In an effort to expand my cooking repertoire, I’ve been experimenting with new dishes, techniques and recipes. I don’t often make desserts, so I figured that would be a great (and tasty) area in which to step up my culinary game. The latest sweet treat? Italian fried doughnuts, also called zeppole. Yup – deep-fried, buttery, sweet dough covered in sugar. What’s not to love?
After making a few classic-style batches (which thankfully my friends and family helped devour), I whipped up a version that incorporated one of my favorite flavor combinations – coffee and cardamom.
The cardamom balances out the richness of the doughnut while a sprinkling of powdered sugar helps sweeten up the coffee flavor. In the zeppole shown, I used espresso for added intensity, but you can also use coffee concentrate (see recipe below).
Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis
Yields 4-6 servings
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup strong coffee, espresso or coffee concentrate*
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tbsp very finely ground coffee
Vegetable oil, for frying
1. Combine butter, coffee, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring every once in a while. Allow the mixture to boil for about 10 seconds and then remove from heat.
2. Add the flour, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring well to ensure all the flour is fully incorporated and a thick dough forms. Return the saucepan to medium-low heat and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3. Transfer dough to a stand mixture with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer to a medium speed and add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time. Add the cardamom and coffee grounds. Mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and the dough becomes glossy and smooth (about 5 minutes of mixing, total).
4. Refrigerate the dough for about 15-20 minutes.
5. In a large, heavy saucepan, pour in enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F.
6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using a small scoop or two spoons, drop scoops of dough about one tablespoon in size into the oil. Cook for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, turning occasionally, until the dough becomes crisp and puffed. Remove zeppole with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue this process until all of the dough has been fried. Allow the zeppole to cool slightly, top with powdered sugar (or a coffee glaze like this one) and serve immediately.
Quick Tip: Zeppole taste best when served right away. However, the dough can be made ahead of time, covered and refrigerated until you’re ready to use it.
1. Add coffee to a French Press. Pour the cold water over the grounds, ensuring that all of the grounds get wet.
2. Let steep overnight, or for 8-16 hours.
3. After coffee has steeped, use the plunger on the French Press to strain your coffee.
4. Pour brewed coffee concentrate into a container that can be covered and stored in your refrigerator. This recipe makes more than you’ll need for the zeppole; the leftover concentrate can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.
This post was originally featured by East Coast Creative.