A positive encounter with the Yeast Beast convinced me that these little treats would be perfect to bring along to Fiesta Friday this week. I have to say, I have become slightly spoiled since going to the Hunter Valley. Tasting the good food there has made me even more determined to improve these skills of mine, and so I thought I would start with tackling the Yeast Beast. As it turns out there’s a lot to learn when it comes to this particular creature, but with a little love and a little patience it produces delicious results.
Beignets are a treat that aren’t at all common around here. In fact I couldn’t find even one person who knew how to pronounce their name around either home or work! But given how straight forward the recipe looked I thought it would be a shame not to give it a go, and see how I went tackling the Yeast Beast. Well, I was impressed. Not only did the batter come together rather well, but once I mastered getting the temperature of the oil and the frying time correct, I was astounded at their delicious texture and taste.
I would call these treats something like a fritter, and something like a donut. I don’t tend to deep fry these sorts of sweets, or really eat too much deep friend food, so it was rather interesting getting used to the process of heating the oil and watching these little beauties bob around as they gently browned. I also turned away from what seems to be the traditional topping of icing sugar, and instead went or cinnamon and white sugar. Yum!
I would recommend eating these warm, as that was when their flavour was the best. Also I hope this gives a bit more confidence to those starting to tackle the Yeast Beast! Happy FF!
Makes: 20-30, Prep: 15-20 mins, Cook: 30-40 mins
- 2 tbsp very warm water
- 1 tbsp, plus 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tbsp/55g unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup/100g glutinous rice flour
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp/60g white rice flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Enough vegetable oil to fill a pot up to 2 inches
- 1/2 cup/55g powdered sugar (or use a cinnamon sugar mixture)
- Combine the warm water, 1 tsp granulate sugar and yeast in a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine the 1 tbsp granulated sugar, 1/2 cup water, butter and salt in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat.
- Add about half the glutinous rice flour and all of the white rice flour and stir with a spoon until smooth and combined.
- Turn the heat to low and push the dough around the pan for 2 more minutes, turning it to avoid burning.
- Scrape the dough into another bowl, and break the eggs into the still-hot saucepan and swirl them around to warm them.
- Tip the eggs one at a time into the dough, beating between each addition, until the dough is glossy and smooth. Then scrape down the bowl and add the yeast mixture, vanilla and remaining glutinous rice flour. Mix until the mixture is very smooth and elastic.
- In a saucepan or deep-fryer, pour oil up to 2 inches deep and heat. You don’t want the oil too hot, ideally the beignets should be frying for up to 3-5 mins per batch, so don’t make it so hot it burns them right away.
- Drop teaspoon sized lumps of batter into the pan, being careful not to crowd the pan, and after a minute or so use tongs to turn them. Let them bob around and fry until brown on all sides, about 3-5 mins, then drain on a cake rack. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- To serve them immediately, roll the hot beignets in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.