Ricotta fritters with orange and honey

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350g ricotta, plus 120g to finish
60g caprino goat’s cheese, or another soft goat’s cheese
3 eggs
4 tbsp milk
1½ tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
Grated zest of 1 orange
160g plain flour, possibly more
1½ tsp baking powder
50g caster sugar
About 700ml sunflower oil, for frying
4 tbsp honey, warmed slightly for drizzling
Icing sugar, for dusting

Orange syrup:
1 whole orange
100g caster sugar

You know how slightly terrifying certain grandmother figures could be? Well I had to cook these fritters to this type. Signora Assunta proved completely harmless in the end (of course) but I was sure she was going to eat me alive if I didn’t produce something extra-special for her after messing up her kitchen so utterly with the help of the lighting, camera and sound crew. Luckily, I did her proud and she even gave me a kiss (I had to promise her husband would never know). Serves six


Start by making the orange syrup. Peel the orange with a sharp paring knife taking care to only get the orange skin but not the white pith. Slice the skin into julienne (thin strips). Place the sugar and 100ml of water in a small saucepan and place on medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Gently simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the orange strips and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the orange strips to cool down in the syrup.
Beat 350 grams of ricotta with the goat’s cheese and eggs until fairly smooth. Whisk in the milk, mint and orange zest and set aside.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and ¼ of a teaspoon of salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to form a batter, adding more flour if necessary, until you reach a dropping consistency. Set aside for 10 minutes to rest.
Heat a small heavy-based saucepan with enough sunflower oil so it rises approximately 4 centimetres up the side of the pan. When the oil is medium-hot (180C), gently drop heaped teaspoons of the batter into the oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden-brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Continue with the remaining batter.
Pile the fritters onto individual plates and drizzle over the warmed honey. Top with a dollop of ricotta and dust with icing sugar. To finish, spoon orange strips and some of the syrup on top of the ricotta and serve at once.

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