I am a complete novice when it comes to Romanian food but in my research I've discovered that it's a cuisine that has through its history absorbed influences from many different cultures - dating back to the Roman empire and more recently the Ottoman. Its location sees it taking on board Germanic, Hungarian and Balkan flavours. It's been fascinating to see this evolution and has left me wanting to discover more.
The dish I've made is Gogosi - which is pretty much like a donut. It's simply served with a generous dusting of icing sugar.
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup tepid milk
15 grams butter, diced
150 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
zest of 1 orange
1 egg yolk, light whisked
In a small bowl, place the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar, pour over a little of the tepid milk and stir. Put in a warm spot for a few minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
Place the diced butter into the remaining tepid milk and stir until the butter has melted.
Sift the flour, salt and caster sugar together into a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the beaten egg yolk, activated yeast, orange zest and milk - stir until it comes together to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic - about 5 minutes should do.
Roll into a ball and place into an oiled bowl - cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm spot to rise (it should double in size).
When ready, remove from the bowl and flatten into a disc. Roll the dough out until it's about ¾cm thick. Cut into rounds - I used a 4cm cutter, you can make them larger if you desire. At this size, you'll get about 25 gogosi.
Deep fry the balls in a neutral oil until golden - for donuts this size they should take about a minute - larger gogosi will take longer. Once goden brown, remove from the pan and place on paper towels to remove any excess oil. Finally, when they are still warm, dredge with icing sugar and serve immediately.