One of the highlights of my last trip to New Orleans was enjoying the famous local pastry called beignets. The most famous cafe in New Orleans that sells these incredible pastries is called Cafe du Monde. The original location of Cafe of Monde is just across the street from Jackson Square. This location is close enough to my hotel that I would walk there every morning to have these beignets for breakfast.
The great thing about Cafe du Monde is they are now selling boxed mix of their famous doughnuts that you can make and enjoy at home. The day before I went home, I bought a box of the beignet mix to try to make at home. This past weekend, I finally had the opportunity to try the mix. I admit I made a few mistakes, so for those of you who wants to try the mix at home, here are some tips you might consider.
– Treat the mix like a pancake mix, not a cake mix. There is a recipe at the back at the pancake box to make pancakes, for a certain amount. The same goes for a beignet mix. The first mistake I did was pouring the entire content of the beignet mix in the mixing bowl like you do cake mix. Be sure to follow the cooking instructions at the beignet mix box before making it.
– Flour the board regularly so the dough won’t stick. At Cafe du Monde, they cut the dough in rectangular shapes but you can shape the dough however you want. Just be sure the shake off excess flour of each doughnut before putting them in the hot oil.
– Use new oil, not used or recycled oil. The best oil to use in canola oil or vegetable oil, not something strong like peanut oil or even olive oil. But I strongly recommend not using oil you’ve previously use to cook any meats like fried chicken. Also make sure the oil is in the right temperature before putting the first dough.
– If you want small size doughnuts, make small dough. The reason is because once you put the dough in the oil, The dough will puff up and almost doubled in size.
– Once you put the dough in the oil, it will first sink but would later float to the surface. This is a good thing so you can see the color of the dough as it cooks.
– Flip the dough to cook the other side. Once you get the desired golden brown color on one side, flip the doughnuts to get the same color on the other. Cook for another two minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
– Immediately dust the doughnuts with powdered sugar soon after you take the doughnuts out of the oil. Put the doughnut on a plate lined paper towel and dust with powdered sugar. Then allow the doughnuts to cool a bit before serving.
The best way to enjoy these fabulous doughnuts is with the famous Cafe du Monde Chicory coffee, either hot or iced. When I was in New Orleans, I was having beignets and coffee for breakfast every day. But I wouldn’t recommend doing this for breakfast every day at home.