Traditional Rosquitos Recipe

At Christmas and Easter there are certain sweets and desserts, such as Rosquitos, which are traditional of Gibraltar and the surrounding area which are usually passed on from generation to generation. Different families will also have different recipes for the same sweet, so there is no right or wrong way to do them really.

Rosquitos are one of my favourite seasonal sweets, and are not really doughnuts but they have a ring shape. They are glazed in simple syrup which dries leaving a crystalline glaze that coats and sweetens each ring. It is also optional to add some aniseed liqueur to the syrup glaze, this depends on taste. Some of the steps may seem unusual but this is a recipe that has been handed down and it works.

Traditional Rosquitos Recipe
Yield: 36 Servings
Difficulty: Medium
Cooking time:
Metric
US/Cups

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 450 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 115 g sugar
  • 115 g butter

For frying

  • 1 litre of olive oil / sunflower oil
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 orange peel

For the syrup

  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 180 ml of water

For the dough

  • 3¾ cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 oz butter

For frying

  • 4 cups of olive oil / sunflower oil
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 orange peel

For the syrup

  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 0.75 cups of water

Instructions

To make the dough

  1. Beat the eggs with the sugar until it is all dissolved, the eggs have whisked up, it is pale yellow in colour and has a creamy consistency.
  2. Mix the butter with the flour and baking powder in another bowl as if it was a crumble. Mix with your hands until all the butter and flour has combined
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture a bit at a time and mix well between each time your pour. Keep on mixing until the dough is well combined and has integrated all the wet and dry ingredients thoroughly.
  4. Take out of the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface (if necessary) for a minute or so to work the flour.
  5. Take enough dough to make a ball about 3cm in diameter (just over an inch)
  6. Roll the ball between your hands as if to make a cylinder about 1cm thick. Grab both ends of the cylinder bring them together and make a ring by joining both ends. We usually put these side by side on the work surface and cover with a kitchen cloth as we are making them to help them rise a little.

    Rosquitos being rolled
    Rosquitos being rolled

To fry the doughnuts

  1. Start by pouring about 1 litre of olive oil in a deep pan. The olive oil should be gentle, and not intense (such as virgin, or extra virgin). If in doubt you can also use sunflower oil.
  2. Take the peel of a lemon and the same of about half of an orange. Don’t be too worried about just getting the zest, it is OK to have some pith on there, you don’t have to be too exact. Place in the oil and it should slowly start to sizzle and fry as the oil heats up to a medium / high heat. Keep the peel frying until it is brown and crispy or is no longer sizzling, This should take about 10 minutes, and then remove from the oil.  This will release all the citrus oils into the frying oil and lightly flavour the rings.

    Rosquitos being fried
    Rosquitos being fried
  3. Turn the heat down slightly to a medium heat, and add the dough rings to the oil, about 5 or 6 at a time. These will initially sink to the bottom and start to sizzle and froth. This will quickly subside and the rings will start to rise. Turn over with a spoon and continue flipping over until both sides are a golden brown honey colour. They will also puff up and within about 3 to 4 minutes they should be cooked. If the oil is too hot they will burn, if it is too low it will get soggy, so a medium heat is essential. Remove the rings when ready and add the next batch.
  4. Place them in a colander to drain in case there is any excess oil, but they should be dry as you take them out of the oil.

    Rosquitos cooling down
    Rosquitos cooling down

To glaze the rosquitos

  1. To make the syrup to glaze the rings you need 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. For this amount about 1 and a half cups of sugar and three quarter cups of water are usually enough. Place the sugar and water in a pan on a medium heat until it starts bubbling and bring the heat down to a gentle simmer. Allow the syrup to reduce enough so that it is sticky to the touch (with caution!), this should happen after about 15 minutes.
  2. Dunk 3 or 4 doughnuts at a time and baste in the syrup so they are completely covered.

    Rosquitos dipped in syrup
    Rosquitos dipped in syrup
  3. Take out of the syrup and place on a serving tray. Allow them to cool before eating, and there is no need for draining the excess syrup!

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