If watching too much TV has taught me anything, it's that cleaning the oven, doing your taxes and making souffles are a bitch, and that's why I've never attempted to do any of those things. Unfortunately, my oven is in quite a state at the moment. An incident involving a leaky baking tray and cheesey potato bake has left the bottom of my oven floor covered in a film of oil, and whenever I try to bake something, it imparts a smokey flavour into the baking, which I just don't love. Instead of cleaning the oven, I've decided to leave it there until the next time I absolutely must use it.

In the meantime, these deep fried donuts are satisfying my needs for baked goods. The secret ingredient (apart from the deep fried) is ricotta. You can use yoghurt or sour cream instead but I like the texture the ricotta gives most. You can fill these with just about anything you like or eat them just as they are - they're delicious either way. 

ricotta donuts with creme patissiere

These are incredibly easy to make but you must, must, must use a thermometer. I have tried these sans thermometer and all if left me with was a few good donuts, and many burnt ones that weren't cooked inside. Don't make my mistakes.

(makes about 15)
adapted from a cup of jo

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
250gm of ricotta
Canola oil, for frying
Icing sugar, to dust

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl. Add sugar, salt, eggs, ricotta, vanilla, and lemon zest, and mix until combined. 
  2. Fill a deep, heavy pot, with canola oil (leaving at least 5cm space at the top) and heat the oil over medium heat until a thermometer reads 165หšC. 
  3. Using a cookie dough scoop, drop scoops of batter into the oil. Only fry a few at a time and make sure to leave enough space for the donuts to move around. It should take 4-5 minutes to cook and should be golden brown all over. Remove a test donut from the pot and cut in half to double check it is cooked inside. 
  4. Deep fry the rest of the batter and let the donuts rest on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil. 
  5. Dust with icing sugar.
  6. If filling with caramel, use a sharp knife to poke a hole at the top of each donut 3/4 of the way deep. Swivel the knife around to make a hole for the caramel sauce.
  7. Remove (or eat) any loose cake from the insides of the donuts.
  8. Fill a piping bag with the caramel and gently fill each donut with the caramel sauce.