Sephardic Bimuelos with Date Caramel Sauce
Food is central to many cultural celebrations. And Hanukkah is no exception.
So this year, to celebrate and honor the Festival of Lights, we teamed up with Tori Avey, a celebrated home chef specializing in Mediterranean cuisine and traditional Jewish cooking.
First introduced to global cuisine by her grandparents, Tori found a passion for cooking and sharing her family’s Jewish and Mediterranean heritage and foods with others. Her blog, Tori Avey, explores this passion and offers a chance to share her love and expertise in Mediterranean cuisine and Jewish cooking with all who want to learn.
So, grab your aprons and get ready to celebrate Hanukkah as we dive into this recipe for Sephardic Bimuelos with Date Caramel Sauce. Enjoy!
“I am thrilled to team up with Sur La Table on developing this delicious Hanukkah recipe!
During Hanukkah we eat foods fried in oil. This tradition commemorates the miracle of the oil in the ancient Jewish Temple when a small amount of oil (enough for one night of light) kept the menorah burning for eight full nights. This deep-fried Hanukkah dessert is inspired by my mother-in-law’s recipe for sweet Sephardic fritters, called bimuelos – also known as buñuelos.
In our family’s version of bimuelos, small doughnut-like fritters are drenched in a warm rosewater-scented simple syrup. Here I’ve presented a twist on that concept, opting for a date caramel sauce instead. Naturally sweet dates are blended with coconut cream, cashew butter, vanilla, and sea salt to produce a rich and flavorful caramel-like topping.
If you have trouble finding date syrup, you can easily make your own using this recipe. Make these bimuelos dairy-free by using almond milk or soy milk in the batter. To make the sauce nut-free, use sesame tahini instead of cashew butter in the sauce. If coconuts are also a problem, heavy whipping cream can be substituted for the coconut cream. Using heavy cream makes the sauce dairy and more perishable, so keep it refrigerated and use it within two days.
If you would like to make the bimuelos gluten-free, I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill cup-for-cup gluten-free flour with good results. Just be sure to check your oil temperature, and keep it on the low end when frying (fry them a full 3 to 4 minutes) to ensure they cook all the way through.
SEPHARDIC BIMUELOS WITH DATE CARAMEL SAUCE
By Tori Avey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes roughly 18 bimuelos and 2/3 cup caramel sauce
Date Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup date syrup (also known as silan, date molasses or date honey)
- 2 tbsp canned coconut cream
- 2 tbsp raw cashew butter
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups (6.9 ounces) all-purpose flour (can substitute Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour)
- 1/3 cup (2.7 ounces) sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk (you may substitute unsweetened almond milk or soy milk to make dairy-free)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Avocado oil or ghee for frying (use avocado oil to make dairy-free)
- 2 tbsp (.5 ounce) powdered sugar
You will also need: blender, whisk, 2 mixing bowls, 10-11 inch frying pan, deep-fry thermometer, metal tablespoon, metal slotted spoon, metal drying rack or paper towels and a small mesh strainer for sprinkling bimuelos
To Make Date Caramel Sauce
- Add all of the date caramel sauce ingredients to blender.
- Blend on lowest speed for 30 seconds, or until well combined. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes.
- Scrape sides of blender and blend again on lowest speed, slowly increasing speed to medium-high.
- Blend for 1 minute on medium-high. Sauce should be thick and pourable, like a caramel sauce.
Date syrups, coconut creams, and cashew butters may vary slightly in texture. If you feel the sauce needs to be thickened, add more cashew butter by the teaspoonful and blend until desired texture is reached. To thin it out, add liquid coconut cream by the teaspoonful and blend until it’s still thick but pourable, like honey.
Pour sauce into a covered container and set aside until bimuelos are cooked. If making sauce ahead, refrigerate up to two days in a covered container, and let it come to room temperature before serving.
To Make Bimuelos
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg, milk, and vanilla together.
3. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir until a thick, slightly lumpy batter forms.
4. Fill your frying pan to a 1 inch depth of oil – in a 10.5 inch fry pan, that takes about 4 cups of oil.
5. Warm oil over medium heat to 325°F. Use a thermometer to test oil temperature before the first fritters are added – if oil starts out too hot, fritters will brown before they are cooked through.
6. Use a rounded metal tablespoon to drop dollops of batter into the hot oil. Test one bimuelo first to see if you’ve got the oil temperature right. The oil should bubble evenly; if it pops or splatters, let it cool a bit before proceeding.
7. Fry 4 to 5 bimuelos at a time. Keep a metal slotted spoon handy to turn the bimuelos as they become golden. Turn the bimuelos at least once during cooking, until golden brown on both sides. If the oil is at the right temperature, it should take roughly 3 to 4 minutes for the bimuelos to brown completely and cook all the way through
8. Drain fried bimuelos on a rack or paper towels.
9. While still warm, use a fine mesh strainer to dust the bimuelos with powdered sugar. Use about 1/4 teaspoon of sugar for each bimuelo, and dust to cover evenly.
10. Drizzle caramel sauce over the powdered bimuelos, using about 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) of caramel sauce for each bimuelo, or to taste. Serve immediately.
Celebrate and share all of your family’s favorite Hanukkah dishes with our beautifully designed Hanukkah collection! Shop online and pick up in-store to ensure it all arrives on time.