Beignets with a Cafe au Lait Creme Anglaise
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 3/4 -ounce yeast (3 packets active dry yeast)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup powdered milk/milk solids
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 recipe Cafe Au Lait Creme Anglaise, recipe follows
- Confectioners' sugar, for serving
- Cafe au Lait Creme Anglaise:
- 1 1/2 cups chicory coffee
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the milk and butter to 110 degrees F in a small saucepan and place in the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle the yeast in the bowl and add the sugar, powdered milk and the egg. Beat, using the whip attachment on low speed, until the ingredients are well blended. Allow the milk and other ingredients to sit, undisturbed, until the yeast is bubbly and foamy, about 10 minutes.
Add the salt, all-purpose flour and bread flour to the bowl. Using the dough hook attachment, beat the mixture until a soft dough is formed. Beat the dough on medium speed for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl of the mixer, and place in a greased medium-sized bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft free area until the dough is doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
While the dough is proofing, make the Anglaise.
Fill a large pot 1/3 full with vegetable oil and preheat the oil to 350 degrees F.
After the dough has proofed, punch down the dough, and cut it in half. Leave one half covered with a moist towel in the bowl, and place the other half on a lightly floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough using a sharp knife into 2 1/2-inch squares.
Fry the beignets in batches of 6 to 8 at a time. Let the beignets fry for 2 minutes on the first side, and turn over to fry on the second side. Remove from the hot oil and drain on a paper-lined tray and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar sifted through a fine mesh sieve. Continue with the remaining pieces of dough, and also with the other half of the dough in the bowl. Serve with the Cafe Au Lait Creme Anglaise drizzled over all. (Alternatively, the Creme Anglaise may be served in small demitasse cups for sipping or dunking.)Cafe au Lait Creme Anglaise:
Heat the coffee in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Cook at a low boil until it is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Heat the cream and milk in a 2-quart saucepan over a medium heat. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the sugar and the egg yolks and beat until well-blended and pale yellow in color. Once the cream and milk come to a simmer, remove from the heat and pour about 1/2 cup of the cream and milk mixture over the eggs and whisk to blend. Return the saucepan to the stove, and add the egg-cream mixture. Cook, stirring well with a wooden spoon, being sure to reach into the corners of the pan. Continue to cook, stirring, until the anglaise begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Once thickened, remove from the heat and strain into a clean bowl using a fine mesh sieve. Add the vanilla and the reduced coffee to the anglaise and stir to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled, with the beignets.