Beignets are square-shaped doughnuts with a fluffy, airy centre. Synonymous with New Orleans. they are delicious eaten warm and dunked in chocolate sauce.
Start by making the dough. Put the milk and butter into a large bowl and pour over the boiling water. Leave until the butter has melted,then stir. Set the mixture aside to cool until it’s lukewarm.
Put the flour into a separate bowl, mix the yeast and caster sugar into one side of the flour and the salt into the other side. Then mix everything together (this stops the salt from killing the yeast).
Gradually tip the melted butter mixture into the flour mixture (you may not need it all), mixing as you go and then knead together with your hands to make a dough.
Lightly flour your work surface and knead the dough by hand for 8 minutes, or in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes, until you have a smooth mixture that springs back when pressed. Place in a clean bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and
leave in a warm place for up to 2 hours until doubled in size.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough into an 8mm-thick rectangle that’s around 20 x 27cm. Cut into squares that are approximately 6cm in size (about 20).
Pour the oil into a heavy-based saucepan so it’s around half full. Heat the oil to 175°C or until a small piece of dough dropped into the oil bubbles and turns golden within 30 seconds. Line a plate with some kitchen paper and get a wire rack ready.
Working in batches so they don’t stick together, deep-fry the dough squares for 1–2 minutes on each side until golden and puffed up. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider strainer, place on the kitchen paper, transfer to the wire rack and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure the oil is up to temperature before adding the next batch.
Dust heavily with the icing sugar and enjoy warm. Keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Recipe adapted from ‘I’ll Bake!: Something delicious for every occasion (Pavilion Books).