Who doesn't love ricotta fritters? Come to think of it, who doesn't love any kind of fritter? These are light, crispy and fragrant with orange and cloves. The Mexican chocolate dipping sauce adds a nice fiery kick. Since I once nearly burned down my kitchen deep-frying (see About Merrill), I take extra care when making these -- you probably should too. —Merrill Stubbs
In a medium bowl, use a fork to stir together the eggs and ricotta until smooth. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, orange zest and cloves and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
In the meantime, make the chocolate sauce. Combine the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan and set over low heat. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is just melted, and then remove from the heat and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. If necessary, whisk in a little bit of water to loosen the sauce. Set aside in a warm place.
Pour about an inch of oil into a wide, shallow saucepan and set over medium-high heat. When a small piece of batter sizzles after you drop it into the oil, you are ready to fry. Drop rounded teaspoons of the batter into the oil in small batches and fry for about 2 minutes on each side, turning once, until golden brown. Drain the fritters on paper towels, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately with the chocolate sauce (if it has thickened too much, you may need to reheat the sauce gently, whisking constantly, and add a bit more water).