Cherry-Ricotta Doughnut Holes with Chocolate Sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1/2 Tbsp. kirsch (cherry brandy)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
12 cups canola oil, for deep-frying
20 candied cherries, (preferably amarena; available at Amazon.com
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 ounces dark chocolate (preferably 68 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
To make doughnut holes: In a bowl, whisk ricotta, eggs, and kirsch. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold flour mixture into ricotta mixture to form a batter.
In a separate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in an 8-quart heavy-bottomed soup pot (the pot should not be more than 1/3 full) over medium heat until it reaches 350° on a deep-fat thermometer.
Divide batter into 2 batches. Take a spoonful of batter (about 2 teaspoons), stuff a candied cherry in its center, and drop it into hot oil; repeat for the rest of first batch. Fry until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Remove doughnuts from oil with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Repeat process for second batch. When doughnuts are cool enough to handle yet still hot, roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until well coated.
To make chocolate sauce: In a saucepan, combine cream with 1/3 cup water; simmer over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate. Remove from heat; stir until smooth.
Transfer doughnut holes to a platter and serve immediately, with 3/4 cup chocolate sauce on the side for dipping. Refrigerate extra chocolate sauce (about 1 1/4 cups) for up to 1 week.