French beignets – Beignets de Carnaval

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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.


Beignets originate from France and, depending on the region, can be prepared  in many different ways, hence carrying a variety of names: bugnes, merveilles, oreillettes, corchevets, vautes, etc.

This page features one of the many recipes followed for making “Beignets de Carnaval” and has been adapted in order to be extremely easy to prepare.


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

Method

  • 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!


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