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Loukoumades


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Ingredients          

For the Syrup
  • 300ml water
  • 200g sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup honey (more if you like)
          For the Batter
  • 500g flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • Water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Oil for frying
  • Pistachios crushed to garnish
For the Dates
  • Fresh dates cut in half crossways
  • 100g pistachios/almonds or walnuts
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 2 tsp sugarzest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp melted butter (optional)

Method
For the Syrup
Combine together in a saucepan & bring to the boil. Set aside. (you can add a splash of rosewater or orange blossom water for added flavour)
 For the Batter
Dissolve the yeast in 250ml warm water & allow to froth. Add this to the flour & salt & add more warm water to create a batter, that is quite wet, but holds together. Cover & set aside to double in size (about 1hr). Drop teaspoons of batter into hot oil & then cook on both sides, until golden. Drain & drop into the syrup. Arrange on a plate & scatter with crushed pistachios, & serve with mascarpone or cream. Serve hot. These are also great stuffed with a small wedge of fresh fig, or stuffed dates.   For the Dates
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until you have a course paste. Stuff the date half then drop into the batter & fry.