This recipe comes from Nigella's book 'Feast'. There is also a savoury version of the recipe in the book which I haven't tried, but I've made these sweet ones a few times now. They have the flavour of donuts with the cinnamon, but I like to pretend they're healthier than donuts - the protein in the ricotta makes them healthy, right?! I think they're also easier to make than donuts - no yeast, no proving. I've only ever made these for my husband and kids, and it does take some time to get them done when you are only doing 5-6 at a time and you do need to pay attention with hot fat, so I am not sure if I would be game to try doing them for guests, but then again if you have someone over that is happy to chat while you attend to frying the baci, it would probably be fine. If serving to guests, you might want to do a bigger batch, as these are pretty popular!
Makes 30 (I only managed 22 this time - some were a little big)
- 200g ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 75g plain flour
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 15ml caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- vegetable or corn oil for frying (I used sunflower oil)
- icing sugar to serve
- Beat the ricotta and eggs together until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, caster sugar and vanilla. Beat until the batter is smooth.
- Fill a wide shallow pan with about 2cm of oil and heat until 160C (or until it sizzles when some batter is dropped in). I normally do use a fry pan to make these, but this time I used my deep dryer.
- Drop rounded teaspoons of the batter into the pan, about 5-6 at a time. Cook them until golden brown (about 2 mins), then flip them over using a slotted spoon and cook the other side for around a minute until brown. I used 2 teaspoons to try and shape the balls a bit before dropping them into the oil, but as you can see, mine are never particularly round. Once they have puffed up and are dusted with icing sugar, I don't think it really matters much. They taste good anyway!
- Use the slotted spoon to remove the baci from the oil, allowing the oil to drip back into the pan, and place them on some paper towel to drain. Pile them onto a plate or bowl, and dust with icing sugar to serve.