Hanukkah commerates the successful rebellion of the Maccabees against Antiochus IV Epiphanes during the second century BC and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. Upon returning to the Temple, it was discovered that all oil in the Temple had been destroyed, less enough to last one day. Unbelievably, the menorahs in the Temple burned for eight days instead of just one, and thus, the Hanukkah tradition includes fried foods such Sufganiyot and latkes (potato pancakes) as a reminder of the miracle of oil.
The Jewish community in Norway is quite small with some accounts putting the total number of Jewish inhabitants at less than 1000. Most of the Jewish community in Norway is centered around Oslo, Trondheim and Tromso. Jews have been present in Norway since at least 1492 with the first documented Jews originally coming from Portugal as traders and seamen. Norway has two synagogues; one in Oslo and one in Trondheim, the latter being the second most northerly synagogue in the world.
Sufganiyot or Israeli jelly donuts are eaten in droves every year during Hanukkah, also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights. By some accounts over 20 million of these fried delights are consumed every year in Israel, and all during the eight day Hanukkah celebration period. The donuts are usually filled with jam or chocolate ganache or even enjoyed plain.
For this recipe, I’ve added a Norwegian twist to a traditional recipe by including ground cardamom to the dough and filling the donuts with Norwegian lingonberry jam. You can buy lingonberry jam online from iHerb or other online retailers.
- 500ml (2 cups) of lingonberry jam
- 3 teaspoons dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 60ml (1/4 cup) water
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) warm milk (37C/98F)
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 420g (3½ cups) flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- Pinch of salt
- 3½ tablespoons butter, melted
- Neutral vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Powdered sugar
- Using an immersion blender or standing blender, blend your jam until smooth. Add the jam to a piping bag and set aside.
- Add yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar and water to a large bowl. Add milk and set aside for 5 minutes or until bubbles begin to form.
- Add the whole egg, additional egg yolk, salt, flour, cardamom, the remaining sugar, and the butter to the bowl. Mix together until all ingredients are well incorporated, then roll the dough out onto a floured countertop. Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes, or until it is slightly sticky but smooth.
- Use ¼ teaspoon oil to coat a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic film and allow it to rest in a warm place for an hour, or until it doubles in size.
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down, then on a slightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1 ¼ cm (1/2 in) thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds and allow them to rise again for an additional 30 minutes.
- During the last 10 minutes of rise time, get your oil warm in a large pot. You’ll need enough oil to cover 5 cm (2 in.). The temperature of the oil should be 182-190C (360-375F). Drop the doughnuts into the warm oil, a few at a time. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, or until they turn a deep golden brown. Drain the donuts on paper towels.
- Once all of your donuts have cooked, it is time to fill them with the blended lingonberry jam. Start a hole in each donut with a chopstick, then using the piping bag, fill each donut with jam. Finally, top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and enjoy warm.
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