Food for lovin' ... orange and ricotta doughnuts and chocolate dipping sauce.

Food for lovin' ... orange and ricotta doughnuts and chocolate dipping sauce. Photo: Katie Quinn Davies

Think sweet, think seductive: this heady and romantic dessert can't fail to win hearts.

ORANGE AND RICOTTA DOUGHNUTS

Orange-scented doughnuts to swoon over.

300g ricotta, drained

¼ cup caster sugar, plus extra for dusting

½ tbsp grated lemon zest

1 tbsp grated orange zest

2 tbsp fresh orange juice

1 egg and 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

½ cup plain flour

2 tbsp cornflour

1½ tsp baking powder

rice bran oil, for deep-frying

Combine ricotta, caster sugar, zests, orange juice and eggs in a bowl. Sift in flour, cornflour and baking powder and combine, but don't overwork the batter. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a heavy-based saucepan, heat enough oil to cover a golf ball twice to 180°C. To test the temperature of the oil, sprinkle in some flour. If it sizzles, the oil is ready. Use 2 spoons to shape mixture into quenelles, and cook, in batches of 2 doughnuts, for 2 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel, dust with caster sugar and serve warm with coffee or your favourite dessert wine or sparkling.

 

CHOCOLATE DIPPING SAUCE

Naughty and silky smooth, chocolate sauce is a dreamy companion to orange flavours.

Heat ¾ cup milk and 200g dark chocolate in a bowl over gently simmering water. Once melted, beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine 2 tbsp caster sugar, 2½ tsp cornflour, pinch salt and ½ tbsp milk, then stir into chocolate mixture. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in 30g butter and ½ tsp vanilla extract. Serve in a dipping bowl with doughnuts.

 

DESSERT WINES
Sommelier Laiana Ryan

A cold winter night? Check. A night in with that special someone? Check. Wanting the conversation to flow into the evening? A lighter dessert wine is a good option – but some of us can't say no to bubbles for dessert!

2011 Scarborough Late Harvest Semillon, Hunter Valley, NSW ($20 for 375ml)
The Scarborough family use a late-harvest method instead of the traditional botrytis for their dessert semillon. A refined wine that opens up on the palate with kalamata figs, cedro peel and fresh cumquats.

2011 Pooley's Late Harvest Riesling, Coal River, Tas ($30 for 500ml)
Pooley's has had success with its crisp, fruit-driven dry rieslings, and that formula is carried over into the late harvest. Green apples, Tassie honey with a floral overtone.

NV Chandon Cuvée Riche, Yarra Valley, Vic ($39 for 750ml)
Designed around the French champagne doux style, this is a balanced, refreshing and luscious sparkling. Ripe peaches, warm brioche and a creamy texture end in a long finish.

From: Sunday Life