Jelly-filled donuts--known in Hebrew as sufganiyot--are a traditional Hanukkah treat that makes ample use of oil. But there are other ways to integrate oil into delicious desserts.
The base of this recipe is a moist chocolate cupcake with a rich chocolate ganache. The iced cupcakes are quite delicious on their own, but enrobed and deep-fried in a fluffy, sweet batter, they are divine. The "plain" version is vegan and pareve, while the battered and fried version includes both eggs and dairy.
When preparing this recipe, keep in mind that one can only eat so many deep-fried cupcakes--at Hanukkah or any time. I recommend making a batch of the chocolate cupcakes below, battering and frying half of it, and then serving the rest unfried.
This recipe is from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, reprinted with permission of Isa Chandra Moskowitz, who co-authored the book with Terry Hope Romero. Makes 12 regular cupcakes or 24 mini cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Outfit a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, and extracts to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to the wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are okay).
Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 15 to 20 minutes (on the lower end if making mini cupcakes), until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Chocolate Ganache Topping
This is a thick ganache that you can spread like a frosting. Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes.
Heat milk in a saucepan until steaming.
Remove from heat. Add half of the chocolate chips, stir to melt, and then add the other half. Stir until smooth. If too runny to spread, add more chocolate chips.
Spread over cupcakes while the ganache is still warm.
Refrigerate any cupcakes intended for frying. The others can stay fresh at room temperature, covered, for a few hours or even a few days.
Makes enough to coat 6 regular cupcakes or about 10 mini cupcakes.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
In another medium bowl, beat together the egg and milk. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until a smooth batter forms.
In a deep fryer or saucepan, bring several inches of oil to 370 F. (If using a saucepan, clip a candy thermometer or deep fry thermometer to the side to monitor the temperature. Adjust the heat under the pot as needed.)
Working with two or three cupcakes at a time, first coat each with the deep-frying batter, then drop into the hot oil. Fry for three minutes, turning if needed for even browning. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and dust with powdered sugar.
Rhea Yablon Kennedy holds a master's degree in creative nonfiction from Johns Hopkins University. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post's On Faith blog, Washingon Jewish Week, Examiner.com, and Edible Chesapeake magazine. Rhea has long been a cook by hobby and sometimes by profession. She currently teaches at Gallaudet University.