Monday, May 7, 2012

Better Than NOLA Vegan Beignets

In New Orleans, a short walk from Bourbon Street, is a café which has become quite famous for their beignets. Many a (very) late night, I’ve stumbled with friends to the eatery and ordered “just black coffee, thanks” while my cohorts indulged in the powdered sugar-dusted, deep-fried delicacies.

Enough of that, thank you very much. It’s time for a brilliant beignet, of a better batter. Let the Age of the Vegan Beignet begin!

Better Than NOLA Beignets

1 1/2 c. warm water (“baby bath water” warm)
1 1/2 T. dry active yeast
1 3/4 c. unbleached flour
3/4 t. salt
2 T. cane juice crystals or natural sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. lemon juice
Several cups canola oil for frying
Organic powdered sugar for garnish
Dairy-free chocolate syrup for garnish (optional)

You will also need:
Candy thermometer to check oil temperature

In a medium bowl, sprinkle yeast over water and allow to dissolve.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and cane juice crystals or natural sugar.

Add vanilla and lemon juice to yeast mixture and stir until well-mixed.

Pour wet ingredients into dry, stirring to create a soft dough.

Cover bowl with a damp towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes. The batter should be airy and light when done rising.

Heat oil in a fryer, wok or deep pan to 350 degrees.

Drop large spoonfuls of batter into hot oil, taking care not to crowd the beignets as they fry. Cook for a minute or two on each side, or until golden brown.

Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and served with a dusting of powdered sugar and—if desired—chocolate syrup.

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