Loukoumades are essentially Greek doughnuts, with or without a hole. On Ikaria, loukoumades are almost always drizzled with Ikarian pine honey, sprinkled with cinnamon and, of course, served warm. You can also serve them sprinkled with sesame seeds.
The secret is not to let the yeasty batter sit too little or too long. The former will make for a puff that’s more, well, solid than airy and light, and the latter will make loukoumades that have over-fermented and smell almost of alcohol.
Honey or Sugar syrup
1cup/240 ml Greek pine or thyme honey
1cup/240 ml water
2cups/400 g sugar
1package active dry yeast
3cups/720 ml warm water
1cup/240 ml warm milk
2large eggswell beaten
Flour as needed
Oil for frying
Canolacorn or seed oil for frying
Cinnamon and/or sesame seeds for sprinkling
Make the syrup first : Combine honey, water, and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce flame and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until thick.
In a large, preferably ceramic, bowl, dilute the yeast in 1 cup of warm water. Stir and leave until it begins to bubble up. Add the remaining water and milk and stir. Add the salt and eggs and begin adding the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, until a thick, sticky, yeasty batter forms. Place the batter in a warm draft-free place and let it rise. This will take about 1 hour. Stir it down and mix well.
Heat 3 inches of canola oil in a large deep pot. Carefully drop the loukoumades into the oil, one by one, using two tablespoons to do so. Fry for a few seconds until golden, remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Continue until batter is used up. Replenish oil of necessary.
Using a slotted spoon, dip the loukoumades into the syrup, place on a platter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve hot.