(As Featured in Mar2014 Nourish Magazine) These gluten-free and sugar-free Quark (Cottage Cheese) Donuts are exactly the way donuts should be: fluffy and light on the inside, golden and crisp on the outside. Sweetened with Stevia, they can be served with a side of a citrusy glaze but it’s not essential to the full enjoyment of this 10 minute treat. If there is one thing other than fresh cream eclairs that I can admit to being a sucker for (for a no-sugar version use Stevia drops and this icing), it must be the donuts. For the obvious reasons I keep away from store-bought varieties and since I am after more instant gratifications than a homemade yeast donut allows, I tend to go without.
Until now, when after talking to Mum about some Polish racuchy [rah-tsoo-he] she’d made earlier, I’d decided to remake the Polish cottage cheese fritters into these bite-sized donut ‘holes’. And since the donuts only take 10 minutes to make, I am glad that these little munchkins are somewhat more healthy than your regular kind. Sure, they are deep fried, but if you use a good oil and only have them once in a while, they are a good alternative to what’s around in the ready-made aisle.
One question you might be asking is: what is quark? Quark is a type of cottage cheese. The German-style variety is low fat and has a slightly more blended consistency than regular (granulated) cottage cheese and is less runny, but not as thick as, say, cream cheese. I used B.-d. Paris Farm Creek Biodynamic Organic German-style Quark – bought from Harris Farm, but you can usually find it in the same fridge section of the supermarket where you would find ricotta. I have not used ricotta to test this recipe, but I have a feeling that it would work just as well.
As for the citrus glaze, it is optional. I used pink grapefruit but orange with a hint of cardamom or lemon with a pinch of cinnamon would also work a treat. Serve on the side for dipping to preserve the crunchy texture of the donut’s skin.
Quark Donuts in 10 Minutes
For the Quark Donuts:
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp Stevia drops
- 1/2 tsp natural lemon essence
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 125 g German-style Quark or full fat cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- peanut oil for deep frying use coconut oil if allergic to nuts
For the Citrusy Glaze:
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice or try lemon juice with a pinch of cinnamon OR orange juice with a pinch of cardamom
- 1 tbsp rice malt syrup
To make the Quark Donuts:
- Beat egg and Stevia with a whisk or an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.
- Add lemon essence, bicarbonate of soda, quark, coconut flour and tapioca starch. Mix well to combine.
- Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, oil level should be at least 1 inch, to 180C (350F). If you don't have a thermometer you can judge when the oil is ready by dropping a small crust of bread into the oil - if the oil bubbles, it's ready. Reduce heat by a quarter.
- Using a tablespoon or a metal ice-cream scoop, shape dough into balls about 2cm in diameter. Drop them into the hot oil, 3-4 at a time and allow them to brown on all sides, before removing with a slotted spoon or metal tongs onto paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat with the remaining dough.
To make the Citrusy Glaze and serve:
- Mix citrus juice with rice malt syrup and serve on the side of warm donuts.