In January, Bon Appétit posted a method for making sweet potato caramel that I couldn’t wait to try out myself. After baking the potatoes, squeezing them and warming the liquid, I was rewarded with a very sweet and beautifully colored amber caramel which I added a bit of vegan butter and salt into, then drizzled over some Tofutti vanilla ice cream. It was heavenly! Afterwards, I was left with about three cups of leftover mashed sweet potato, so I made Red Quinoa and Sweet Potato Croquettes with a cup of it, ate some of it plain, then threw the rest into a beignet mix to see what would happen. After a quick fry, fluffy, light, airy and magical beignets were created, and they smelled fantastic. To make them more savory rather than sweet, I added some fresh chopped rosemary, salt and coarse black pepper into the batter and sprinkled them liberally with it once they were fried. These blissfully indulgent beignets are easy to make and perfect for serving at breakfast or brunch.
SWEET POTATO AND ROSEMARY BEIGNETS
Yield 20-24 beignets
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1/2 cup AP flour
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Ener-G, whisked with 2 TB water
- 2/3 cup mashed sweet potato (needs to be at room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cup room temperature fizzy water, plus an extra 1/4 cup if needed
canola oil, for fryingextra pepper, salt and minced rosemary, for sprinkling onto the freshly fried beignets
- Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
- Place the baking soda, salt and Ener-G slurry into a separate bowl. Whisk until smooth, then add in the sweet potato and whisk again. Add in the 1 1/2 cups fizzy water. Stir again until the mixture is very smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture. Gently stir to combine, taking care not to overmix. Add a little extra fizzy water if the batter is too stiff. (You want it to have a consistency of a thick pancake batter.)
TIP: To prevent your beignets from being raw in the middle, you want to ensure your batter is at room temperature. You can let it sit out for up to 30 minutes to ensure it’s not too cold.
- Place several inches of canola oil into a medium-sized saucepan. Heat over medium to medium-high heat until the oil reaches and maintains a heat level of 325 degrees.
- Drop tablespoon-sized amounts of batter into the hot oil, only 2 or 3 at a time. (It’s important that the batter you drop is no more than one or one-and-a-half tablespoons; otherwise, they won’t fry correctly.) Move them around with heat-resistant tongs to ensure even frying. Once they are deeply golden brown, after 2-3 minutes of frying, transfer them to paper towels and sprinkle immediately with a few pinches of salt, pepper and minced rosemary, if desired. Serve immediately.
TIP: To additionally prevent your beignets from being raw in the middle, do a test beignet first. Once it comes out of the oil and has had a chance to cool after a few minutes, break it open. If it’s still raw, your oil is too hot. Reduce the heat a bit before frying the rest of the batch.