Sunday, May 10, 2009

Filled Beignets

Friends and I got together for a Spring Tea Party and we made the following recipe together. This was a wonderful addition to our menu and is probably my favorite recipe for brioche dough. The dough itself is so versatile and can be used in various ways including doughnuts, sticky buns, muffins, assorted pastries, etc.
Brioche dough
recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
(makes about 4 loaves)


1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey (this is my all time favorite!)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix the yeast, salt, eggs honey and melted butter with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container.
Mix in the flour, using a spoon until all of the flour is incorporated.
Cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours.


Cream Cheese Filling

recipe from Cook's Illustrated

1 package cream cheese, cut into 1 inch pieces at room temp
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
¼ cup sugar

Using a spoon, mix all ingredients together thoroughly in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

Chocolate Custard Filling
recipe from Dorie Greenspan

1 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
pinch of salt
3-4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature

Bring the milk to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar, cornstarch and salt until well-blended and thick. Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk — this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they don't curdle — then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking constantly (make sure to get in the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the melted chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the custard or, if you want to cool the custard quickly, put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir the custard occasionally until it is fully chilled, about 20 minutes. (If it's more convenient, you can keep the custard, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

Filling the Beignets

Roll out the beignet dough into a rectangle and cut into squares using a pizza cutter.

Dollop a small amount of the filling mixture in the middle of each dough square.

Form the dough around the filling mixture to seal the seams. Allow these to sit for 5-10 minutes before frying. Fry until brown on all sides and then dust with powdered sugar.


Serve hot on their own or with a dessert sauce such as a coulis, caramel or chocolate.