Candied cherries are stuffed into ricotta-spiked doughnut batter and fried until crispy and oozing; a shot of warm sweet chocolate on top makes these little cherry bombs even more explosive.
Servings: Serves 4 to 5 (makes 16 to 20 doughnut holes)
Doughnut holes:
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 Tbsp. kirsch (cherry brandy)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 12 cups canola oil, for deep-frying
  • 20 candied cherries, (preferably amarena; available at
Chocolate sauce:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate (preferably 68 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
To make doughnut holes: In a bowl, whisk ricotta, eggs, and kirsch. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold flour mixture into ricotta mixture to form a batter.

In a separate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in an 8-quart heavy-bottomed soup pot (the pot should not be more than 1/3 full) over medium heat until it reaches 350° on a deep-fat thermometer.

Divide batter into 2 batches. Take a spoonful of batter (about 2 teaspoons), stuff a candied cherry in its center, and drop it into hot oil; repeat for the rest of first batch. Fry until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Remove doughnuts from oil with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Repeat process for second batch. When doughnuts are cool enough to handle yet still hot, roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until well coated.

To make chocolate sauce: In a saucepan, combine cream with 1/3 cup water; simmer over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate. Remove from heat; stir until smooth.

Transfer doughnut holes to a platter and serve immediately, with 3/4 cup chocolate sauce on the side for dipping. Refrigerate extra chocolate sauce (about 1 1/4 cups) for up to 1 week.


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