Ricotta and honey doughnuts

Ricotta and honey doughnuts

You can call them doughnuts or fritters, but to me, these will always be beignets (pronounced "bay-nee-yeah"). They are made from a simple pâte à choux with just a touch of honey and lots of ricotta. Thick yoghurt works like a charm too, if that's all you have in your fridge. All you need is a generous drizzle of honey and perhaps a small handful of pine nuts, toasted in a frying pan until just golden, and a fun breakfast made of sticky fingers will happen.

Makes 30-40 bite-size doughnuts
whole milk 125g
butter 50g
sea salt 1 tsp
plain (all-purpose) flour 75g
eggs 2
ricotta 100g
honey 1 tbsp
vegetable oil for deep-frying
runny honey to servepine nuts toasted, to serve (optional)

To make a choux paste, bring the milk, butter and salt to a rolling boil in a saucepan over a low heat – you want the butter to be fully melted before the milk boils. Take the pan off the heat and add the flour all in one go, mixing well until combined.

Return the pan to the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until a thin crust appears at the bottom of the pan. This shows that the dough is dry enough – it should not be sticky.

Transfer the paste to a large bowl and leave to cool for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well with the wooden spoon until the batter comes together. Whilst still warm, fold in the ricotta and honey. While still warm, fold in the ricotta and honey. Scrape the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 20mm nozzle.

Heat the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 160C/gas mark 2/3.

Start piping the dough into the oil, snipping off 1cm pieces as you go with scissors. Cut 6 or 7 at a time and be careful not to burn yourself. Fry for about 6 minutes, flipping the balls halfway through, until they are deep brown.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried doughnuts to a plate lined with a few layers of kitchen paper and repeat with the remaining dough. Serve on a large plate and drizzle with plenty of runny honey. A scattering of toasted pine nuts on top makes a wonderful addition.