Easy Doughnuts (Sfince)

June 30, 2008 | By | COMMENTS

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A dangerous thing to say after dinner is: “Do you want doughnuts?”

It’s a dangerous thing to say, because almost certainly the other person will say “yes” and then what do you do? Especially since most doughnut recipes require time for the yeasted doughnut dough to rise?

Here’s what you do: crack open Mario Batali’s first book, Simple Italian Food, and follow his recipe for Sfince. First of all, sfince is a funny word. It makes me think of an Andy Milonokis character who puts a “snf” sound at the start of every word. Only 1 person reading this will get that reference. Second of all, you can assemble the dough in a matter of minutes and as soon as the oil gets hot enough, you’ll be frying.

Are sfince as good as normal doughnuts? No, definitely not. But you douse them in powdered sugar and honey, and suddenly they’re very tasty. According to Mario, “this dough is caled pate a choux and it is used for profiteroles and Paris-Brest.” Anyone who read the Sunday Times Magazine section saw a whole essay about pate a choux, so you can take this recipe, fry the doughnuts, and then use them for all the things mentioned in that article. Fill them with ice cream and you have profiteroles; fill them with pastry cream and you have cream puffs. But if you want doughnuts, just eat ‘em plain and tell your guest: “Hey, it may not be a normal doughnut, but I ain’t got time to make yeasted doughnut dough, fool.” They’ll appreciate it!

Sfince with Honey

from Mario Batali’s “Simple Italian Food”

Ingredients:

Vegetable Oil, for frying

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup water

pinch of salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 eggs

1 cup honey, preferably chestnut

Confectioner’s Sugar, for dusting

In a 6-inch-deep saucepan, heat 3 to 4 inches of oil to 375 F.

In a 2- to 3-quart saucepan, melt the butter in the salted water and bring to a boil. Stir in the flour and cook until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl and allow to cool. When cool, beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Place the honey in a small saucepan and heat over low heat.

Using 2 tablespoons, form almond-size balls of dough and drop into the hot oil. Fry 3 to 4 at a time (don’t crowd the pan–they will double or triple in size) until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.

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Remove and drain on paper towels. Continue until all the dough is fried.

Sprinkle sfince with confectioner’s sugar, drizzle with the warm honey, and serve.

Categories: Desserts, Fried Desserts, Recipes

  • http://anymorepie.typepad.com/any_more_pie/ Matthew

    Excellent – looks a good timesaving option. Will give it a try.

    I’ve never heard of Mario Batali. What do you think of his books? The reviews on Amazon make me think he’s right up my street.

  • http://www.karlonia.com/2007/03/31/general-tso-chicken-recipe/ karlonia.com

    I am happy to have found this – have been looking for a good doughnut recipe! Also – my compliments on your site. I will come back to check on new ideas. Frequently, we try new recipes at my house and I post the ones I think are very good. Thanks again!

  • http://www.helengraves.co.uk Helen

    Your doughnuts look very impressive for an impromptu sweet fix. My problem is that I have a serious fear of large quantities of hot oil….

  • http://cateskitchen.blogspot.com Cate

    ANDY MILONAKIS…seriously!!??! I think I might be the only person on the West Coast who ever liked his show. You are my hero all over again!

  • http://cateskitchen.blogspot.com Cate

    ANDY MILONAKIS…seriously!!??! I think I might be the only person on the West Coast who ever liked his show. You are my hero all over again! (and the doughnuts look amazing)

  • Kate

    Oy! What a great recipe! I’m a teacher on summer break, so I’m cooking a lot and these were amazing this morning for breakfast. Thanks for posting such fun food :)

  • http://coffeeandqueso.blogspot.com mindy

    these look great and remind me of my childhood favorite: funnel cake! btw, I only fry stuff once every 3-5 years, and i always forget: WHAT do you do with the oil when you’re done?

  • Alison

    I love Andy!

    Shmuti!

    Oh, and the doughnuts look fantastic!

