If you’ve not tried beignets before, they are almost like a donut, made with choux pastry instead of a yeasted dough, but they are hollow and very light. Originally a French recipe, they have become hugely popular in New Orleans and are in fact the official state donut of Louisiana. They are usually served sweet but, in this recipe, we have incorporated cheese into the dough for a savoury canapé, served with a romesco dipping sauce.
For the Beignets
75g plain flour
For the Romesco Sauce
50g blanched almonds
100g roasted peppers, from a jar
1tsp red wine vinegar
½tsp smoked paprika
1tbsp olive oil
Start by making your romesco sauce. Add all of your ingredients, except the parsley, to a blender and blitz until fairly smooth. Add salt to taste and sprinkle with chopped parsley to garnish. Pop to one side.
For the beignets, melt the butter in a pan with 150ml water and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, cut the Tunworth into cubes, leaving the rind on.
Once you have reached a rolling boil, beat in the flour. Next, beat in the Tunworth until melted, try not to overwork.
Finally, add in the eggs one by one, beating all the time to ensure you have a smooth dough.
Heat your vegetable oil or deep fat fryer to 180°C.
Drop a tbsp of dough at a time into the hot oil and fry for 4 minutes. You will need to turn the beignets half way through to make sure they get an even colour all over.
Keep them in a hot oven until you have fried them all and are ready to serve.