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    Struffoli - Christmas honey balls

    This sweet dish is sure to be the showpiece of your Christmas festivities.

    Serves 6-8

    For the dough:
    • 1 kg plain flour
    • 10 eggs
    • 4 tbsp caster sugar
    • 50g butter
    • 2 sachets of vanillin (about 1g)
    • Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
    • Salt
    • Grappa
    • Strega liqueur
    For the honey glaze:
    • 400g honey (thousand flower or acacia for a delicate flavour)
    • Coloured sprinkles

    1. Make a well in the flour on a pastry board and add the other ingredients for the dough including the grappa and Strega. Mix together and knead to a firm, uniform consistency. You’ll know it’s ready when you open out the dough and you see some evenly distributed medium-sized holes through it.
    2. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let it rest for about an hour.
    3. Divide the dough into small portions. On the floured board, use your hands to roll it out to form long cylinders. Use a non-serrated knife to cut into 1 cm pieces.
    4. In a pan of abundant hot oil, fry the struffoli, a few at a time, so they don’t stick to each other. Once golden, remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Change the towels until all the grease has been absorbed.
    5. For the glaze, melt the honey in a pot and bring to the boil over a moderate heat.
    6. Once the frothing caused by caramelisation has subsided, add the struffoli to the sweet, warm liquid and fold in gently so that each struffolo is completely coated and soaked in honey.
    7. Tip the honeyed struffoli onto a round dish or other container of your choice. Decorate with coloured sprinkles.