Mandarin & ricotta doughnuts with mandarin syrup

Prep 30 mins + chilling time | Cook 30 mins | Serves 4

2 large free-range eggs
75g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g firm ricotta cheese, crumbled
2 mandarins, rind finely zested *
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbs milk
grape seed oil, for frying
¼ cup icing sugar
Greek-style natural yoghurt

Mandarin syrup:
¾ cup mandarin juice (about 5 mandarins)
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup caster sugar
2 mandarins, segmented and pith removed

Step 1 Using electric hand-beaters, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl for 2 minutes until light and creamy. Add ricotta and mandarin zest and mix until smooth.

Step 2 Sift flour and baking powder over the ricotta mixture. Add milk and using a large metal spoon, stir to form a smooth batter. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 3 While the batter is chilling, make the mandarin syrup. Place mandarin juice, lime juice and sugar into a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil, and cook, without stirring, for 5 minutes until reduced by a third and syrupy. Stir through mandarin segments.

Step 4 Heat enough oil to deep-fry the doughnuts in a medium saucepan until hot (about 175°C). Using about 2 tbs of the ricotta mixture per doughnut, deep-fry doughnuts in batches for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and puffed.

Step 5 Drain doughnuts on paper towel then dust with icing sugar. Serve doughnuts with the mandarin syrup.