Mexican Chocolate and Date Fritters
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon mandarin or orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup minced pitted dates
- 1 (3.1-ounce) disc Mexican or bittersweet chocolate, such as Ibarra, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces*
- 1 cup whole- milk ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Mexican Hot Chocolate (recipe follows)
- *Can be found in Hispanic and gourmet grocery stores
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, mandarin peel, salt, dates and chocolate in a bowl. Whisk together ricotta, eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla in another bowl. Mix in the flour mixture to form a chunky batter.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F. (If you don't have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 4 minutes.)
Working in batches, gently drop a tablespoon of the batter in the oil and fry, turning occasionally, until deep golden in color, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer with a slotted spoon onto paper towels to drain.
Dust generously with powdered sugar and serve with Mexican Hot Chocolate.