Norlens Beignets With Vanilla Sauce

READY IN: 1hr 5mins




  • 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.
  • 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.
  • NOTE:
  • 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.