Ricotta Doughnut Holes with Orange-Scented Dipping Chocolate

By Kate Shaffer

From Desserted – Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier

Copyright 2011 by Kate Shaffer | Design by Miroslaw Jurek | Photographs by Stacey Cramp
[S]teve and I spent most of 2006, the year before we opened Black Dinah Chocolatiers, researching the chocolate industry and trying to make ends meet. I was no longer employed by the Keeper’s House, and we still had a lot of work to do on our business plan and product line. So, Steve spent the summer earning our ‘capital’ by hiring himself out as a house painter and carpenter, and I sent flyers to everyone on the island that I was now available for private catering events.

As a side job, Steve and I dug a long-forgotten old children’s playhouse out of the woods, and after subjecting it to a few minor renovations, set it in a little grassy patch where our long driveway meets the island’s main road.

Every morning, I would stock the little stand with cinnamon rolls, cakes, muffins, cookies, and pies. On Sundays I baked bread. And on Saturdays I made doughnuts. I set out a large thermos of coffee, a few paper cups, and jars of sugar and cream. We stocked an old wooden folding chair at one of his projects sites, and we set that up next to the stand, along with a copy of yesterday’s paper. On the ground, next to the chair, we placed an inconspicuous coffee can: the universal symbol for the honor system. It was our very first café.

Though these days, our café is just a little farther down the driveway, the menu is much the same, and includes chairs to sit in and a copy of yesterday’s paper. And we still offer doughnuts on Saturdays.

Ricotta Doughnut Holes with Orange-Scented Dipping Chocolate

Makes roughly 30 tiny doughnuts

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For the dipping chocolate:

1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup dutch-process cocoa

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup strong brewed coffee

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

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For the doughnuts:

1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

safflower oil, for frying

confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

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