Serves: 10

Time: 1 hr 10 min

Difficulty: Medium


1. Get out a large, rimmed baking sheet and shake the semolina over the base. And get out another tray (it doesn't have to be a baking sheet) and line it with a double layer of paper towels. Set both aside while you get on with the dough

2. Beat the eggs, sugar, finely grated lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil until frothy

3.  Gradually add about 2 2/3 cups of the flour and the baking powder, and mix to a dough. If it is too sticky, then add more flour and keep kneading, using either your hands or a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook, until you have a smooth, pliable dough

4. Flour your work surface and turn out your dough. Then divide the dough into 10 roughly equal pieces, each about the size of a golf ball. Take 1 ball and roll it into a rope approx. 1/2 inch thick, then with floury hands divide this into about 20 small pieces, and roll each piece between your hands (flouring them again if this helps) to make marble-sized balls

5. Place the formed balls of dough on the semolina-sprinkled baking sheet, as you shape them. Repeat the process with the remaining golf-ball-sized portions of dough: you should make 200

6. Heat the vegetable oil in a wide, heavy pan—about 11 inches diameter and at least 6 inches deep—and then when the oil is at 375°F but no higher (you can leave a preserving or candy thermometer in, if you want), or a piece of bread sizzles and browns immediately when dropped in the pan, you can begin to cook the dough balls. Regulate the temperature and keep a careful eye on the pan and the oil all the time

7. Gently lower, using a mesh scoop or perforated spoon, about 15 little dough balls at a time. At first they will sink and then, as they cook, they'll float to the surface and begin to turn golden brown. This will take up to about 1 minute depending on how many you have in at a time, but be ready to fish them out with your mesh scoop or perforated spoon onto the paper towel–lined tray as soon as they become the right golden color. And keep watching the pan

8. Continue to cook them in batches—making sure the oil returns to the correct temperature but doesn't get too hot or bubble too vigorously—until they are all fried; you can pile them up on the tray without harm. Now turn off the heat under the oil pan, and move on to the adhesive and assembly stage

9. Pour the honey into a roasting pan that can go on the stove, and heat very gently until it becomes runny—a matter of moments, so do not leave the pan—then take it off the heat

10. Tip the balls into the honey and, using a soft spatula, turn them gently to coat them. Check the balls are not too hot then pick up then wet hands and arrange as desired.

11. Shake your chosen sprinkles and any other decorations onto the dish.

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