For the Beignets
1 envelope (7g) active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
3 1/2 cups cake flour
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temp
8 cups sunflower oil, for frying
Icing sugar, for dusting
For chocolate dipping sauce
115g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup cream
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temp
Mix yeast, water, and sugar in a mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook.
Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add salt, nutmeg, egg, milk, and 1 1/2 cups flour; mix on medium speed until combined.
Add softened butter; mix until incorporated. Add 1 3/4 cups flour, and mix until dough comes together. Add in remaining 1/4 cup flour and mix on a medium speed until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Remove dough from bowl; knock down - this redistributes the yeast.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1.5cm thickness. Cut out triangles or squares; place on a floured baking sheet.
Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 30 minutes.
While you are waiting for the beignets, make your chocolate dipping sauce. To make the chocolate sauce, place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer, pour over the chocolate, and let stand 2 minutes. Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms. Whisk in the butter until fully incorporated. Keep in a warm place until the beignets are ready or reheat as necessary to keep liquid for dipping.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium pot or deep fryer until it registers 177 degrees celsius. If you have a thermometer, it is always good to check your oil temp. Fry beignets a few at a time, rolling them around constantly with a slotted spoon, until golden brown all over, 1 to 2 minutes. Using the spoon, transfer beignets to a plate with paper towel to drain.
Dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve warm with the chocolate dipping sauce. Another great sauce to serve with them is a salted caramel sauce, the options are endless. Some even enjoy them just with some homemade strawberry jam.
Since watching the movie "Chef", I have been longing to experience Beignets from Cafe du Monde of New Orleans in the USA. I have heard glorious things about their absolute perfection, soft and pillowy, served with a Cafe au Lait. Devouring them as the icing sugar falls down your front while the rest sticks to your lips, is now on my bucket list. Unfortunately I am not headed in that direction anytime soon, and decided to satisfy my craving and interest by making my own Beignets. I love food with a history and enjoyed reading up on the story that surrounds the famous Beignet. They were brought to New Orleans in the 18th century by French colonists, from "the old mother country", and became a large part of home-style Creole cooking, variations often including banana or plantain – popular fruits in New Orleans. They now form a large part of the culture that is Creole and some celebrities are even known to hire private jets to collect warm, fresh Beignets! My craving was satsisfied after making these beauties and encourage you to make them too! Happy Cooking.
Find the printable version of the recipe here.
Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart