If you made it down to New Orleans this weekend for Mardi Gras festivities, you probably cruised Bourbon Street and tried a beignet from Cafe du Monde. Beignets are a French fried dough dessert, and Cafe du Monde is famous for their recipe and has become a regular favorite for partiers to take a break and indulge. I had never tried one until this weekend, but I have been thinking about them ever since. I am bringing you the simplest, most foolproof beignet recipe to test for yourself if you’re like me and can’t wait an entire year. Happy Fat Tuesday!
1 cup water (8 fl oz, 240 ml)
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Large pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
Mix water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium high heat, stirring until butter is melted and the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour, stirring to combine well with the butter mixture. Continue to stir and cook until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and starts to form into a ball, which will take about 1 minute. Cool for 5 minutes.
Beat the dough with the eggs, one at a time. Chill the dough for one hour. After chilling, shape the dough into small balls using a teaspoon or 1/2 tablespoon. Arrange the dough balls on a plate lined with parchment paper.
Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a frying pan on medium-low heat. Drop the dough balls and fry them in batches, taking care not to cook too many at once. Keep turning the dough balls until they are golden brown and puffy. The beignet will start to burst creating a seam when it is ready. Remove from the oil and let cool on a paper towel. Sprinkle the powdered sugar (very) generously and enjoy!