Round, fluffy, sweet and oh so yummy, doughnuts are one of my guilty pleasure treats! So for National Doughnut Day, I decided to experiment by making some coconut cream zeppoles. If you’re not familiar with zeppoles, they are doughnuts or fritters typically found in Italian cuisine. The coconut custard inside the zeppole is inspired by an experience I had with a Tim Horton’s doughnut. I should correst myself, a *disappointing experience eating a “coconut cream” doughnut from Tim Horton’s. I wanted to make a true coconut custard made of coconut milk or cream and fold in some unsweetened shredded coconuts. Let’s start, shall we?
Dough: store bought pizza dough
Coconut custard: 1 can coconut cream (or milk), ¼ cup all purpose flour (sifted) & 3 egg yolks
Coconut topping: shredded coconut & 1 tbsp. granulated white sugar
*vegetable oil for deep frying
- After lightly dusting my board with some flour, I rolled the pizza dough and cut them into small pieces with a knife
- After cutting the dough in smaller pieces, I set them aside to prep the custard
- Crack & separate 3 eggs then place the egg yolks in a medium size bowl
- In a small saucepan, pour an entire can of coconut milk/cream. If you are using cream, you may not need to use as much flour; reduce it to 2 tablespoon
- In medium heat, let the coconut milk/cream simmer.
- Once you see bubbles consistently forming on the side, add the sifted flour and mix well. Reduce the heat
- You’ll notice that the coconut milk/cream will start to thicken up, turn off the heat and keep mixing
- With your spoon, add a small portion of the coconut milk mixture into the egg yolks then mix. Make sure that the coconut milk mixture is warm not hot
- Gradually keep adding the coconut milk mixture in the bowl and keep mixing to avoid lumps
- Fold in shredded unsweetened coconut into the custard to fortify the coconut flavour
- Cover your bowl of custard with plastic wrap and let it set in the fridge
- Bring your vegetable oil up to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit) before starting to fry your dough. A trick that I learned was taking a pinch of flour and flicking it into the oil to see if the oil is ready. The flour should bubble up and immediately disappear
- Start frying your dough and make sure that the your deep fryer is not too crowded
- While the dough is frying you can take your granulated flour and put it in a bowl to prep when the dough pieces are ready to be coated. I lightly pulsed the excess shredded coconut to make it finer then added it in with the sugar
- When the dough pieces are fried to golden brown in all sides, take it out and dump it in the bowl with the sugar and shredded coconut. You’ve made zeppoles!
- To inject the custard, let the zeppoles cool down and make a small hole with a knife OR you can cut the zeppoles in half
- If you decided to make a small hole, I used a piping bag and nozzle OR if you cut the zeppoles in half, you can spread the custard with a bread knife and make a little sandwich
You don’t have to use a filling, like custard, for these zeppoles. Try using powdered sugar, cacao powder or sugar & ground cinnamon. Give this recipe a try and share with us your thoughts! 🙂
P.S. Laura from Laura in the Kitchen has awesome Italian pastries and other Italian recipes! Aka she’s your girl if you’d like to explore more of Italian cuisine J