Published December 7, 2012 - Last Updated January 22, 2021
Every year during the week of Hanukkah, it’s our family tradition to make what we call “levivot“– fritters made from a simple batter, fried to fluffy crispy goodness, then drenched in warm flavored sugar syrup. While most Jews know levivot as the Hebrew word for latkes, the Israeli side of my family uses the word to describe any sort of little fried treat. Some Sephardic Jewish families sweeten these fritters with warm honey and call them bimuelos, or bunuelos. I call them delicious. This year, I took them to a whole new level by replacing our family’s traditional sugar syrup with a warm, rich chocolate sauce. Freshly fried, piping hot fritters dusted with powdered sugar, then drizzled with ooey gooey chocolate sauce… holy moly, who can resist?
Because traditional bimuelos are made with honey or sugar syrup, I’ve decided to call these “Hanukkah Fritters.” They’re kind of a cross between a bimuelo and a beignet. The chocolate sauce is made with semi-sweet chocolate, and can be sweetened more to taste. A hint of optional rose water in the chocolate sauce gives it a delectable aroma that really makes it special, taking it above and beyond an ordinary chocolate syrup or hot fudge. This sauce is creamy, chocolately, and decadent. I could eat it by the spoonful (and have been known to do just that!).
Be sure to fry the fritters for at least 3 minutes– if they’re browning too fast, they won’t cook all the way through. Try to serve them soon after you fry them, they’ll lose their lovely crisp exterior over time. The fritters themselves aren’t sweet. The chocolate sauce and powdered sugar give them sweetness, so don’t be afraid to pour both on liberally. Indulge yourself, it’s a holiday.
Chag Sameach! May your Hanukkah be filled with light, love, and lots of good eating.
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Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...