I've been feeling quite contrary lately. Like a pouty child who got a chocolate cake instead of vanilla and cherry cake with pink sprinkles. A tad overindulgent, I must admit. But I can't help but feel like I am channelling all this disruptive energy that is roiling around the world. As I slowly woke up to news of earthquake and tsunami in Japan this morning, I was emerging from a restless dream of which I remember nothing, except for the feeling of angst and tension.
I'm hoping to distract my distraught mind by reminiscing about the doughnuts I made on Tuesday. I didn't post the recipe earlier because I was hoping to uncover another recipe from my piles of notes, but since that one remains elusive as of yet, here is my friend's mother's recipe. These pillows of fried dough have kept my friend and me busy and content many a summer day during our childhood. They are really easy to make, and not just for Fat Tuesday. I actually whipped up a batch, in my pyjama, just in time for brunch.
Les Beignets de Marie-Paule
Makes about two dozens
135g/ 1 cup flour
60g/ ¼cup sugar
1g/ ¼ tsp baking powder
45g/ 3Tbs milk
oil for frying
icing sugar, for garnish
Sift together the flour, baking powder and sugar.
Beat egg with the milk, and slowly mix into the dry ingredients.
Mix just to barely combine all the ingredients.
Do not over-work the dough, or the doughnuts will be tough.
The dough will be rather soft and sticky. Form into a loose ball, wrap in cling film, and leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat enough oil in a large pot or pan. You only need 3cm/ 1" of oil to fry up the dough. The oil should be at about 175'C/325'F: if you do not have a candy thermometer to measure the oil's temperature, use a bamboo skewer or chopstick. When the oil is at the right temperature for frying, a steady stream of small bubbles should emerge from the chopstick when you stick one end in the oil.
On a well floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to a 5mm/ ¼" thickness.
Cut out the dough into desired shape: I usually cut the dough into strips; each strip is then cut into rough diamonds with a slit. By pulling one end of the diamond through the slit, you get something that looks like a braid.
Slip a few pieces of dough into the hot oil. Leave to cook until golden brown (1 to 2 minutes), before flipping them over to colour the other side.
Remove dough from oil with a slotted spoon, and drain off excess oil on a paper towel.
Sprinkle with icing sugar.
Je suis désolée, mais il s'est avéré que la traduction me sape trop d'énergie. J'essaierai de me reprendre un peu plus tard, quand j'aurai la tête à ça.