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Beignets are SOO delightful and fun to eat. No wonder they are popular in New Orleans. Make these for Fat Tuesday and it'll transport you to Louisiana. These are light and airy and made from a puff pasty dough which is the traditional dough used in New Orleans. Enjoy! Note that the totals within Nutritional information is not correct. It is taking into account the full measure of oil which the beignets are fried in. It also takes the 2 cups of Creme Anglaise (Vanilla Sauce) into account. Depending on how much you like Vanilla Sauce, you may not use all of the measure.
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
- 4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups creme anglaise, heated (recipe follow)
CREME ANGLAISE (makes 2 cups)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk, heated
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature (optional)
- Combine the water, butter, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the sugar in a deep, heavy saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the butter, then remove from heat.
- Immediately add the flour all at once and stir vigorously to blend.
- Return the mixture to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture pulls away from the side of the pan, forms a ball, and leaves a film on the bottom of the pan. Should take about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and beat in 1 egg at a time with a wooden spoon. The finished paste should be very smooth. Cover and set aside.
- Mix the remaining sugar with the cinnamon and place it in a deep plate or shallow soup bowl.
- In a deep, heavy pot or deep-fryer, heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, or almost smoking.
- When the oil is hot, scoop up 1 heaping teaspoonful of the dough, push it off the spoon into a rounded lump with your thumb, and drop into the oil. Increasing the heat slightly, fry 10 - 12 beignets at a time, moving them around in the oil so they brown equally on all sides.
- Remove cooked beignets with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain briefly, then keep them warm in an oven on very low heat. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Roll the warm beignets in the cinnamon sugar and serve at once with the warm creme anglaise on the side.
- NOTE: Cream puff dough can be made up to 6 hours in advance and kept at room temperature; the puffs should be fried just prior to serving.
- CREME ANGLAISE:.
- Place the egg yolks in a medium, heavy saucepan and whisk them over low heat until they are pale in color. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition. Beat until the mixture reaches the consistency of cake batter.
- Whisk in the milk, then stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the custard coats the spoon and a line drawn down the back of the spoon remains visible. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- If the custard is to be chilled, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the suface to prevent a skin from forming, or dot the top with bits of the optional butter.
- Chill custard for up to 2 days.
- If the custard begins to overheat and the egg yolks are forming lumps, remove it immediately from the heat and whisk briskly to cool the mixture. Push the custard through a fine-meshed sieve with the back of a spoon to remove the lumps. If it has not sufficiently thickened, return it to heat to complete cooking.