Blood-orange struffoli

Adam Liaw
Blood-orange struffoli.
Blood-orange struffoli. Photo: William Meppem

If you take away the fancy Italian name, this is a "cake" made of fried doughnut balls covered in syrup. Sound the alarm!


• 1 blood orange

• 2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting

• ½ tsp baking powder

• 150g butter

• ¼ cup caster sugar

• ½ tsp salt

• 3 eggs

• 1 tbsp white wine

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 2 litres vegetable oil, for deep-frying

​ • icing sugar, to serve

• blood orange segments, to garnish

Honey syrup

• 1 cup honey

• ½ cup caster sugar

• 2 tbsp white wine


Remove the rind from half of the blood orange with a vegetable peeler and slice the rind into thin strips. Reserve for the syrup. Grate the rind of the remaining half orange using a microplane. Combine with the flour, baking powder, butter, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the eggs, white wine and vanilla and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer to a floured surface and knead the dough lightly until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Lightly flour a work surface, place the chilled dough on it, divide into 4-6 smaller pieces and roll each piece into a 1cm-diameter sausage shape. Cut each sausage-shaped dough into 1cm lengths and roll these into balls. Repeat for the remaining dough, then refrigerate the rolled balls until ready to fry.

Heat the oil to 180°C. Fry the balls (there should be between 35 and 50), in batches if necessary to prevent the pan becoming too crowded, for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to drain.

For the syrup, place a large saucepan over medium heat and add honey, sugar, white wine and the reserved strips of rind. Simmer for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the balls to the honey mixture. Stir to coat well, and then quickly remove the balls to a serving plate, piling them into a high peak. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then dust with icing sugar and garnish with orange segments to serve.