I don't really like to start a post with a conversation but after trying different ways to write it up, I found that the accurate was to relate the conversation that took place between B. and myself last night before falling asleep. If you were to eavesdrop on the following conversation you'd think we lead the grand life:
B: what time is the cocktail party tomorrow?
Me: starts at 7pm. What time is the band playing?
Him: starts at 9pm.
If you know us a little better, then the rest of the conversation about our friends' party for their anniversary makes much more sense:
Me: I need to have the 300 cream puffs done by 10am at the latest, they are picking them up and the cake by noon.
Him: I've got to be at the party site by 6pm to hook up the PA system and practice some tunes with the guys. Well, at least we can have breakfast together. Anything special (with that look of "please, no more clafoutis")?
Me: what about some "choux beignets" with some of the leftover cream puff dough I am bound to have?
Him: I'll fry!
Me: deal! (meaning I can shower, cook down some rhubarb and write a post all at once, the usual!)
What a breakfast! We were perched on our chairs like little kids enjoying their latest pranks! It has been a while since we had any sort of fried dough for breakfast, keeping it relatively healthy during the week while buttering some brioche on Sundays. I don' eat a lot for breakfast but I love baking breakfast items. The choux are what we call "Pets de Nonne" (Nuns' Farts) which always made me giggle as a kid, not so much as an adult about to eat them for breakfast. I paired the choux beignets with an apricot curd I had made the day before just because I was tired of starring at a lonely bottle of apricot nectar in the pantry. Worked perfectly for dunking! The choux are really fun to watch when you fry them as they puff like crazy and wobble in the oil and shrivel like little old ladies when you let them sit for a while. Bonus, these are a breeze to make: mix, scoop and fry...and eat!
I am sorry if I have to leave you on this short post but I have got to finish some stuff for the party favors and there is a wild baking weekend coming up. I want to get some stuff done ( not to mention cleaning up a bit and organizing) before Marce from Pip In The City comes on Tuesday. She is staying for 5 days and beside her request to have me teach her macarons, I plan on the two of us having a fun time on the town! I have got the camera ready!!
Choux Beignets and Apricot Curd:
For the choux:
85 gr all purpose flour
75 ml milk
65 gr butter
1 Tb sugar
1/8 tsp salt
canola oil for frying
Sift the flour and set aside. Heat the water, milk, butter and salt to a full rolling boil, so that the fat is not just floating on the top but is dispersed throughout the liquid. Stir the flour into the liquid with a heavy wooden spoon, adding it as fast as it can be absorbed. Avoid adding it all at once or it will form clumps. Cook, stirring constantly and breaking up the lumps if necessary, by pressing them against the side of the pan with the back of the spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the dough to a mixer bowl. Let the paste cool slightly so that the eggs will not cook when they are added. You can add and stir the eggs by hand but it requires some elbow grease. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, using the paddle attachment on low or medium speed. The dough should have the consistency of thick mayonnaise.
Heat the oil to 360F in a medium pan (I use a 8 inch cast iron) and scoop small rounds of dough that you drop into the oil. Fry until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towel, serve with the apricot curd if desired.
For the Apricot Curd:
1 cup apricot nectar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp lime zest
Combine the zest, sugar, nectar in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until light. Beat some of the apricot mixture into the eggs to temper. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook stirring constantly until it thickens up, about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temp and use to fill the cake.Strain and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.