Chocolate Hazelnut Beignet
While we were in Disney World at the beginning of August, we took some time to stop at the Boulangerie Patisserie in France. While I was there, I got a Hazelnut Chocolate Beignet. I’d show you a picture… but I ate it too fast. If I hadn’t been so hot, I might have gone back and gotten a second one! It was more like a filled donut than what I picture as a beignet, but it was still delicious.
When I came home, I kept thinking about it. And I kept thinking that my grandmother’s donut recipe would probably work really well with a hazelnut chocolate filling.
Really, really well.
So the other day I broke out all the ingredients and made donuts. And you know what? They’re pretty darn close to what we ate there!
How to Make The Beignets
I will fully admit that I did cheat for part of this. My breadmaker has a “dough” setting, and it will mix, knead, and let the dough rise, knead again, and do a second rise. This is great when you’re short and its hard to get enough leverage to knead bread easily on the counters.
Because I also had lots of things to do in the meantime, I scalded the milk and mixed everything into it until it was dissolved and let it cool for a bit. Once it was room temperature, I put my ingredients into the breadmaker, following the methods for my machine (For mine, you have to put all the liquid ingredients in first), and let it run on the bread setting. I did not let it go through both kneading and rising cycles. I stopped it after the first one, because I wanted to cut the donuts out.
Once the dough was ready, I pulled it out and floured the counter and my rolling pin. I will warn you, this makes A LOT of donuts. Like, around 4 dozen regular donuts. I forgot this.
In any case, its easier to divide the dough up into thirds or fourths and roll it out in smaller chunks. Unless you have a really big counter to spread out on, in which case, have at it!
Anyway, roll out the dough to about a quarter inch thick, and then cut it with a 2-3″ cutter (size is your preference). If you want regular donuts, you’ll have to cut out the inside with a smaller cutter. If you want to make these beignets, just leave it in a circle.
I move mine to a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, and cover them with a tea towel. Let them rise for about 45 minutes.
While you’re waiting for them to rise, you’re going to heat up about 3-4″ of oil in a pan, or pull out your fryer. You want the oil to heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. I used a clip on thermometer to monitor the temperature. Make sure you’re using canola, peanut, or vegetable oil.
You’re going to gently slide the donuts into the pan, cooking for a couple minutes on each side, until they are golden brown. drain them on racks placed in cookie sheets lined with paper towels, newspaper, or kitchen towels. If you run out of space, you can always just put the towels on the counter and the racks on top, but it means a lot of counter cleaning later. Trust me on that.
Filling the Beignets
Once the donuts are cool enough to handle, you will need to get your jar of Nutella and pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until it is a little more liquid and easier to pour. Make sure you get all the metallic seal off before you put this in the microwave!!!!!
Now, you can just use a round cake decorating tip to fill these, but a cannoli filling tip would be better. It is longer and will get farther into the middle of the donut. You are going to prep a piping bag just like you would for frosting, and pour your Nutella in.
Filling the donuts is easy. You just pop the piping tip into the side of the donut (don’t do the bottom – it will leak out!) and squeeze some Nutella inside. How much is up to you, but at some point it will ooze out around the tip. I recommend squeezing lightly for a count of 1-2-3 and then moving on. You can judge as you go if you’re getting the same amount inside by weight. As you squeeze the Nutella in, the donut will get heavier in your hand. Nutella is rich stuff, and while I love it, sometimes less is more, you know?
Once you’ve got your donuts made, they’re pretty much ready to go. The one I ate at Epcot was dusted with powdered sugar, and I do think it needs that little extra bit. BUT – these donuts are moist, so I don’t recommend dusting them until you are ready to serve. If you do it earlier and put them in a baggie or container, it will turn to liquid. (which is still tasty, just really sticky and messy)
I recommend using a shaker filled with powdered sugar to sprinkle the beignets once they are on the plate. The hardest part is not eating all of them your self! They’re best when still warm, but they’ll last in an airtight container for a few days. If you and your family can keep from eating them all!
What do you think? Have you tried the beignets at the Boulangerie Patisserie?
My grandmother's donut recipe tweaked to try and recreate the amazing beignets from the Boulangerie Patisserie at Epcot!
- 2 cup scalded milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 6-8 cup flour
Scald the milk, then add the sugar, butter, salt, and water. Let the mixture cool, and add the eggs, yeast, and flour.
Knead or put in a bread maker on the dough setting and remove after the first knead and rise cycle has finished. If kneading by hand, knead and let rise for 2 hours.
Punch down the dough and roll out to around 1/4" thick. Cut into rounds with a cookie cutter. Let rounds rise for 45 minutes.
Heat oil in a skillet to 375 degrees. Fry donuts until golden brown on each side. Usually 1-3 minutes per side. Remove and let drain on a baking rack.
Fill a piping bag with a cannoli tip or round tip with Nutella. Fill doughnuts with 1-2 tablespoons of filling.
Serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar.