A piping bag with a star tube fitting makes elegant-looking beignets; you can also make your own piping bag by cutting a corner off a heavy-duty plastic bag or use a wet spoon to drop the batter into the hot oil.
These beignets can be made earlier in the day and served at room temperature, but they are best served straight from the fryer. I usually do everything in advance except for the final quick frying and reheating of the sauce just before serving.
Personal note: This is one of Bruce's favourite desserts. It's also one of the few dishes involving chocolate that we really like after a meal.
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
Chocolate dipping sauce:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 4 ounces (125 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons orange or anise liqueur
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Combine water, butter and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in flour all at once. Beat together with a wooden spoon to incorporate flour.
Return to heat and continue to beat for 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture pulls away from sides of pot. Remove pot from heat again and, using a wooden spoon, beat in eggs one at a time until mixture is smooth. Beat in lemon rind.
Bring cream to a simmer in a small pot. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir together until chocolate melts. Stir in liqueur. Reheat before serving.
Add 2 inches oil to a wok or deep fryer. Heat to 350 F or until a cube of bread turns brown in 15 seconds.
Transfer batter to a piping bag and pipe circles or ropes of dough into hot oil. Alternatively, drop dough into oil with a tablespoon. Fry for about 1 minute or until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs. Serve with warm chocolate sauce for dipping.