These beignets are a tribute to one of my favorite places in the world: New Orleans. We are only a five- or six-hour drive away, and my whole family loves the city. These beignets taste just like the ones from Café Du Monde. I had to make them even more awesome by drowning them in chocolate powdered sugar, banana powdered sugar and strawberry powdered sugar. They taste just like a banana split!
- 11⁄4 cups (300 ml) warm water (about 110°F [43°C]; see Hot Tip on page 134)
- 21⁄4 tsp (7 g) active dry yeast
- 1⁄4 cup (48 g) vegan granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus more as needed
- 31⁄2 cups (420 g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1 tbsp (9 g) cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (130 g) powdered vegan sugar, divided
- 1 cup (140 g) freeze-dried strawberries
- 1 cup (140 g) freeze-dried bananas
- 2 tbsp (14 g) cocoa powder
- Pour the warm water into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast into the warm water. Then sprinkle the granulated sugar on top of the yeast.
- Let the yeast bloom for 5 minutes. The yeast should start to bubble and form big bubbles of yeast at the top of the water.
- Add the oil to the yeast and water mixture.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the water mixture a little at a time, using a dough hook (if you are using a stand mixer) or stirring with a spoon to combine.
- When all the flour mixture has been added, knead the dough either with the dough hook in the stand mixer or your hands on a floured surface for 1 to 2 minutes, until the dough has formed a soft, smooth ball.
- Leave the dough in the bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- While the dough is rising, add 1⁄4 cup (33 g) of the powdered sugar and the strawberries to a food processor. Pulse until the strawberries turn into a powder and are combined with the powdered sugar. Transfer the strawberry powdered sugar to a medium bowl and wipe out the food processor. Set the strawberry powdered sugar aside.
- Add 1⁄4 cup (33 g) of the powdered sugar and the bananas to the food processor. Pulse until the bananas turn into a powder and are combined with the powdered sugar. Transfer the banana powdered sugar to another medium bowl. Set the banana powdered sugar aside.
- Add the remaining 1⁄2 cup (65 g) of powdered sugar and cocoa powder to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Set the chocolate powdered sugar aside.
- Once the dough has risen, transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Put some flour on top of the dough to make sure it isn’t sticky. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is about 1⁄2 inch (13 mm) thick.
- Cut the dough into 2 x 3–inch (5 x 7.5–cm) rectangles. Let them rise for about 5 minutes. While the beignets rise, heat the oil.
- In a large skillet over high heat, bring about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of oil to 350°F (177°C). Reduce the heat as needed to maintain the oil’s temperature.
- Place 3 or 4 beignets at a time in the skillet. Fry them for about 2 minutes per side or until they are golden brown. Put the fried beignets on a paper towel to drain. Repeat this process with the remaining beignets.
- Serve the beignets freshly fried and covered in your choice of the strawberry, banana or chocolate powdered sugar.
Hot Tip: You will be able to tell if the water is the right temperature by touch. If it is too hot to stick your finger in, it will kill the yeast. It should feel warm, but it should not burn your finger.
Reprinted with permission from Southern Vegan by Lauren Hartmann, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Lauren Hartmann and Julie Grace.