Loukoumades is a popular sweet Greek dessert, the best way I can describe it is like a cross between a doughnut and a profiterole, without the eggs.
On researching this dish I found in Ancient Greek literature, they were known as ‘honey tokens’ and were awarded as small gifts to the victors of the Olympic Games!
Now I’m going to hold my hands up and admit I hadn’t even tasted one of these soft as a pillow type little treats before let alone make one – but I’m totally hooked on them. I’ve made them with cream filling, jam filling, chocolate topping, lime syrup, with nuts, without nuts, honey and sugar, even coconut.
Now the problem I had with the Loukoumades at first was trying to quantify the amount of spoonfuls to each one, then trying to get the batter dough off the spoon and into the hot oil.
Well this is eventually how I did it and how I will continue doing it – probably to the stifled laughter and amusement of the Greeks.
I used one of those potato scoops – the ones they used to use at schools for serving mash, or was it ice cream? You know the ones?
You squeeze the handle and a small metal bar slides under the potato releasing it onto the plate.
I wiped a bit of oil on the inside and – with my new invention – they were flying into the pan, out of the pan, onto a plate. I unashamedly devoured by myself in huge quantities.
With a splash of honey and a scattering of chopped nuts (Optional), this is without question my new go-to dessert.
Loukoumades drizzled with Greek honey and crushed nuts
225ml of warm milk
225ml of warm water
15g of fast acting yeast
400g of plain flour
25g of Cornflour
4tbsps of caster sugar
A good pinch of salt
4tbsps olive oil
Vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
A drizzle of Greek honey
Chopped nuts (optional)
1. In a bowl add the water, sugar and yeast.
2. Stir with a whisk until the yeast dissolves completely and wait for a couple of minutes. Add the plain flour, cornflour, pinch of salt and olive oil.
3. Give it another gentle whisk.
4. Then gradually add your warm milk, gently whisking until you get a smooth batter with no lumps.
5. Cover the bowl with grease proof paper and leave in a warm place for an hour or so and let the dough rest and rise.
6. Using a medium size pan pour in enough vegetable oil to deep fry the Loukoumades.
7. Heat the oil on medium heat until hot.
8. Test if the oil is hot enough by dipping in some of the dough for the Loukoumades. If it sizzles the oil is ready.
9. With a potato scoop (or a couple of spoons) add a touch of oil and just give it a quick wipe, this will release the dough into the oil.
10. Once you drop the dough (in batches of four) carefully into the hot oil, push the Loukoumades around with a slotted spoon trying to form a ball shape as you go (if you prefer to roll the dough into your hands by all means but this in my opinion is to messy).
11. Once they are golden brown remove and drain them on some kitchen paper and repeat with the rest of the dough.
12. Serve with some honey and crushed nuts or like I did experiment with different toppings or fillings.