Ahh, donuts. My other lover. Yes, we're starting this week with a donut post and I have no shame. It's been one month into this quarantine and I need every bit of baking joy to keep me sane. If that means waking up early to make chocolate beignets with earl grey for breakfast, so be it. This recipe is spin-off on my matcha beignets, turning the doughnuts into fried chocolate goodness. Dust them with a heavy coating of earl grey sugar and you'll feel like a king. Or a queen.
Chocolate Beignets with Earl Grey
Earl grey powdered sugar
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp loose earl grey tea leaves
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- ¾ cups lukewarm water 100-110 degrees F
- ¼ cup granulated sugar plus 1 tsp
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup evaporated milk
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp dry milk powder
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 3 ½ cups bread flour
- 1 tbsp oil
- oil for deep-frying
- Make the earl grey powdered sugar. Infuse 2 cups granulated sugar with 1 tbsp earl grey loose tea leaves and let it sit overnight. Blend together the sugar with 2 tbsp cornstarch until finely ground, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Combine water with 1 tsp sugar and yeast and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast has bloomed.
- Whisk together eggs with evaporated milk and melted butter. Measure 2 cups of bread flour in a large bowl and add the egg mixture, yeast mixture, ½ tsp salt, 2 tbsp dry milk powder, and ½ cup cocoa powder. Mix until well combined, slowly adding the remaining 1 ½ cups flour. Knead dough until smooth, about 5-7 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Punch down the dough. Dust a clean work counter with flour and roll out the dough into 2x2 inch squares, about ¼ inch thick. Carefully deep fry the dough in batches, flipping constantly until they become golden brown. Remove beignets with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining dough. Dust generous amount of earl grey sugar onto the beignets and serve while warm.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
From the moment I decided to make chocolate beignets, I knew I had to make the powdered sugar extra special. It wasn't until I saw a can of earl grey that I realized how perfect the tea would pair with the chocolate. Normally beignets are dusted with a copious amount of powdered sugar. To make an earl grey flavor, we first have to infuse the sugar.
Let the earl grey sit with the sugar for at least 24 hours. The longer the mixture sits, the more fragrant the tea flavor will be.
To turn granulated sugar into powdered sugar, all you need is a fantastic blender. You can also try this with a food processor but I've had the most success with my Vitamix. Blend the earl grey-infused sugar with a bit of cornstarch for about 5 minutes or until fine. Don't skip the cornstarch because it will help keep the sugar dry. Stir around the mixture and continue to blend if the mixture feels gritty. In the future, if you ever run out of powdered sugar, you can use this method to make your own!
Now for the dough. We're using standard ingredients such as yeast, flour, and sugar, but also using evaporated milk, dry milk powder, and cocoa powder for the texture and flavor. It may seem like a lot of cocoa powder but this recipe does make quite a bit of beignet.
A little tip, when rolling out the dough, sprinkle a little cocoa powder with the flour onto the counter. This way, you won't be covering the dough with specks of white flour.
I love just the swirls of chocolate in the dough, don't you?
Once the dough has been proofed and cut, heat the frying oil. Chocolate desserts, in general, can be a little tricky because it's harder to tell when they are done cooking. Once they puff up, they are ready. Keep an eye on these donuts when they are frying since they will fry quickly.
Now whip out that fancy earl grey sugar that you made and dust it all over the donuts. These chocolate beignets with earl grey sugar are one of the most elegant donuts I've made. The flavors are subtle but present, giving you a hint of chocolate with a touch of earl grey. I love my matcha beignets but I think this is a sure rival.
For more earl grey inspiration check out this earl grey pie recipe!