Califonia Bountiful

Zeppole with chocolate hazelnut dipping sauce

Executive Chef John Toulze
Estate, Sonoma

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1 tbsp. dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk (98 degrees)
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided use
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
1/4 cup cream
3 cups canola oil
1 tbsp. cinnamon


To make zeppole (Italian doughnut-like pastries), place yeast in a bowl with milk and stir. Let rest for 10 minutes, allowing yeast to bloom. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, melted butter and eggs. Pour sugar mixture into yeast mixture and stir until incorporated. Add syrup and vanilla. Place in a mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook and add flour, mixing at low speed until dough becomes consistent. It should be slightly sticky; add more flour if dough is very wet. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Roll dough out on a well-floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 1- to 2-inch rounds.

Meanwhile, heat hazelnut spread over a double boiler until smooth and melted. Stir in cream to thin and pour into dipping bowls for the table.

Preheat oil to 350 degrees. Fry zeppole in batches, cooking on each side for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Place 1 cup sugar and cinnamon in a medium paper bag. Drop zeppole into bag, shake well, remove and serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Serves 6

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