Chocolate Beignets, As In Cooking Is Not Always Success and Glory

chocolate beignets

Remember when I told you how during carnival season it’s customary here in Hungary to make donuts? Since it’s that time of the year, I thought I’d post a donut recipe again, this time exploring how other nations do donuts. Pillowy French beignets (pron. ben-yay) were on top of the list.

I wanted them square, States-style. Yes, I know they make them round in Paris, but I had enough round donuts already and no squares yet. Also, the chocolate filling. That don’t need explaining I reckon.

So I got to it. And although they tasted awesome (like, really awesome!) and I eventually managed to shoot an ok-kinda photo of them, the honest truth is that I had quite a difficult time making these.

The dough was too damn sticky (which is probably my fault because I bought the same flour I previously found hard to work with). The beignets were turning over in the frying oil all by themselves. Half the amount would have been more than enough of the chocolate ganache, and it is simply impossible to fill the donuts with it when it’s still warm, like the recipe was saying. The smallest nozzle of my piping bag turned out to be still too big for the job, and there were sticky chocolate and sugar and oil everywhere.

I struggled, cursed, made a terrible mess of my kitchen, cursed some more, and even wished at one point the whole thing would just go and eff itself.

There. It’s out, and I feel liberated. (I also had a glass… ok two glasses of wine, so all is good now.) I wanted to tell you this because 99.9 percent of the time authors – me included – are being like oh, this recipe is so ridiculously easy, you can “make it from scratch” and it “comes together in a blink of an eye”. Moderate breakdowns and piles of dirty dishes are seldom mentioned.

Easy recipes do exist. This is not one of them. Or let me put it this way: it wasn’t for me at first try. I still decided to post it, difficulties and all. Cooking is fun and I thoroughly enjoy it, but I’d lie if I said it’s always a triumph. My kitchen and its output is not Instagrammable all of the time. So if you goofed up your last recipe, don’t be disheartened. Shit happens.

That said, I’m sure I will make beignets again. It’s a learning curve, plus they are just.so.good!

chocolate beignets

This is the recipe, adjusted to suck way less for you than it did for me. Good luck!

Chocolate Beignets

  • Difficulty: requires effort
  • Print

Fluffy-soft French donuts filled with a rich chocolate cream. Makes 12.

Ingredients

For the donuts:

50 g granulated sugar

150 ml milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

15 g fresh yeast

50 g unsalted butter

320 g AP flour + extra for dusting

pinch of salt

2 egg yolks

vegetable oil for frying

2 tbsp powdered sugar + 2 tbsp granulated sugar, for dusting

For the filling:

125 ml double cream

125 g dark chocolate, chopped

30 g unsalted butter, cubed

Directions

  1. Gently heat the sugar and milk in a small pan until warm and sugar has dissolved. Add vanilla.
  2. Crumble the yeast into a bowl, pour in half the sweetened warm milk, then mix and leave to activate.
  3. Place the remaining milk back on the heat and add the butter. Heat until butter melts, but don’t let the milk boil.
  4. Sift flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the hook attachment and make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolks, yeasted milk and the butter-milk mixture.
  5. Mix on low until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the mix is too sticky, add extra flour, a teaspoon at a time.
  6. Place dough in a clean bowl dusted with flour, cover with cling film to stop the dough forming a skin. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  7. While dough is rising, make the filling. Put the cream in a pan and heat until steaming, but not boiling. Put the chocolate and butter into another bowl. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy. Put ganache in the fridge to stiffen up.
  8. When dough has risen, knead lightly on a floured surface than roll out to a rectangle with a thickness of about 2 cm.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 12 rectangular pillows, then leave to rise again until doubled in size, about 30 min.
  10. Combine powdered sugar with granulated sugar in a bowl for dusting, set aside.
  11. Pour oil in a deep saucepan filling it one-third full and heat to 160°C. Fry the doughnuts in batches of 2-3 until evenly golden brown and cooked through. You will need to moderate the heat between batches, otherwise the doughnuts brown too quickly and remain raw inside or too slowly and suck up too much oil.
  12. Using a slotted spoon, remove the doughnuts from the oil and transfer to a dish lined with kitchen towels to drain excess oil. Once cool, transfer in the sugar to coat.
  13. To fill the doughnuts, spoon the chocolate ganache into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle. Insert the nozzle into the doughnut and gently squeeze in the filling. Enjoy!

Love,

Fruzsi

Advertisements

Friday Finds

I’ve just realized: we are 20 days into carnival season, people! And that means donuts with a capital D. Would you just look at these:

Berlinas by Sandeea, via La Receta de la Felicidad:

berlinas

Gingerbread Brioche Doughnuts with Spiced Brown Sugar Diplomat Cream by Erin of Cloudy Kitchen:

Gingerbread Brioche Doughnuts with Spiced Brown Sugar Diplomat Cream

Blackberry Custard Donuts by Debs of Wilde Orchard:

Blackberry Custard Donuts

Coffee Donuts by Megan of Hint of Vanilla:

coffee donuts

Vanilla Cream-Filled Doughnuts by Michelle of Brown Eyed Baker:

Vanilla Cream-Filled Doughnuts

Happy weekend!

