Loukoumades are delicious little Greek donuts, drenched in honey syrup, cinnamon and walnuts. I prefer to refer to them as the Devil’s donuts. You can never have enough of them. Getting them perfectly round is nearly impossible and only the really experienced Grandmothers seem to get it right.
I have fond memories of these bite size delights. Running out of church service on a festival day with my sisters, clutching a R5 note, dashing to the Loukoumades stand and waiting with baited breath for my portion of golden, sticky delicious mini donuts.
I have been craving these little things ever since my sister’s wedding. So I decided to make some of my own, and share the recipe with you all. Admittadly I just could not get a perfect round loukouma no matter how much I tried. I’m very certain that my mother will scold me after seeing that I dared to post a picture of not so perfect round donuts. She would probably say ‘Aaaahhh no man, you put this on the internet?’ in her very heavy typical Greek accent.
What you will need:
2 Cups lukewarm water
1 Cup lukewarm milk
10g dry yeast
3-4 Cups cake flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon olive oil
Roughly chopped walnuts for garnishing
Honey Syrup for drizzling
750ml Sunflower oil for frying
1/2 Cup raw organic honey (Note: Most of the honey you buy in supermarkets is irritated, this means that all the nutritional value of the honey is gone, you may as well eat sugar)
1 Cup Water
1 Stick cinnamon
What to do:
Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water.
Add milk, sugar and salt and stir until sugar and salt have dissolved.
Add olive oil and 1 cup flour, stir until fully incorporated. Add remaining flour 1/2 a cup at a time. Stir the batter until all clumps are gone.
You are looking for a thick batter like consistency.
Cover your bowl in cling film and a tea towel. Leave in a warm room for at least 1 hour. This is essential as the dough needs to double in size. Loukoumades are light and fluffy and this is achieved through allowing the dough to rise substantially. Ensure that your bowl is large enough to hold the dough.
Prepare the honey syrup by boiling the honey with the water and the cinnamon stick. Do not allow the syrup to over reduce, add more water if necessary, the consistency of the syrup should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside.
Frying the Loukoumades
Ok, so this is the hardest part of the entire process. It can get messy too. My kitchen looked like a Gremlin exploded in it after I was done. This is due to lack of practice and probably the lack of ability to do anything that remotely involves the use of oil, flour and deep frying. Moving on.
Place your oil in a deep based pot or pan and heat until you can see bubbles forming.
I did not use a thermometer to gauge the heat of the oil, however I tested the oil to ensure that a teaspoon of the batter cooked to a golden colour and that it was cooked through. You do not want to place the batter in oil that is too hot where the outside turns into a dark crisp, in other words burns, and the inside is raw. A loukouma should cook in about 30 seconds.
Use two teaspoons. One to scoop the batter and the other to scrape the batter off the spoon into the oil. I find that either dipping the spoons in water or oil prevents the batter from sticking to the spoons and also aids in ensuring that your loukoumades are uniform in shape.
You need to use a slotted spoon to move the loukoumades around in the oil so that they are an even golden brown before removing them and placing them on kitchen paper.
Do not over crowd your pot as the loukoumades will stick together.
Serve loukoumades hot, drizzle with honey syrup, sprinkle ground cinnamon and garnish with roughly chopped walnuts.
Then stuff your face.