In the world of desserts, loukoumades can go with virtually any sort of sweet aromas, soft and/or crunchy ingredients. There can be various sizes and numerous abstract shapes; every sweet dough ball is literally unique – not two loukoumades are made the same.
But all of them are light and fluffy as a cloud, while by frying they achieve different warm golden hues. They can be large, medium or small, from light-orange coloured to almost dark brown and can be presented either spread on one level, in small groups or piled one on top of another.
Depending on the ingredients used, there can be varying aromas and flavours. To narrow down the myriad choices, you can choose between vanilla, orange or cinnamon accompanied by cream, ice cream or honey and topped off with crushed pistachios, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or cashews or whatever the mood calls for.
Living in a warmer climate by the sea, we prefer the luscious aromatic combination of cinnamon and orange flavoured loukoumades. A great friend of mine, who signs as “Radish” used to make this recipe, so I would like to thank her from the heart for sharing her loukoumades with orange and honey with us.
Orange-flavoured loukoumades – Greek honey balls
Preparation: Approx.20 minutes plus 2 hours the loukoumades dough to prove in a warm place. You can make the orange-flavoured loukoumades in advance and keep them in room-temperature.
Ingredients for about 30 loukoumades (3-3.5cm diameter)
1 cup milk (240 ml)
1 cup orange juice
21 gr fresh beer yeast diluted in 2-3 tbsp. lukewarm water
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups + 1 tbsp. sifted flour
oil for frying (olive oil or seed oil or a mixture of both)
cinnamon (ground and sticks)
To prepare the dough: In a large bowl mix all the ingredients by hand, until there are no lumps. The result should be a fluid batter. Cover the bowl with cling film and a double tea towel to keep the mixture warm and leave for 2 hours.
NOTE: Do not put in oven.
To make the loukoumades: After the batter has rested, uncover but don’t stir.
Heat the oil in a deep pan. It should be hot but not smoking. Keep a glass of water close by, dip a tablespoon in and then into the batter and slowly pour a small quantity into the hot oil. Continue this action until the pan is filled with loukoumades. Fry for about 1 minute until they get a nice golden colour. Flip and fry for another minute approx., then remove, with a slotted spoon, onto a plate lined with paper towel, to drain any excess oil.
Uncover the bowl and don’t stir the dough. Heat the oil in a fryer. It must get hot but not smoking. With a wet spoon, drop tablespoons of the mixture. Follow the same procedure until the surface of the oil is filled with loukoumades. Fry one side for 1 minute until they become golden-brown. Then flip and fry them for 1 more minute and remove them onto kitchen paper.
NOTE: Do not leave on the kitchen paper for long -one minute is enough. After straining, if they are not served immediately, which is preferable, transfer to a dish lined with baking parchment to prevent them becoming soft.
To serve: Put the orange-flavoured loukoumades on a serving dish or individual plates, drizzle with a generous helping of honey and sprinkle with ground cinnamon and finally chopped nuts. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and orange rind strips.