Sunday, October 4, 2009

Recipe #9: Chocolate Beignets

While I have never myself had these outside of my own experience cooking them, my husband had. Beignets (prounced "ben-yays") are a sort of New Orleans style doughnut, minus the whole circle-with-the-middle-cut-out aspect. At the legendary Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, they are topped with powdered sugar and served with cafe au lait. Well, I may not have gone the very traditional route -- though if you'd like to, visit the cafe's website, where you can buy their beignet mix -- and I substituted hot chocolate for the coffee, I think these beignets came out just wonderfully! Please note -- wherever you see a (*) next to an ingredient or tool, there is a comment about it below the recipe. Enjoy!

Chocolate Beignets

Prep time: 20 minutes, plus dough rising time (4 hours to overnight)
Cooking time: 30 minutes oven rising and 5 minutes frying

1 envelope active dry yeast
2 tablespoons butter
2 Hershey bars, 1.55 ounces each
3/4 cup luke warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
pinch of salt
1 egg
4 cups flour
1/8 cup shortening
oil to fry

deep fryer or pan for frying*
cookie sheet
mixing bowl
rolling pin
greased bowl
stand mixer
parchment paper*

Before beginning, melt one chocolate bar either in a double boiler or even in a bowl in the microwave.

Combine yeast, water and sugar in bowl of stand mixer, and allow to sit until yeast starts to bubble -- about 5-7 minutes. Beat egg and add to mixture along with salt and evaporated milk.

Mix on low, and slowly add two cups of flour. Keeping mixer on, add half the shortening, allow to combine, add remainder of shortening, melted chocolate and remainder of flour. Do not overmix or dough will become too tough.

Remove bowl from mixer and place dough in greased bowl (tip: use butter wrapper to grease). Cover with foil or plastic wrap and allow to rise in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least four hours. Dough should *about* double in size.

When dough has risen, place on floured surface and roll til 1/2 thickness is reached.

Cut into strips or rectangles, and place on parchment paper-covered cookie sheet, and put into 175-degree oven for 30 minutes (beignets should rise a bit, but not actually cook).

Remove from oven, and beignets should feel slightly toasted to the touch.

Fry in oil -- either in deep fryer or pan with about 3 inches of oil -- until golden brown, flipping halfway through.

After frying, place on paper towel to drain.

Melt second chocolate bar with butter. Frost beignets with chocolate, and serve warm.


-Deep fryer: Cook these in oil that has reached 375 degrees. It's hard to tell in a regular pan whether the oil has reached that temp, which is why I *much* prefer to use a regular fryer. I bought mine at Walmart and use it all the time. It's very easy, and if you like it, you can find it/buy it here.

-Parchment paper: Please believe me when I say this -- for all intensive purposes, including anything that involves heat, WAX PAPER AND PARCHMENT PAPER ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. If you're using them outside the oven, sure, they are pretty interchangeable. But I beg of you, for the love of all that it holy and for the sake of your bakeware... be kind, only use parchment in the oven! Aside from the fact that the wax on wax paper melts in the oven and can ruin your bakeware (just ask my husband!), you will discover a new-found love for the seemingly magical parchment paper. Never lose a cake bottom to a heated pan again! :)


Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

OMG! I don't cook, but have to make these! I LOVE beignets!! My kids are at their father's till Thursday, but I am going to make them for breakfast on Saturday!!! eeeeeeee....excited!!

Lena Blair said...

Hi, I just saw your comment at Speaking From the Crib and thought I would stob by and say hi, and OMG saw this and now I am salivating, YUM, and a I am a new follower. Have a great Wednesday, or whats left of it anyways!!!!