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Jul 13, 2009 09:13 AM

Boston beignet question

Bonjour Y'all, from Massachusetts. I have never been to New Orleans and probably never will be, but have heard about your famed beignets many times. So when I was ordering flour from King Arthur, in Vermont, I also ordered a box of Cafe du Monde Beignet Mix (the original, not a Yankee clone). Made a batch today, following directions and checking the oil (canola)temperature carefully, and.....yawn. I guess I expected something ethereally light, which these are not. Not bad, just nothing special. A freshly-made Dunkin Donut honey-dip is tastier and lighter, IMO. Is there a big difference between those served at CduM and the ones from their mix? If not, I can cross beignets off my, "wish I could taste" list. Merci!

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  1. I have never tried to make them at home, so I cannot judge your recipe. They are not exactly light, I guess it is the warmth of the beignet combined with copious amounts of powdered sugar along with a cup of Cafe Au Lait that truly make the experience one of a kind. Again, I have never made them at home, so I am not sure what the mix is lacking minus the overall experience of Cafe Du monde. They also sell their chicory coffee if you want the "complete experience". I guess you may have been expecting them to be airy and flaky or more along the lines of a warmed croissant. I love them as do most people i know, I just think they may turn out differently at home.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ScarlettNola

      The mix never turns out (for me) as anything even remotely approaching the wonder of a real beignet. Every few years, I get optimistic and try, and am always disappointed. The real things are a wonder!

    2. by all means, keep it on your "wish i could taste" list. there's a certain degree of technique, just the right kind of fat at just the right temp, the powdered sugar-dusted floor, the street musician and the scene behind him that you can't duplicate at home. even just limiting the experience to the food itself, certainly you can't compete with the beignet fry cook who's done it a million times. which is why boxed, do-it-at-home versions never live up to the real thing. i'm sorry you won't make it down. i've had quite a time in your town, confounding blue laws notwithstanding.

      1. I wouldn't attempt a homemade beignet unless you have a frame of reference. Beignets aren't supposed to be ethereally light, like brioche. They puff up when they're fried, but some parts remain pretty dense and chewy. The crust should have a deep golden color, and a light crunch, and the beignet shouldn't yield easily when you bite into it. You kind of have to pull at it with your teeth to separate the bite -- like pizza dough. The closest thing I can compare them to is funnel cake. Crusty on the outside, but soft and chewy inside. Delicious! Just had some at Morning Call a couple days ago.

        1 Reply
        1. re: HalfShell

          Thanks for all the input. I did get the texture that HalfShell describes. I was thinking of something like Portuguese fried dough with less grease. Oh well - this being the first time in a few years that I put that much oil in a pan. So it shouldn't be a total loss, I filtered the oil and am "making lemonade from lemons" by fixing buttermilk-dipped Southern-fried chicken tonight.

        2. Never tried making them at home, but when we were growing up a few blocks from LeJeune's Bakery in Jeanerette, we would get a pound (loaf) of French bread dough and fry it for Lenten supper. Not the same thing, but it satisfied the craving for sweet dense goodness with lots of calories and no nutritional value--and oh, so cheap.