Cajun Cravings – Sweet Endings to a Spicy Meal!

Since my Cajun Cravings post ran too long, in attempts to remain user-friendly I created another post dedicated to desserts. I chose to make the ever popular Beignets and to please my chocoholic friends I made Coconut and Chocolate Ganache Cups.

Details for Cajun Meal at Cajun Cravings .

Beignets are sinfully addictive pastry much like an American doughnut sold everywhere in New Orleans. The most renowned place I believe is Cafe Du Monde, where the lines run long for a batch of fried dough covered lavishly in powdered sugar.

Here is my virgin attempt at making Beignets.  I believe the consensus after the first bite was “cloud of air”. Since every one had at least 3 each, I assume they were a success. They are an ideal ending to a heavily spiced carb loaded meal. The delicate and airy pillows of fried dough dusted with powdered sugar are sublime. Hey, I can live of these and I hardly have a sweet tooth. Eat them quickly as they will vanish before your eyes; YES! they are addictive.

Beignets

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm 110°F (43°C) water
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • Peanut or mild vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Directions:

  1. In a bowl sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and stir to dissolve.
  2. In the standing mixer, combine 3 cups flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Blend with paddle attachment.
  3. Gently heat milk and butter until butter melts. Add to the standing mixer bowl and stir till combined.
  4. Add egg, yeast mixture, and the remaining 11/2 cups of flour and continue mixing on medium speed till dough is formed.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Next day, let the dough rest for 15 minutes on room temperature.
  7. Heat peanut oil in a heavy large skillet.
  8. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. On a well floured surface, roll each piece about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with a pizza cutter into 9-12 pieces.
  9. When the oil is hot, drop 2-3 pieces and dry until puffed and brown on each side.
  10. Dust the beignets heavily with confectioners sugar on both sides.
  11. Dig in before they vanish.

 

Coconut-Chocolate Ganache Cups 

If Almond Joy evokes nostalgic childhood memories, you will ADORE these decadent cups. Relatively easy to make and assemble, yet taste utterly delectable.

 

 

For the Coconut Cups:

  • Heaping 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, such as Baker’s

For the Ganache Filling:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • A few toasted macaroon almonds, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Stir the sugar, egg whites, & coconut until completely combined.
  3. Place a spoonful into each 24 nonstick mini muffin cups. Press the dough to thinly mold the pan sides.
  4. Bake until golden – 15-18 minutes.Cool in pan and gently remove with the help of a plastic knife.
  5. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream until boiling and pour over the chocolate. After 1 minute whisk gently and the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
  6. Pour the warm chocolate filing into the coconut cups. Sprinkle a few pieces of chopped almonds while warm.
  7. Rest the pies at room temperature for at least 1 hour to set the ganache.

 

 

Recipe adapted from Leite’s Culinaria

 

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