Sunday, March 9, 2008

Beignets à la Tartelette

If I could be the fly on the wall of someone's kitchen (not that she has flies on her wall), it would be that of Hélène, aka Tartelette. First because she's French and I love all things French. Second because she has a gorgeous blog that I love to read and I admire greatly, everything is perfection. Third because she can really bake like a pro and she always has something deeeelishhhh to serve up to lucky neighbors and guests. Frankly, I wonder how she doesn't weigh 500 pounds, I sure would if I baked like with such frequency. Helene's trick is that she's generous and gives to her lucky neighbors! For all these reasons, I'd love to see her in action. Not to sound like a stalker or anything...

So this morning, with 12 inches of snow on the ground and noplace to go, I decided it was time to make some of Tartelette's beignets. I had read about them last month and thought "this must be made when the time is right". Nothing like a foot of snow on the ground to make the time seem simply perfect!

I have made beignets before, but only from the Cafe du Monde box 'o beignets that I picked up at the grocery store one day. They weren't bad, but they were definitely "from a box" and didn't rise nicely, didn't puff nicely, were kind of tough. They were not like at the actual beignets of the Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. Anyway, I don't know why I've never tried them by scratch, I never make anything from a box, so why the beignets? Well, after seeing how easy they are to whip up I will never buy a boxed beignet again!

I followed Hélène's recipe and changed just a few things: I don't have orange flower water so I omitted that completely, and I added a teaspoon of sugar for some sweetness. Next time I will probably add a little bit more sugar, I like my beignet dough a touch sweeter (but not too sweet or it's overwhelming). But these beignets were so simple! Mix up a few ingredients, let the dough rise for around 45 minutes, roll out the easy to roll dough, cut the beignets (I made 12 rectangular beignets from this recipe) and deep fry in canola oil until golden. Start to finish the beignets took just over one hour, and during the rising time I emptied the dishwasher from last night, took a shower, made some coffee, it was multi-tasking extraordinaire! I fried up 6 of my 12 beignets and put the remaining dough rectangles in the freezer for another weekend. That's what I love about baking with dough, it freezes well and then bakes up perfectly!

There is one beignet left, it's for my husband....but he doesn't know it's there, so maybe it will mysteriously disappear before he returns from work...


Meg said...

I love her blog, too (so beautiful, so delicious looking, so enjoyable to read, etc), and have been eyeballing her beignet recipes. Yours look great, and if you hadn't mentioned it, I would never have thought about something as simple as freezing the dough.

Lesley said...

There is NOTHING like freezing dough! In my freezer at this moment I have pizza dough, cinnamon buns, croissants and these beignets.
oink oink!!
Thanks for visiting!