Alongside crêpes and waffles, French beignets are part of the most famous dishes prepared in France for the occasion of Mardi-Gras or Carnival. The pastry usually consists of deep-fried dough and is a sort of doughnut.
About French Beignets
Beignets originate from France and, depending on the region, can be prepared in many different ways. Hence they have different names: bugnes, merveilles, oreillettes, corchevets, vautes, etc.
In Alsace alone, there are several varieties of beignets, including Fasenachtskiechle (similar to Berliners) and Schenkeles.
This article features one of the many recipes followed for making “Beignets de Carnaval”. We adapted it in order to be extremely easy to prepare.
French Beignets: Ingredients
- 1.375 g plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 75 g butter at room temperature
- 4 dessert spoons of rum or plum licqueur (licqueur de mirabelle) or other citrus based licqueur.
- a few drops vanila essence
- 100 g de sucre semoule
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 250 ml milk
- zest of 1 lemon
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- Mix the flour, sugar and salt.
- Add the milk and the eggs one by one, then the butter and the licqueur and vanilla essence, then lastly the baking powder and lemon zest.
- Do not overmix the batter as it will make it heavier.
- Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and when very hot, drop in a dessert spoon full of batter in a ball shape. Cook until a dark golden brown then drain on kitchen paper and roll in caster sugar to de corate. Cook in batches until all the batter has gone.
- You can eat them hot or cold.
As beignets are deep-fried, the odour when cooking can be strong … remember to light candles while cooking them to absorb the unpleasant smell!
In addition I have published a more descriptive post on Mardi-Gras and Carnival in France here. It tells you about its origins and traditions.