I used to go to Greek church festivals just to watch the old ladies making these doughnuts like machines. I was always excited to watch and even more to eat them too. Traditionally they are done and served with walnuts, but I wanted to bring an Anna mini twist.
- 200 ml lukewarm water
- 2 tsp dried yeast
- 200 g plain flour
- 25 g caster sugar
- pinch sea salt
- 1 litre vegetable oil, for deep – frying, plus extra for greasing
- Ground cinnamon, for dusting
- 50 g candied caramel popcorn, finely crushed
- 200 ml honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways
- 5 cloves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 1.5 hours
- For the honey syrup, place all the ingredients and 100 ml water in a small saucepan and stir until well combined. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Strain, then refrigerate until completely cold.
- Meanwhile, place the lukewarm water and yeast into a bowl and whisk together until well combined. Set aside for 5 minutes or until frothy.
- Transfer the yeast mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the flour, sugar and salt and whisk on medium speed until well combined and there are no lumps. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place for 1 – 1 ½ hrs or until doubled in size.
- Heat the oil for deep - frying in a large saucepan over medium – high heat to 180 ˚C.
- To form the doughnuts, grease one hand in cold oil (this stops the dough from sticking to your hands) and squeeze a small amount of dough into your palms. Using a dessert spoon, scrape the dough from your hand and drop it gently into the hot oil, one at a time. Fry the loukoumades in batches, turning occasionally, for 3 – 4 minutes or until puffy, golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel.
- Once all the loukoumades are cooked, place in a large bowl and drizzle with enough honey syrup to coat well. Toss to combine, then add a good dusting of cinnamon and the popcorn, toss to combine and serve immediately, with a little remaining syrup on the side for dipping.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Adam Liaw.