beignets

At the beginning of summer, I’d cooked a special farewell lunch for my grad program friends: Cajun stuffed Cornish hens, dirty rice, and Brussels sprouts with candied bacon. For dessert, I kept with the Louisianan theme and served homemade beignets and Cafe du Monde New Orleans-style coffee with condensed milk, just the way Vietnamese people love to drink it.

While I grew up around Cafe du Monde’s ready-to-brew coffee grounds (which came in those notorious mustard yellow tin cans that afterwards became every Vietnamese family’s piggy bank/knickknack holder), I didn’t have my first beignet until college when I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I visited the brick-and-mortar Cafe du Monde and did what all the other tourists did: sat in the open-air cafe and sipped on steaming chicory drip coffee with the powdered sugar from the three beignets snowing all over my mouth and lap. It was a heavenly combination of flavors, and boy, all I can say is those French sure know their fried desserts.

Beignet, which literally means “bump,” is the French version of the American fritter. I love to eat them with powdered sugar and honey. They should be pillowy on the inside with a very light crunch on the outside. Before “MasterChef,” I always got my beignets from local shops. But then I learned how to make them from scratch, and there ain’t nothin’ like a beignet fresh out of the fryer. My friends gobbled them all up, their faces and fingers covered in white. If it hadn’t been for food coma written all over their eyes, they would’ve been mistaken for a bunch of cokeheads. Try these out, and let me know what you think. If the Blind can Cook it, you know you can too.

 

Recipe: Beignets

Ingredients

  1. 196 g AP flour
  2. 98 g Sugar
  3. 4.5 g baking powder
  4. 3 g Salt
  5. 95 g Milk
  6. 8 g lemon juice
  7. 83 g butter, melted
  8. 1egg
  9. 1egg yolk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oil to 350° to 365°F.
  2. In a mixer bowl, combine less than half the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Whisk together the milk, lemon juice, melted butter, egg, and yolk.
  4. Add the wet to the dry and mix on med. Speed until smooth.
  5. Lower the speed and add the remaining flour. Mix until just combined.
  6. Turn out dough on to a floured surface. Roll out to 1/4- to 1/2-in. Thick. Cut with a ring cutter.
  7. Drop beignets carefully into fryer. Once they rise to the surface, fry until golden brown.
  8. Drain on paper towel lined pan or wire rack. Serve warm with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top and a side of honey.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

27 Responses to beignets
  1. Paulina Fiejtek Reply

    Hi Christine I love you and I might try this with my mom. You have inspired me on master chef. And I don’t think you will win, I know you will. I love you. <3

    • Paulina Fiejtek Reply

      I meant I know you will WIN

    • Christine Ha Reply

      Thanks for the kind words. :)

  2. Crystal Reply

    I love Cafe du Monde beignets!!! We live in Houston, TX, so we don't have them nearly enough, lol. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Christine Ha Reply

      Chez Beignet has some pretty good ones. Check them out.

  3. pieguybxl Reply

    mmmmm so awesome. How do you make them into those squarish shapes that I've seen in some places?

    • Christine Ha Reply

      You can use a square mold cutter found in baking sections.

  4. John Reply

    You are a true inspiration.. We are routing hard for you here in Cali. Go get em'!

  5. Phantastic Reply

    Wow thanks for the recipe, looks yummy! I will definitely try it out. But you know else looks yummy? That pineapple soup you made on Masterchef. I'm so curious on how that broth tastes like! =D

  6. flowerinsun Reply

    I am one from China, heh, so love u , Christine !

  7. Beverly Reply

    wow those look really good. i tried beignets once before and they were ok. i'll try one more time with your recipe but i think my problem is the location not the flavor. it's hard to beat eating a beignet and drinking some cafe au lait while sitting at the river. there's just something about being in NOLA that is magical.

    • Christine Ha Reply

      Ambience plays such an important role in the food experience, especially here in America.

  8. Shawn Reply

    Hahahaha the description of your friends eating the beignets had me laughing my butt off.

