Blogging Marathon #25
Theme: Cookbook Recipes - Creole by Babette de Rozieres
The first time I heard of beignets was when I was attending college at the University of New Mexico. My roommate was from New Orleans and after her Spring Break visit home, she returned with lots of New Orleans snacks and ready made foods. One of the items she brought back was a package of beignet mix, which are basically fried donuts, but very light and airy. For years, I have planned on attempting to make them myself, but never got around to it until now.
As I picked the Cookbook Recipes theme for this week's Blogging Marathon, I started going through some of my lesser utilized cookbooks. I remember purchasing this book, Creole, a short time before I was taking a culinary tour to Paris. I was so excited with the recipes from the French Caribbean. The author is from Guadeloupe, which is part of the lesser known Leeward Islands. As Dominica, the birthplace of my grandmother, is also a former French colony, the cuisine is very similar. This cuisine receives so little attention in the world of cookbooks, magazines and food blogs. I then discovered that the author had a restaurant in Paris and I was determined to eat there during my upcoming trip. Unfortunately, during my short 5 day trip, the one free evening I had, the restaurant was closed :( - It'll have to wait until my next trip to Paris.
I've already tried a few recipes from this book, although I haven't blogged about any. They are usually made during family holidays, when I have been too busy and the kitchen is too chaotic with all the relatives about, for me to get photos. The book is a great fusion of Caribbean & French cuisine.
I had recently come from the market with some beautiful blood oranges, so I decided to change the flavorings in the original recipe and utilize this fruit. If you've never had blood oranges before, they have a tart flavor, similar to grapefruit but not quite as sour.
Blood Orange BeignetsServes 8
2 cups + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 blood orange, grated (original recipe uses lime zest)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (no that's not a typo)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup blood orange juice, strained to remove pulp (original recipe uses rum)
1 pinch salt
4 cups oil, for frying
Place the flour, baking powder, egg yolks, sugar and 1/2 cup water in a large bowl. Mix until just combined. Add the zest, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, melted butter and blood orange juice. Mix well and set aside.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Fold this into the rest of the batter until it is smooth.
Heat oil to 350 F, for deep frying. Drop batter into the oil, 1 tablespoon at a time. Fry until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels and dust with powdered sugar.
Serve with candied blood oranges (recipe below).
Note: the original recipe did not include baking powder, but it is necessary for the light and airy texture customary with beignets.
Light and airy beignets bursting with vanilla flavor...so irresistible...you can't eat just one!
Candied Blood Oranges (recipe adapted from here)Ingredients:
2 blood oranges
1 cinnamon stick
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
Slice oranges in half lengthwise. Slice each half widthwise into 1/4" slices.
Bring water, cinnamon and sugar to a boil in a large heavy pot. Add orange slices and bring to a boil, Cook at a high boil for 5 minutes, turning occasionally.
Reduce to a medium simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Reduce to a low simmer and continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes, until the oranges are translucent. Be careful not to overcook or the oranges will start to disintegrate.
Leave in the syrup to cool, for about 10 minutes.
Remove slices to a piece of waxed or parchment paper, to completely cool.
Note: This was my first attempt at this process. Next time I will add an extra 1/2 cup of sugar as the syrup was a bit thin.
|Candied Blood Orange|
What to do with the syrup that remains in the pot? Try this delicious beverage to go with this sweet treat.
Blood Orange Mint Chiller
3/4 cup leftover blood orange syrup (from above)
1 bunch mint
3 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar, or more as needed
Place an entire bunch of mint, stems and all, and 3 cups of the water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Strain and mix the mint water with the rest of the ingredients.
Serve chilled with a few candied orange slices.
Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#25
...linking to Favorite Recipes: non-Indian food hosted by Ghar Ka Khana, Cook Like a Celebrity Chef, Bon Vivant - Quixotic Fixes
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