April 12, 2019

Sfinge With Pistachios And Saffron Honey Syrup

Recipe: Doug Penfold

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 3 1/2 hours

Put away thoughts of sweet North American doughnuts: Moroccan sfinge are made of a simple, yeast-risen dough, so it’s the toppings you sprinkle over their crisp exteriors that really make them shine. If you have your dough ready and can fry the sfinge at the end of your meal to serve hot and fresh, they make a pretty spectacular dessert.



  • 1 3⁄4 cups room temperature water
  • 2 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 520 g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2–3 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Saffron Honey Syrup

  • 3 tbsp water, divided Pinch saffron
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup mildly floral honey


  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp chopped, roasted, salted pistachios


Yield: Makes approx. 14 doughnuts

Make Dough

  1. In bowl of stand mixer, combine water, yeast, sugar, salt and flour. Using dough hook, bring ingredients together, then mix on slow speed for 5 minutes, or until dough is uniform and is a soft and sticky mass.
  2. Oil a clean bowl and scrape in dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for 1 1⁄2 hours, or until doubled in size. Use wet hands to punch down and fold dough over about 8 times, or until it has become a ball.
  3. Cover and let rise for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size again and become light and airy.

Make Syrup

  1. In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of hot water with saffron and set aside.
  2. In small pot, combine remaining 2 tablespoons of water, sugar and honey, and simmer for 2 minutes, or until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Add saffron liquid and cool.

Make Doughnuts

  1. In wide pot, add oil to depth of 2 inches, clip deep-frying thermometer to side of pot, and heat to 375°F.
  2. Use wet hands to pull off about 2-inch pieces of dough. Loosely shape into doughnuts. Carefully place in oil.
  3. Fry doughnuts, turning as needed, for 2 minutes per side, or until doughnuts are golden brown. With metal strainer or slotted spoon, remove from oil and let drain on rack.
  4. Transfer warm doughnuts to serving plate and sprinkle with icing sugar. Drizzle with saffron honey syrup, sprinkle with chopped pistachios and serve

Maya Visnyei


House & Home March 2019