Fruzsi

Friday Finds

Waving goodbye to September while buying out my supermarket’s cinnamon supply.

Apple Pie Smoothie by Eden of Sugar and Charm:

apple pie smoothie

Cinnamon Toast Bundts by Olivia of Liv for Cake:

cinnamon toast bundts

Spreadable Cinnamon Apple Caramel by Jane of Little Sugar Snaps:

apple cinnamon caramel

Cinnamon Dolce Latte by Megan of With Salt & Wit:

cinnamon latte

Baked Cinnamon and Sugar Donuts by Jessica of A Happy Food Dance:

baked cinnamon sugar donuts

Happy weekend!

Fruzsi

Friday Finds

Of all the beautiful, fresh produce August has to offer, today I chose juicy blackberries. And would you just look at these recipes! Not your average coffee cake or crumble for sure (I absolutely adore those, mind you). Thumbs up for the lovely ladies who came up with the clever pairings of such delightful flavors!

Blackberry Lavender Champagne Cocktail by Dani of The Adventure Bite:

blackberry lavender champagne cocktail

Lavender Earl Grey Ice Cream Floats by Sarah of Snixy Kitchen:

lavender earl gray blackberry ice cream floats

Blackberry-Thyme Jam and Whipped Goat Cheese Filled Donuts by Lauren of For The Love Of Lasagna:

blackberry thime jam goat cheese donuts

Blackberry Soufflé via Waitrose:

blackberry souffle

Blackberry Sage Sorbet by Nguyet of Taming of the Spoon:

blackberry sage sorbet

Happy Weekend!

Fruzsi

Carnivals & Donuts

traditional hungarian farsangi fank

In Christian parts of the world, carnival celebrations are held during the period between Epiphany (January 6th) and Ash Wednesday (March 1 this year). Hungary, a mostly Catholic country is no exception, but our carnival season is far from average.

As Farsang (far-shaangh) is the last merriment preceding the 40-day piety of Lent, it is marked by many festivities, balls and costume parades aiming to scare winter off to finally welcome spring.

Our celebrations are a unique mixture of Christian and pagan traditions. Look no further than old folk custom Busójárás masquerade of the city of Mohács, Cultural Heritage acknowledged by UNESCO.

The carnival feast also includes a lot of excess eating and drinking as you’ve guessed, the most delicious of the treats being without any question farsangi fánk – the Carnival Donut itself. Even if you watch what you eat, it’s a must this time of the year!

You might say donuts are nothing special and indeed, they are all around the world. I’m not going to post a recipe either because chances are you have one already. Instead, I’m going to share how we do them here, the farsang-way.

It is fairly unclear how doughnuts got to our kitchens. The two most well-known theories are either adapting French beignets, or the product of a Viennese baker named Krapf (donuts are still called Krapfen in the germanosphere). The rich but relatively cheap pastry was first mentioned in 1603, becoming really popular throughout Hungary later, in the 19th century.

hungarian carnival donuts

It’s not my intention to break anyone’s spirit, not at all! But if you’ve never worked with yeast dough before, this pastry is probably not the best place to start. Traditional farsangi fánk should be airy-light inside and golden brown outside with a nice, white ribbon around its midsection. Fulfilling all the criteria is easier said than done: making a perfect donut is quite a fastidious task requiring an experienced hand.

For the delicate leavened pastry with high yeast content, all ingredients should be room temperature. The rising needs to happen in a warm place and the dough has to be handled with extra care not to break it (rolling-pin forbidden!). And even then, the temperature of the frying oil could make or break the results.

If you manage to succeed against all odds, these carnival specialties are then eaten warm and simple: no glaze or filling, just a dusting of powdered vanilla sugar. No holes either, a dent is made in the middle instead to accommodate a generous spoonful of homemade apricot jam.

hungarian donut with jam

We had ours with my spicy plum preserve this time and as you can see, the ribbons were far from perfect, but the happy faces definitely make up for all the misery. Also, a family tradition from grandmother to mother to daughter is continued.

Are there unusual carnival traditions where you live? Let’s hear about them!

Love,

Fruzsi

Friday Finds

Yay, it’s already Friday. Again! Don’t know about you, but I could definitely get used to 3-day weeks… Anyway, here’s what I came up with for you this time:

This lovely bouquet by florist Kirstie of Ruby & The Wolf:

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Words of a supermodel to relate to:

160318 Friday Finds motivation

These mouth-watering ricotta donuts found on Moje Wypieki (in Polish):

160318 Friday Finds donuts

Shabby taupe and grey textures spotted on Misch Masch by Nina:

160318 Friday Finds hues

And finally, this little guy’s contagious smile:

160318 Friday Finds lamb

 

Happy weekend!

Fruzsi