Bomboloni with Chocolate Espresso, Whisky Caramel, and Clementine Sauces
- Active time: 30 min
Total time: 2 3/4 hr
Bomboloni—small round Italian doughnuts—is almost as much fun to say as they are to eat. It’s like a party in your mouth when you repeat the word, which you will be doing over and over between bites of these balloon-light spheres of the tenderest yeast dough. Bomboloni are the new hot item on restaurant menus these days, and you’ll instantly understand why when you taste your first. It won’t be your last, that’s for sure, which is why we’ve accompanied them with three different sauces for dipping. Each is delightful on its own, but if you want to go all the way with all three, you’ll find they play well together, too.
- 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (from a 1/4-ounce package)
- 6 tablespoons warm whole milk (105–115°F)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- About 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
A stand mixer with paddle attachment; a deep-fry/candy thermometer
Stir together yeast and milk in bowl of mixer and let stand until it appears creamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t appear creamy, start over with new yeast.)
Mix in 1/2 cup flour at low speed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour.
Mix in egg, butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour at low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat dough until smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes.
Scrape dough into center of bowl and dust with additional flour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough and turn out onto a well-floured surface (dough will be very sticky.) Cut into 16 equal pieces and form into balls with floured hands. Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet 1 inch apart.
Heat 2 1/2 inches oil to 350°F in a 4- to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Fry bomboloni in batches of 4, turning frequently with tongs for even browning, until puffed and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per batch.
Transfer with a slotted spoon to towels to drain. Return oil to 350°F between batches.
Cool bomboloni to warm and serve with sauces.
Bomboloni can be formed, but not fried, 1 day ahead and chilled on a rimmed sheet pan, loosely covered with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before frying.
Although bomboloni are best freshly made, they can be fried a day ahead, cooled, and kept covered with plastic wrap at room temperature. Reheat, uncovered, in a sheet pan on a rack in a 300°F oven until warm, 4 to 5 minutes.
Oil can be cooled to warm, strained through a paper towel–lined sieve, and reused once more.