Over Christmas and New Year I try and visit a few of the Belgian Christmas markets. It was on one of these visits I discovered the joy that is smoutebollen. Basically a fried yeast risen doughnut that is covered in heaps of icing sugar and is the best thing ever to eat on a cold evening or for a lovely dessert any old time. I was determined to make a version my egg and dairy allergic son can have so I started looking online at different recipes so I could develop one that we could all eat together.

I saw that some recipes use beer as the liquid, some add raisins, chopped apple and/or spices, lemon or orange zest. I just made a very simple version this time but will probably experiment more next time. It is traditional to eat with a huge amount of icing sugar sifted over but mine also had some caramel syrup on them and I think honey, maple or golden syrup or of course chocolate sauce would be delicious too. Yum.
The mixture you make is so simple and there is no kneading involved since it is a very wet batter and not a dough at all. You put everything into a bowl then whisk for a minute or so and leave to rest. Easy as that

* 500g self raising flour

* 7g sachet yeast

* 3 tbsp puréed apple plus 1/2 tsp of baking powder (to replace function of egg)

* 500ml Suitable dairy free milk

* pinch salt

* optional extras; raisins, tsp mixed spice or cinnamon, chopped apple, lemon or orange zest.

1. Add flour and yeast to a large bowl.

2. Mix the apple purée and baking powder together and pour into centre of flour and yeast mix. Add any of the optional extras here. I added lemon zest.

3. Pour your measured milk into a pan and heat until just hand warm. I added a vanilla pod to the milk while it was heating but this is not necessary just an optional idea.

4. Gradually add to flour and yeast mixture until you have incorporated the flour and have a batter, it might be a bit lumpy but that doesn’t matter.

5. Add the pinch of salt then whisk thoroughly again.

6. Take a damp tea towel and cover the bowl leaving to rest for about an hour until the mixture has grown considerably in size, mine took about 45 minutes so check it a few times.

7. Once risen you put a couple of inches of oil into a pan or use a fryer if you have one and drop about a tbsp of dough per smoutebollen into the hot oil. Once you see they are golden you flip the, over without injuring yourself (be careful!) then remove with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper.

They are best eaten hot with lots of icing “snow” on top, you cannot have too much. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Smoutebollen – Belgian fair doughnuts 

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