February 16, 2013
Who doesn’t absolutely love a donut? Sure zeppoles are bite-sized little heart attacks, but they are DELICIOUS bite-sized little heart attacks. What’s so great about zeppoles is that they can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. Or they can be super simple and you can make elaborate sauces with them! This is how I tend to like them. I would be perfect content with a dozen zeppoles and 4 different sauces to dip them in. Yumskers. For those of you who don’t know what a zeppole is, or it hasn’t yet become clear to you what they are; they are basically an Italian deep-fried dough ball, or as we like to call them: donuts. Today we wanted to try beer two ways. We wanted to pair the zeppoles with a beer and we wanted to make a sauce with a beer. You’ll be surprised at how easy they are to make and how little money it takes to tackle them.
There a couple of things that are different in this zeppole recipe than in most. Zach doesn’t love ricotta and/or mascarpone. I could eat these cheeses by the spoonful and be perfectly content in life, but we all know how picky Zach tends to be. It’s funny because there are times where I have tried to hide ricotta, sour cream, cream cheese, mascarpone…you name it…in some of the foods I have made, and he can STILL tell that these ingredients are in them. For example, the other day I made twice-baked potatoes. I like my twice-baked potatoes with sour cream and cream cheese in them. I tried to mask the taste with lots of cheddar. He could STILL pick out the sour cream and cream cheese. Let’s just say I ate a lot of twice-baked potatoes in the two days that followed. Anyway, the point is, I wanted to skip the ricotta and mascarpone in this recipe and go with simple ingredients that just work. A lot of butter will do the trick, as well as a lot of eggs. If you happen to have a loved one that doesn’t necessarily like these cheeses, try this method instead. They taste just as good, if not better.
We took a little trip to the local liquor store this morning because I wanted new material for upcoming beer pairings. I feel like a lot of the beers we have been pairing with have become repetitive. Rogue’s Double Chocolate Stout stood out to me. Although I feel like a lot of people know about it, I’ve never actually had it. This beer is perfect to drink and perfect to cook with. It would actually make a really great braising liquid for lamb! Next time =). We got some other great stuff too, but you will just have to wait and see about those guys. This stout brought our chocolate sauce to life. You can literally taste the stout in the chocolate without it being to out of control. If you’ve never tried a stout or a porter in your favorite chocolate sauces, try it out. I mean, hello, they make beer with chocolate all the time. Why can’t we make chocolate with beer!?
I may have mentioned that I am on a chocolate chili beer kick. Well, of course I had to make a stout, chocolate chili sauce. Chili powder was the perfect addition to this sauce. Of course if you don’t like much heat, just tone it down a notch and if you want more, then hey dump the whole spice container in! I won’t judge =).
Next we are going Latin American and a delicious brew to pair with. Have a great weekend everyone!
- vegetable or canola oil for frying
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar, split + ¼ cup
- seeds from one vanilla bean, split
- 1 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- 10 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup chocolate stout
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Preheat your oil in a deep fryer or stock pot to 375 degrees (remember to use a thermometer if you are using a stock pot). If you are using a deep fryer, fill to the max fill line with oil. If you are using a stock pot, fill half way up the stock pot.
- In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the butter, sea salt, water, ¼ cup sugar, and seeds from half of a vanilla bean. Heat until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Stir in the flour and continue to stir until the mixture just begins to come together and dough ball has formed. Remove from heat and transfer the dough to the bowl of your stand mixer (paddle attachment fixed). Turn the mixer onto low speed, and add each egg one by one until they are all incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
- Taking a 1 tablespoon-sized melon baller, begin scooping out tablespoons of dough and plopping them gently into the oil. Watch them carefully, turning them over once as they begin to brown. Total time for frying will be about 3-4 minutes. Fry in small batches of 4-5 zeppoles at a time. Once removed from the oil, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate to cool for a minute or two.
- In a large bowl, whisk together ½ cup of sugar, the rest of the seeds from the vanilla bean and the cinnamon. Toss the zeppoles in the mixture and transfer to your serving platter.
- For the chocolate sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the remaining ½ cup of sugar and the heavy cream. Heat slowly over medium heat until it reaches a simmer. Remove from the heat and combine the chocolate and the heavy cream mixture into a small bowl, gently folding until it is smooth and dark. Add the ¼ cup of chocolate stout and the chili powder. Add more chili powder, if you feel it’s not enough heat for you.
- Serve warm and enjoy!