“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco


Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Nutella Chronicles: Nutella Ricotta Zeppoles, Week One



It happened again. I woke up this morning, my hair a mess, half off the bed, memory blurred and my hand clutching a spoon like it was a teddy bear. What happened? What had I done? And then it all hit me. The familiar scent of hazelnut, the rich taste of chocolate in my mouth, the sticky fingers. I hit the nutella….again. Real bad too. How could I keep doing this? It was so unlike me. There was just something about the way nutella smelled and tasted, the smooth and creamy texture, all the versatility, the things I could do with it.


Never mind that now, I had to figure out exactly what got me here. I looked to the right side of the bed and saw a few half opened jars of the stuff, to the left there was a plate full of crumbs. Crumbs. Okay, I didn't just eat out of the jar then. They texture of the crumbs didn't make sense. They weren't brownies or cookies, they were too crispy for that. I needed to investigate further.

I got up and walked into the kitchen searching for more clues. A large mixing bowl sat on the counter, whisk still in it next to a used container of ricotta. A frying pan with a fresh layer of oil on the stove. Frying pan? Ricotta cheese? I clearly wasn't making cheesecake, so what could I have possibly done with a frying pan, ricotta and nutella?  Oh no. I remembered. It all came back to me. I made my great aunt Carmella’s Nutella Ricotta Zeppoles. But how? My mother kept the secret recipe hidden, I didn't even know where it was. I checked my phone, seeing that I had called her four times last night, she must have spilled. Obviously, what else could explain the zeppoles? I certainly didn't know how to make them. Only my mother held the key.

I went back to the bedroom searching desperately for more clues and there it was. Placed neatly on my desk. The recipe. The recipe for the most amazing, crispy and crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, Nutella Ricotta Zeppoles. Glancing over the recipe, it wasn't hard to see why I had ended up like this.

Nutella Ricotta Zepploes

1 ½ pounds ricotta
½ cup of nutella
2 cups of flour
¼ tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. sugar
4 eggs
1 cup of neutral oil for frying

First, mix together your ricotta and nutella. Then add your eggs. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the nutella ricotta mix. Let the batter sit for around 20 minutes.

Prepare a deep pot for frying over high heat and add your oil. Drop batter by large tablespoons into the oil. Each zeppole should take roughly 4-6 minutes to fry, so please stand by and watch them. They should also float to the top!! Don’t get nervous if when they are done frying they look dark, the nutella makes the batter a mocha color! When they are done, take them out and put on a wire rack so any excess oil drips off. I like to serve these the traditional way with a light dusting on powdered sugar! Boun Appetito!!