Italian zeppole are decadent balls of ricotta-enriched dough double as both a morning sweet and late-night dessert at Indaco in Charleston. Think of them as the Mediterranean counterpart to beignets. They’re equally delicious serve with morning coffee as they are with a fernet.
2 quarts peanut oil, for frying
2 cups ricotta
½ cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups flour
3½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
cinnamon (optional), for topping
- Heat oil in a countertop fryer or small pot until a thermometer registers 350 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk to combine ricotta, eggs, ¼ cup sugar, and vanilla. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Working in batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing with a spatula until no dry streaks remain. Do not over mix.
- Using a tablespoon or cookie dough scooper, scoop dough and gently drop into the hot oil. Turn balls to cook until golden brown. A ping-pong-sized ball should take about 7-8 minutes to cook.
- While the zeppoles cook, prepare cinnamon-sugar mixture by whisking to combine sugar and cinnamon.
- Remove zeppoles from oil with a slotted spoon and place directly in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Toss gently to coat. Serve warm.
- Created by chef Mark Bolchoz, Indaco, Charleston