  9. Cécile Reply

    I'm a half Vietnamese half French girl who has been watching Masterchef online (we have our own version here but I'm always looking for more ideas to cook). I'm rooting for you to win this thing with all my heart !
    I've started reading your blog after seeing you on the show and I love it. I'm really glad to see a French desert here and it's interesting to see how you make it. I'm actually not a huge fan of beignets (I'm not really into desserts) but I've been making bugnes (it's a kind of beignet from Lyon) for a while since it's one of my father's favourites and I'll definitely be trying your recipe.

    You truly are an inspiration to me.

    I'm looking forward to watching you cook in the next episode :)

    A fan from across the Atlantic !

    • Christine Ha Reply

      Thanks for your comment and such kind words. :)

  10. Jenny Huynh Reply

    Christine, we (Vietnamese) are so proud of you. It's not just you've won the Master Chef but you have won with the Vietnamese dish.Wish you all the best. Love, Jenny Huynh

  11. J. Dent Reply

    I would have liked to have gotten in on that meal. Seems like I've been on a never-ending Cajun craving. I've actually tried beignets with some chicory coffee in a local New Orleans restaurant. I admit that I was a bit disappointed with them, especially since the food was take-your-breath-away good (it was the first time I've been left speechless by food) but I bet they'd be really good fresh out of the fryer. That lemon juice sounds like it'd give it really good taste. Hopefully, the world lasts long enough for me to try these the homemade way.

    From that picture, they almost remind me of ebleskiver, only darker and more crunchy. I'd probably really have to church them out if they go down like ebleskiver because I can eat about 20 of those, last time anyone counted. That coffee sounds like it'd be just the right accompaniment too. If I ever try to cook up some of these, I might also have to make some chantilly cream to go along with them.

    • Christine Ha Reply

      I've never heard of anebleskiver. Describe, please.

      • J. Dent Reply

        They're something like Danish pancakes, although I wouldn't really consider them breakfast food. They're more like dessert.. You cook them in a special pan that has a bunch of indentions that cook the batter into spheres. As they cook, you turn them with a fork or something similar. Once they're cooked and still hot, you can serve them with all kinds of jellies or syrup. My personal preference is with orange marmalade. They're soft like a pancake, but light and fluffy. And they're highly addictive.

        I don't have a recipe for them. As far back as I can remember, we've used Bisquick since it's always on hand. I've got a bit of Dane is my family tree, so that's why we have these.

        • Christine Ha Reply

          Interesting. Thanks for the quick lesson.

          • J. Dent

            You're welcome, and here's another quick lesson. I don't know if you ever would try ebleskiver, but if you do, forget what I said about using Bisquick. I found out that we actually do have a recipe. Over three years of eating them, and I just find out what they're made of. XD

            Anyway, I think these beignets will be one of the next of your recipes that I'll try. Maybe one day, I'll get to try them right from New Orleans along with some authentic jambalaya.

  12. J. Dent Reply

    Me again.

    I plan to use your recipe for Cajun seasoning in the hopefully near future. Not sure how I'm going to use it yet, but I'm working on it. Whatever I do, I would like to try and whip up these to go along with it. I'm having some problems with the recipe though. I'm not sure how to translate the metric units here into cups and teaspoons. I've found converters for grams to cups, but it falls apart trying to convert to teaspoons/tablespoons. I didn't want to rely on my own dumb luck or lack thereof since it'd be a waste of ingredients if I blew it, so I thought I'd find out from the person who made it.

    Thank you in advance for this. Actually, thank you for the advice you've given me and even just reading my posts.

    • Christine Ha Reply

      My best advice is to use a food scale and set it to metric. Professional bakers always use metric because it's more exact to their methods.

      • J. Dent Reply

        Thanks. :) I'll do some looking and see what I can find that's does the job and is in my range.

        Guess I should have paid more attention to my metric lessons in high school. :P

  13. Patricia Reply

    Hi Christine! What do you mean by roll out to x-in thick?

    • Christine Ha Reply

      THanks for bringing my attention to a typo I had. I'd roll out to 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. Let me know how they turn out. THanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>