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International Desserts for the Winter Olympics: Greek Honey Puffs

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As the eyes of the world turn to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and we witness some of the finest athletes in the world compete in their chosen sport, there is no need to be watching on an empty stomach! As the world gathers in Sochi, Russia, we bring the world together in the kitchen and celebrate international diversity with some classic world famous desserts!

If you have ever been to Greece or traversed through the Mediterranean and ventured into bakeries, you have undoubtedly tasted these simply supberb pastries. There are many variations of this dessert throughout the area but according to culinary history, it is the Greek version which is the original.

Once you look at the steps for this dish, you might think they are overtly sweet, Not really the case at all. We are using pure and natural honey, which is not as sweet as most people think (and remember, most honey sold in stores is not real honey). Also, the inclusion of freshly squeezed lemon juice cuts the sweetness and adds a lot of freshness.

Ingredients needed to make Greek Honey Puffs (serves 4):

  • 2 tsp. yeast
  • 3 1/3 Tbs. superfine sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • peanut oil for deep-frying
  • 2 cups honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Tbs. ground cinnamon

Steps:

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the yeast, ½ tsp. superfine sugar and ¼ cup warm water. Set the bowl aside 5 minutes for the yeast to proof (foam).
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Stir in the proofed yeast, oil and ½ cup warm water to make a soft dough. Cover the bowl and let rise 2 hours.
  3. Punch the dough down. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead 5 minutes.
  4. In a large sauté pan or skillet add enough peanut oil to deep-fry and bring to 350 on a deep-fry thermometer. Drop the dough into the oil by the tablespoon and deep-fry until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain of excess oil.
  5. In a small saucepan combine the honey and remaining water over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice.
  6. Dip each fried pastry into the syrup and heap on a serving plate. Once all have been done pour the remaining syrup over them.
  7. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar. Sprinkle this mixture over the Honey Puffs and serve.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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