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Sonhos de natal - Portuguese Christmas Doughnuts Recipe
 
Recipe
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Sonhos de natal - Portuguese Christmas Doughnuts
Flavors of Portugal
Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note

Sonhos are little Portuguese doughnuts rolled in sugar and cinnamon, usually served during the Christmas season.

The batter is similar to choux pastry. The method is the same, but the quantitites differ. There are numerous variations: sonhos de cenoura (with carrot), sonhos d'abobora (with squash), and so on. 

Ingredients
For approx. 30 doughnuts

- 125 g water
- 125 g milk
- 50 g butter
- 30 g sugar
- peel of 1 orange or lemon
- 170 g flour
- 5 medium eggs or 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp. salt
- oil for frying

Finishing
- Sugar
- Cinnamon
Method

Batter

  1. Place the milk and water in a saucepan; add the butter, sugar, salt and peel.
  2. Place over the heat and stir until the butter is melted. Leave on the heat until the mixture comes to a full boil.
  3. Remove from the heat, remove the peel and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the flour has been completely absorbed. The texture should be smooth.
  4. Return to medium heat to dry the batter, removing the pan from the heat two or three times to keep the mixture from burning. The batter should be very smooth and come away from the sides of the saucepan.
  5. Transfer the batter to a work surface and knead until warm. Don't burn yourself, because the batter is very hot!
  6. Place the batter in a bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. The batter should end up being very supple and should hold together well; it should be soft but not runny. 

Cooking

  1. In a saucepan, heat the frying oil to 160-170° C (325° F). 
  2. Once the oil has reached the proper temperature, form the batter into balls using two spoons, and drop them into the hot oil.
  3. Fry gently, turning so that they brown evenly.
  4. When nicely golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels or a fry basket.

Finishing

  1. Place some sugar and cinnamon on a plate, the amount depending on your taste.
  2. Roll the sonhos in the mixture, then transfer to a serving plate.
 
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