo and behold it was in my "Sopranos Family Cookbook". Don't laugh.
I was rip-raring to go until I saw that it required yeast and 1.5 hours of rise time. No thank you. I wanted something quick and easy, so Giada's recipe it was (found on the Food Network website*).
It was quick and it was easy, however, my mixture was somewhat runny, so when dropping in hot oil, it spread and puffed into funny-looking masses, rather than her cute and petite balls of doughy goodness. Next time, I will probably omit one of the eggs.
All-in-all, they did taste quite good and I will probably make them again.
*Food Network also had a zeppole recipe from Rocco DiSpirito, but his recipe also called for rise time.
1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 stick butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
Olive oil, for frying
Mix the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Take pan off the heat and stir in the flour. Return pan to the heat and stir continuously until mixture forms a ball, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the flour mixture to a medium bowl. Using an electric hand mixer on low speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, incorporating each egg completely before adding the next. Beat until smooth. If not frying immediately, cover with plastic wrap and reserve in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, pour enough oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F.
Using a small ice-cream scooper or 2 small spoons, carefully drop about a tablespoon of the dough into the hot olive oil, frying in batches. Turn the zeppole once or twice, cooking until golden and puffed up, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Toss with cinnamon-sugar. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately.