A New Orleanian may be wary of a beignet made this way, but we promise these air fryer creations hold their own.
Air-Fried Beignets with Milk Chocolate Sauce
- ½ cup warm water (105° to 110°)
- 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 4¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 (4.4-ounce) bars milk chocolate, chopped
- In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together ½ cup boiling water, ½ cup evaporated milk, melted butter, salt, vanilla, and remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar by hand. Whisk in yeast mixture and egg. Add flour. Using the dough hook attachment, beat at medium speed until dough comes together, starts to get smooth and soft, and forms a ball at base of dough hook, 6 to 7 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. (Dough should stick to your fingers but release when you pull away. Dough will still stick to bottom and sides of bowl.) Check dough for proper gluten development using the windowpane test (see Notes).
- Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Preheat air fryer to 400°.
- Divide dough in half. On a heavily floured surface, roll half of dough into a 9×5-inch rectangle about ½ inch thick. (Cover and refrigerate remaining dough.) Trim ½ inch from edges to make an 8×4-inch rectangle. Cut into 2-inch squares and keep separated to avoid sticking together.
- Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray. Arrange dough squares in an even layer in air fryer. Spray tops of squares with cooking spray. Cook until golden brown and puffed, about 7 minutes. Repeat procedure with remaining dough. Sift confectioners’ sugar over hot beignets. Serve warm.
- In a microwave-safe medium bowl, heat remaining 1 cup evaporated milk and coconut oil on high until hot and steaming (about 120°), about 1 minute and 15 seconds.
- Add half of chopped chocolate and stir until smooth. Add remaining chocolate and stir until smooth. Serve with warm beignets.
To use the windowpane test to check dough for proper gluten development, lightly flour your hands and pinch off (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a “windowpane.” If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready. Knead 1 minute more, and test again.