For as long as I can remember, I have associated rains with comfort food. And comfort for me means warm, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, deep-fried, with a hint of spice…that kind of food. The category of food that best fits this kind of craving would be fritters, beignets or pakoras as they are called in India. And, that’s not all! You did know about my little sweet tooth, didn’t you..? So, I next visualise the deep-fried fritters tossed in sugar and spice and then drizzled with honey or some kind of a rich sauce and then served with ice cream on the side. Oh…why am I so obsessed with sweet things!
Apples and bananas are fruits that I generally have at home. So when the craving struck, I was instantly chopping, mixing, frying, humming to myself…while the rain flooded my balcony and my mind with memories. I chose to make a choux batter as I love the way they turn out..puffed up, airy, crunchy little beignets. They tend to be lighter than a normal fritter. If it helps to make you feel a bit less guilty about eating this, you do give your arm a little workout when you whisk vigorously while blending the ingredients together.
I also made 4 eclairs out of the batter before mixing in the apples. They were puffing up in the oven while I was frying the beignets. I ate several before I was convinced to remove a few for photographs. It was comforting indeed watching the rain with a plate of these addictive little pastry puffs and thinking about flavour pairings for the eclairs. What did I tell you! I am so very…TOTALLY obsessed with desserts!
Apple and Cinnamon Beignets with Cinnamon Sugar and Butterscotch Sauce (adapted with variation from Taste.com)
Yields 18 small Beignets
1 granny smith or any tart-sweet apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
vegetable oil for frying
For the choux batter
60g butter, chopped
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup plain flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Butterscotch Sauce: Use this recipe.
Make the cinnamon sugar: Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Make choux pastry: Combine butter and 2/3 cup cold water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until butter has melted and mixture just starts to boil. Reduce heat to low. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture comes away from side of pan and forms a ball. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Using a wooden spoon, gradually beat in eggs until well combined and dough is glossy. Stir in apple and cinnamon.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Drop 1 level tablespoon mixture into pan. Repeat, making 6 fritters. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beignets to cinnamon sugar. Toss to coat. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve drizzled with butterscotch sauce and with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.