24 February 2010

Man Catching Beignets

We took Elora to see the movie, "The Princess and the Frog". It takes place in New Orleans and the main character cooks something called beignets. They looked good, so we set to work trying to figure out what they were so we could cook some too! We looked up a couple recipes, and modified and combined some based on what looked good and what ingredients we had available... Our recipe is at the bottom of the post.

After the dough rose, Elora helped roll it out.

Ollie thought it looked fun, so he came and helped pat out the dough. You can see that Elora was taking her work very seriously, while Ollie just thought it was a great game.

Next we cut the dough. Oliver kept trying to eat the dough. Notice the rectangles closest to him don't look very nice anymore...

Then into the fryer! Who doesn't love fried dough? Apparently these are a specialty in New Orleans. They were originally from France, but were modified into a New Orleans version that uses yeast. It is so cool because when you put them in the oil, they poof up to three times their original size.

Hot sweet fattening goodness! They are like doughnuts, only WAY better!

The recipe made TONS... so after eating all we could stand, and giving some to the neighbors, we fried the rest only halfway and stuck them in the freezer to finish frying another day.

I definately caught a good looking man with my Man Catching Beignets. I don't know if ours taste like the ones from New Orleans, but we thought they were amazing and will make this recipe a new favorite!

Vanilla Pastry Cream - Do this first!
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat milk and butter in a pan until simmering. Mix sugar, eggs, and flour in a bowl. Pour hot milk over sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Pour egg mixture back in pan, heat over medium low heat or in a double boiler until thickened. Then add vanilla. Cool in fridge with plastic wrap touching top of cream.
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup milk
2 cups pastry cream (above recipe)
7 cups bread flour (or 8 cups all purpose flour)
1/4 cup butter

Mix water, sugar, yeast. Let sit five minutes. Add eggs, salt, milk, pastry cream, and two cups flour; mix thoroughly. Add butter and mix thoroughly. Add flour one cup at a time, until you can't stir anymore. Knead in remaining flour until you have a soft smooth dough. Let rise 2 hours. Roll out dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 3x2" rectangles. Fry in hot oil (about 350 degrees), flipping constantly until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Toss in bag full of powdered sugar (and cinnamon if you want!) Best hot! Microwave leftovers for 15 seconds before eating.

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