Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chocolate Cherry Beignets with Vanilla-Stewed Cherries


1 vanilla bean
4 cups cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 cup red wine
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
2 eggs
1 ounce vegetable oil
1/4 cup whole milk
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 ounces dried cherries

6 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Ingredients for cocoa-sugar dusting:
1 T cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar

Preparing the cocoa-sugar mixture:
In a small bowl combine cocoa powder and sugar.

Preparing the vanilla-stewed cherries:
Split vanilla bean in half and with the back of a paring knife scrape the inside of its seeds. In a medium saucepan, add cherries, red wine, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla bean and its seeds. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, remove vanilla bean. Keep stewed cherries warm.

Preparing the beignets:
Heat oil in a large pot to 360 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In another medium bowl whisk eggs with oil, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and milk.

Add flour mixture to egg mixture, stir in melted chocolate and dried cherries.

Roll 2 tablespoons of batter into balls. Fry each side for 1 minute. Transfer beignets to a rack.

To serve, place about 1/3 cup of the poached cherries with liquid in a soup bowl.
Place two or three beignets on top and garnish with cocoa-sugar dusting.

Optional: Serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Serves 12


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