Beignets with ovaltine-mascarpone affogato and dark chocolate custard

I had this craving for beignets one night when I saw a video of my friend who went to the infamous Cafe du Monde in New Orleans and got to record them making these beautiful, cloud-like beignets and serving them with a nice cup of coffee. So, because I went to school in Boston at the time, I decided to recreate it. Maybe not the best for a midnight snack (I wound up sleeping at 3am that night because of all the caffeine and sugar), but it was WORTH IT for those satisfyingly fluffy doughnuts.

Now personally, I’ve always imagined a sassy woman belting out the word “beignet” to a jazzy tune whenever somebody talks about Southern styled beignets, but that’s just me being weird. And that happens a lot, so I refuse to apologize for it. Weird is me.

The difference between beignets and doughnuts is that beignets are eggier. This recipe has a lot of eggs, between the gelato, beignet, and chocolate custard. There’s something that brings me personal joy in knowing that so many unborn chickens are being killed with my baking. Meanwhile, born chickens are being sacrificed to catering companies and school cafeterias around the world. And the survivors have to lay eggs to continue the process. Jesus fuck, now I understand why some of my friends are vegetarian. That being said, I’m glad that I wasn’t born (or unborn) a chicken. Teehee.

An affogato is my excuse to incorporate more ice cream into my breakfast coffee, typically espresso, with ice cream on it. I did a mascarpone gelato, which is basically my sorbet recipe, but with egg yolks. For the coffee, I infused the espresso with ovaltine to make it unique and to add more flavor into the coffee.

Beignets:
2 1/2 cup flour + more for rolling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup water (110 degrees F)
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
1 packet dry-active yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
canola oil
powdered sugar

Combine the yeast, sugar, and water and allow to sit for 10 minutes at room temperature. Combine the butter and cream and bring to a simmer. Temper in the eggs and then allow to sit until room temperature. Combine with the yeast mixture and the flour and roll into a dough. Allow the dough to sit for 1 hour at room temperature. Transfer to a floured surface and then roll out to about 1/4 of an inch thick. Using a 3 inch cookie cutter, cut out the beignets. Alternatively, you can cut them into rectangles, which is actually what Cafe du Monde does! Bring canola oil up to 350 degrees F. (you can test this with a cube of bread; once the bread turns golden in the oil, bring the heat of the pot down to medium-low). Fry for 1 minute on each side. Drain on a towel, then cake in the powdered sugar if you’re worried that this isn’t healthy, first off, it’s a fucking beignet, it’s deep-fried in oil, and secondly, at least it’s not being caked in cocaine. Now THAT would be unhealthy, you whiny betch.

Chocolate custard:
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cups dark chocolate

Whip the egg yolks with the sugar and bring the cream to a slight simmer. Temper the egg yolks with the cream and then continue whisking over heat for 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Add in the chocolate and continue whisking, off heat, until the chocolate is fully melted. Strain out the lumps.

Mascarpone gelato:
2 egg yolks
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
3/4 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the mascarpone into the water. Whip together the egg yolks with sugar and temper with the mascarpone water. Whisk over heat for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat, then strain. Chill down to room temperature. Put into an ice cream maker and churn. Alternatively, you can also freeze the base solid and pass through a blender to churn it without an ice cream machine. Re-freeze until solid.

Ovaltine espresso:
1/2 cup brewed espresso
1/2 tablespoon Ovaltine powder

Combine the two and whisk out the lumps of Ovaltine.

Assembly:
I did two pools of the custard, one significantly larger than the other (the other needs to be like a teaspoon, while the other has to be about 2 1/2 tablespoons) because in mother nature, we can’t always be even. Place two beignets onto the larger pool, and then scoop the gelato into a glass. Place the glass onto the smaller lump, just so that it won’t move around when you transfer the plates. Pour the espresso onto the ice cream right before you serve it.

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