Milsom's recipe for loukoumades
When I was very young I thought I was the most popular child on the street because of my impressive bug collection. Sadly it soon became clear it wasn't my huge array of beetles and spiders that drew my peers in, it was my mother’s honey doughnuts, which must have seemed rather exotic in 1970s Harwich.
We now serve these as a warm alternative to petit fours in Mr G’s and they are just as popular as they were with my childhood friends.
MAKES ABOUT 60 DESSERT SPOON-SIZED DOUGHNUTS
1 tsp dried yeast
75ml warm water
440ml full fat milk
70g unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
3 medium eggs
600g plain flour
Vegetable oil for plain flour
100g chopped pistachio nuts
375g caster sugar
Place the warm water in a large bowl and add the dried yeast, leave for roughly half an hour until it starts to froth up.
Over a high heat, cook the milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan, stir continuously so that it does not stick to the pan. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat.
In a large mixing bowl, add the butter, sugar and salt, pour over the hot milk and stir until everything has dissolved. Leave to one side to cool. Meanwhile, beat the eggs until fluffy.
Once the milk mixture has cooled to room temperature, add in the yeast mixture, and then the beaten egg. To this add the plain flour and work in using a wooden spoon until you have a thick batter. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rest for at least an hour.
Whilst this is resting you can make the syrup. Boil the honey, water and sugar together in a pan for 5 minutes (use a larger pan as the mixture will froth up). Remove from the heat, stir well, skim off any skin and allow to cool.
To cook the batter, pour the vegetable oil into a deep pan and heat on the hob until the oil is really hot. It needs to be hot enough so that once you place in the batter it will sizzle and cook immediately. Use dessert spoon sizes of the mixture and drop into the oil until they are well coloured. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto kitchen paper to drain the fat.
Once they are all cooked, soak in the syrup mixture and sprinkle with chopped pistachio nuts to serve.
*Taken from Recreate by Stas Anastasiades, Laura James and the chefs from the Milsom restaurants, Jon Croft Editions, £25.