Ricotta zeppoli with mascarpone caramel: recette 7

I got this idea for a dessert where milk is celebrated. Ricotta fritters immediately came to mind because of how they use ricotta cheese to create this light, fluffy batter. Mascarpone cheese is one of my favorites, and using that finish a caramel sauce just makes perfect sense to give the dessert a nice finish. I used blood orange instead of water because I lived how citrus paired with the cheeses.

Ricotta doughnuts are awesome because you don’t need to proof the dough and they are really fast to make. The biggest trick with actually cooking them is making sure that you have the balls at the right size, or else they won’t fry properly; you will end up with doughnuts that are completely raw and liquid in the center. Generally, I use the fryer at 375 degrees F and I fry for 2 minutes, and then let the doughnuts rest for 1 minute before cutting them open. That carry-over cooking generally does the trick for me.

For the doughnuts:
1 pint ricotta cheese, water strained
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
canola oil for frying

Heat oil to 350 degrees F. Combine together other ingredients. For frying, portion the batter into 1 tablespoon large balls and fry for 1-2 minutes. Drain on a towel to remove additional oil.

Mascarpone caramel:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 blood orange’s worth of juice
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Reduce sugar and juice until it begins to brown. Finish with the cream and cheese. Combine until smooth.

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