  • denise

    i remember that episode. my friends and i still say “smelt” (followed by endless giggles) on a regular basis.

    these really do look great!

  • http://www.whitetoque.com jonathan drewes

    These donuts look absolutely delicious! Here is another dessert I wrote a review for if you guys are looking for a little more exotic gourmet taste:

    White Toque Chocolate Creme Brulee Domes: A Satisfying Gourmet Treat

    White Toque Chocolate Creme Brulee Dome: Package Design and Price

    The presentation of the package and photo quality were one of the main factors that led to me purchasing this product. The photo on the front was very well done. It looked very appetizing with the cocoa powder spread over the white serving dish, the hazelnut toppings and also the way the dome was photographed with the inside crème exposed made me curious about the taste of the crème. The price for the White Toque Chocolate Crème Brulee Domes was a little steep in comparison to my usual on sale generic ice cream, but it was most definitely worth the splurge. The desserts came in a box of two and were priced $7.69. Once I opened the individually wrapped domes, they looked like restaurant desserts and I probably would have paid more for two helpings of these at a restaurant, so this nice presentation accompanied with the taste made the higher than my average price dessert a worthwhile purchase in my eyes. I just hoped my fiancé was going to be impressed with this choice as well…

    White Toque Chocolate Creme Brulee Dome: Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

    These were not the biggest factors for me because I am not allergic to anything, the purchase was for taste over health and I was trying something different and did not want this to hinder in my overall opinion of the Chocolate Domes. The ingredients listed included milk, eggs, soybeans, wheat and tree nuts (hazelnut). I am aware that this is important to most people, so you can view the full product nutrition facts bar that is on the package itself on their online product webpage .

    White Toque Chocolate Creme Brulee Dome: Preparation

    The package does say that if you are not going to eat it right away that you should thaw these out in the refrigerator after putting them in the freezer, but I was going to eat these right after dinner. There was not too much that had to go into getting these tasty desserts ready to eat. What I did was get the meal I had prepared and thaw the box of Chocolate Domes in the refrigerator so upon completion they were ready to go. I do not like to put too much preparation into desert, so this was just fine by me.

    White Toque Chocolate Creme Brulee Dome: Taste

    This is what readers look for in food reviews. It all comes down to this question. How did it taste? I must say these Chocolate Brulee Domes are going to make want experiment with desserts more often. The desserts tasted excellent. The chocolate mouse was top notch. I have had lots of chocolate mousse in restaurants and this was just as creamy and tasty especially for an already prepared frozen desert. The hazelnuts on top were soft when served and really added to the overall taste of the domes. The one thing I was nervous about though was the center brulee crème filling. I had never heard of this crème let alone tasted it. The creamy center had a vanilla like taste to it and really brought the whole dessert together.

    White Toque Chocolate Creme Brulee Dome: Final Thoughts

    My fiancé and I loved the deserts and hope to try some more of White Toque’s other desserts in the near future. They have a whole shop online section on their webpage (www.whitetoque.com) with lots of other good looking deserts as well. I am glad I experimented with these Chocolate Crème Brulee Domes and would recommend these to anyone that is tired of the same old deserts and wants to have a little gourmet splurge in their home.

  • charlie

    Great basic recipe, bake them to make the cream puffs then slice and fill. If you want to enliven the taste add a tablespoon or two (to taste) of lemon juice and fresh grated lemon zest. I’ve also added almond extract successfully.

  • charlie

    Great basic recipe, bake them to make the cream puffs then slice and fill. If you want to enliven the taste add a tablespoon or two (to taste) of lemon juice and fresh grated lemon zest. I’ve also added almond extract successfully.

  • charlie

    Great basic recipe, bake them to make the cream puffs then slice and fill. If you want to enliven the taste add a tablespoon or two (to taste) of lemon juice and fresh grated lemon zest. I’ve also added almond extract successfully.

  • http://www.plentyoffood.net/ Sorina

    I like the sound and look of this. I shall mark this on my to do list.