Cinnamon beignets with spiced chocolate sauce
- August 2014
- Makes 30-40
- Hands-on time 1 hour, plus rising
These beignets are more doughnut-like than the traditional version (made with choux pastry) but taste just as good especially when dipped in the spiced chocolate sauce.
- 12.7g (6.3g saturated)
- 20g (10.9g sugars)
- 50g strong white bread flour
- 25g fresh yeast or 10g dried active yeast
- 180ml lukewarm milk
- 450g plain flour
- 170g unsalted butter, softened
- 60g caster sugar
- 2 large free-range eggs, plus
- 2 extra yolks
- About 2 litres vegetable oil for deep frying
For the cinnamon sugar
- 200g caster sugar
- ½-1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the spiced chocolate sauce
- 250ml double cream
- 150ml whole milk
- 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- ¼ star anise
- ¼ chipotle chilli (dried smoked jalapeño, from the world food aisle of large supermarkets or online), crumbled, or a pinch of chilli flakes
- 250g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), finely chopped
- Good knob of butter
- First make the beignet dough. Put the strong flour and yeast in a jug and gradually stir in the lukewarm milk to make a paste, making sure there aren’t any lumps.
- Put the plain flour in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, then rub in the 170g butter with your fingertips. Add the yeast paste, 60g caster sugar, whole eggs, extra yolks and a pinch of salt. Mix until the dough comes away from the bowl edges – if you’re doing it by hand it will be quite messy, but stick with it. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours until risen.
- Meanwhile make the chocolate sauce. Heat the double cream and whole milk in a large heavy-based pan with the vanilla seeds and pod, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise and chilli. When the mixture is steaming, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate to melt. Once smooth and thick, pass through a fine sieve into a mixing bowl, then stir through the knob of butter.
- When the dough is risen it will be thick but soft enough to pipe. Spoon it into a disposable piping bag (do this in 2 batches if you aren’t comfortable holding it all at once). Cut the end off so you have a slit around 3cm wide.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 160-170°C when tested with a digital thermometer. Meanwhile, mix the 200g caster sugar and cinnamon on a dinner plate. Put a double layer of kitchen roll on a second plate and put it near the pan. Squeeze out the dough from the piping bag to form a ball about the size of a walnut – quickly snip off with scissors, letting it fall gently into the hot oil (or ask someone to snip it for you). Repeat until you have 5-6 cooking at once. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until deep golden. Keep frying in batches until all the mixture has been used up. Don’t worry if the beignets aren’t a regular shape – that’s part of their charm.
- Briefly drain the beignets on the kitchen paper, then toss in cinnamon sugar. It’s a good idea to tear the first one open to see if it’s cooked properly. Gently reheat the sauce in the microwave or on the hob, then serve with the warm beignets.
Freeze the risen dough (step 2), wrapped well in a freezer bag, for up to a month. Defrost fully before continuing from step 3. The cooled sauce can be kept, covered in the fridge, for up to a week. Gently warm in the microwave.
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