Its school holiday time once again so I thought over the next couple of weeks I would share a few of my favourite recipes that get the kids excited and in the kitchen. Spending a fun morning or afternoon in the kitchen whipping up some delicious goodies or even preparing a simple dinner is a fantastic way to teach the kids a little about kitchen safety, seasonal produce, a few kitchen basics and of course nutrition. For me, spending countless hours by my father’s side in the kitchen has given me a wealth of food and cooking knowledge that I am truly grateful for and I love sharing that same very knowledge and passion with my daughter.
Today, I decided to share with you one of my all times favourite breakfasts/naughty snacks…donuts! My love affair with these light as air, fluffy, vanilla spiked, cinnamon sugar coated creations happened only recently, you see although I feel quite apt in the kitchen thanks to the teachings of my father there still are quite a few black spots in my cooking vision and prior to coming across this recipe donuts was very much one of them. Donuts used to seem so difficult to me, yeast and resting periods were involved and to be honest I thought they were better off left to the donut professionals.
That’s until I came across a Nigella Lawson recipe, saved! With a love of home cooking, a hearty appetite and a slight lean towards laziness Nigella possesses the most wonderful ability to take the difficulty out of any recipe and as if by magic deliver her viewers a delicious, easy-to-prepare delightful dish that looks achievable in any kitchen. Nigella exquisitely achieves this with no unnecessary froufrou, pretentiousness or la-de-da intimidation needed, just good honest home cooking and that’s why we all adore her. Watching the latest episode of Nigellissima I eagerly watched Nigella effortlessly prepare one of my greatest cooking fears, donuts. Watching the donuts come together so easily I thought I can do that too, so I did and here they are for you…
The recipe begins with placing ricotta, a couple of eggs and vanilla in a large bowl & mixing until all lusciously combined.
Flour, sugar and baking powder is added and mixed to combine.
Using two teaspoons the mixture is dropped into hot oil (180°C), I used my deep fryer but you are more than welcome to use a saucepan over medium heat. To ensure you have the correct frying temperature drop a piece of bread into the oil and it should brown in about 40 seconds or so.
As they cook the donuts will brown and pop around the hot oil joyously. Once browned flip and cook the other side for a couple of minutes, just until the donut is golden all over. If the donuts are browning too quickly, simply turn down the temperature of the oil a little.
Place the donuts on a little kitchen paper to remove any excess oil then quickly drop them onto a plate covered in a layer of sugar and cinnamon. As the donuts hit the sugar the most wonderful fragrance of cinnamon, vanilla and donut fills the kitchen and it feels like an eternity until the donuts are cool enough to take your very first bite.
For our morning tea, we filled a plate with orange segments and a couple of donuts to share and sat on the balcony under bright blue clear sky and streaming sunshine. Donut heaven x
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
2 free-range eggs
80g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
vegetable oil, for frying
1-2 tsp caster sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, to serve
Heat oil in saucepan or fryer to 180°C. Never leave oil unattended.
Meanwhile, put the egg and ricotta into a bowl and beat together until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and vanilla essence. Beat the mixture again to make a smooth batter.
Gently drop rounded teaspoons of the ricotta batter into the oil and cook for a few minutes flipping halfway. Remove using a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with kitchen paper. On another plate combine sugar and cinnamon and dredge cooked donuts through the sugar. Enjoy!
Note: Depending on the size of your pan you may need to cook the donuts in a couple of batches. When cooked the donuts should be golden and puffed. If unsure, retrieve a donut from the oil and cut in half to check if cooked.
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